Today I’ll be heading back into my old stomping grounds for a reunion of classes hosted by the class of 1990. It’s an all day event of food, friends, and swimming in the creek. Can’t say I remember the last time I swam in that creek.
I had a dream last night about this reunion. It was strange.
It starts off with me driving up a newly paved road to a home I didn’t recognize, though I’ve been there before. I just chalked that up to the 20 year gap in between visits. Oh, I mention the paved road because the home is out in the country. I sit down with a group a people and within moments one-by-one everyone leaves that circle and joins another. So, I am left sitting alone. So I get up and wonder if I should go over there, but if I do and they all leave then I’ll know for sure that it’s me they’re leaving. So I turn to sit in my chair again and the seat of it is gone and I wonder if I broke it or if it never had a seat in the first place.
So, I decide to wander around. I wonder if anyone will recognize me. Someone does, but I can’t remember her. Oh what a horrible feeling. She doesn’t look familiar at all! She tells me she came by earlier, but not very many people were there so she drove on by. Ah, I can relate to that. Shoot, I almost didn’t show up at all, but I don’t want to miss out on all the fun that will be had. I’d rather be there and feeling all awkward than at home wondering if I could have had fun.
I find myself walking down this long pier toward a ship, one that looked remarkably like the ship from the Love Boat. It was windy and the pier was slippery. I wondered how deep the water was and if I could swim if I fell into the water. Then we get to the end of the pier and there are these large square platforms made out of plastic that we’re supposed to get on. I’m like, “WHAT????” I wondered how I was supposed to propel myself over there when the wind was violently whipping these things around. So, I get onto one. My plan was to lie down on it, but for some reason I stood up and I tried pushing myself over to the other side where eager hands were waiting to catch hold of the rope that was on the platform. I don’t make it all the way. I prepare myself to plunge into the icy water 50 feet below. I already start moving my arms and legs like I’m trying to tread water and get myself back up to the surface.
An amazing thing happens! As I’m making these wild movements I’m moving backward toward another ship that is docked right next to the pier. (The other one was at the end of the pier.) Anyway, I’m flying through the air! It’s like I’m Mario or Luigi and it’s pretty cool except that I almost miss the ship. Somehow I grab on and the captain tells me to, “Toughen up, you can do it. Climb on up.” I think of whining, but instead I say, “Well, that’s what I would say to my kids, so I guess I better figure out how to do this.” Next thing I know I’m climbing up the side of this ship and making my way over to the destination ship. I can’t remember how I actually got on the ship, but I distinctly remember thinking, “Oh, that was so easy this time. Why was it so hard the first time?”
I then told a couple of friends about flying through the air and they smiled politely and nodded their heads. Then I thought, “Did I just dream the flying thing up?” Then I stood up and realized the whole thing was a dream.
I don’t have any cool interpretation for my dream. It is rare that I remember them in so much detail and I try to pay attention to them when I do. As I type this I am remembering other little details, but it’s all disjointed. Just snippets of a life I lived in my sleep.
I have to say I am feeling much anxiety over this reunion. I mean, what if nobody even recognizes me? What if I truly am left all alone? All my jr. high/highschool insecurities are on my like a dog on a bone. It all boils down to wanting to be good enough, cool enough, pretty enough. Now we add to that the feeling of wanting to be successful enough, married or single enough (which I am stuck in the middle), have enough kids, too many kids, good kids, rotten kids. Am I pretty enough? Tall enough? Thin enough?
Then I remember that we’re not all that shallow. I remember that there are probably others feeling some of these same things. We all carry the joys and sorrows of the past 20 years. Some of us have walked them alone, some of us have walked together. Some of us are financially wealthy, but relationship poor. Some of us are more financially poor than we’ve ever been, but are rich in relationships.
Some of us are fighting for the life of our child. Jill Wood is fighting for the life of her son Jonah. He has a rare genetic disease for which there is no cure. It is so rare that there hasn’t been any research done for it. She is not fighting alone. Many of the people at the reunion have already begun to fight with her. Some will learn about it and begin to fight. On August 27th I will be attending a fundraiser at Methven Family Vineyards. There’s wine tasting, a silent action, and live music by Lennox Fleary.
Here’s a way for you and I to fight for him together. For every photoshoot that you book with me I will donate a percentage of the proceeds to the Jonahs Just Begun Foundation. Now is a great time to get the senior photos and even the Christmas photos done and out of the way. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let’s fight this so Jonah can live!
See Jonah and hear Jill on WPIX in an interview about Jonah. Here!