What would it feel like to dream again?
To stare out the window and let your mind and heart wander. How do you turn off the adult responsibilities and allow yourself to dream as you did as a child?
Emma felt a flicker of anticipation.
Could she start dreaming again?
Scrunching the dish towel, she heard Lisa whisper, “When was the last time you allowed yourself to dream, Emma?”
Emma recognized a longing from somewhere deep within her spirit or subconsciousness. Was it a dream?
Hardly daring to breathe, Emma watched past dream scenes unfold.
Emma and Tony, shoulders touching, heads cocked sideways, scrolling through page after page about the best places to see in Australia. She heard the easy laughter, the sparkling eyes that spurred the other to explore more. Someday, they promised, they’d take a month and explore.
Another snapshot unfolded—the day they’d open the doors to the first of many animal rescue services. In her mind’s eye, she saw the serene countryside and smelled the fresh pine scent. Someday, they dreamed.
Emma watched her son and daughter put on skis and head down the bunny hill. Their rosy cheeks and lilting laughter echoed through her heart. The only bunny hill they’d seen was the one in their backyard. Someday never happened.
When had she and Tony stopped dreaming together?
How did they get this broken?
She choked back a sob as Lisa encouraged, “Emma, this doesn’t have to be the end of your dreams. What do you need right now?”
Using the towel to wipe the tears, Emma choked, “I need help, Lisa. I don’t know what to do, to believe, or even who I am anymore. I’m so angry with Tony, so hurt. What went wrong? How could he do this to me, to us?”
Checking the clock, Emma disconnected the call. Tony and the kids would be home soon. She couldn’t get Lisa’s question out of her mind.
Emma splashed cool water on her face, grabbed a towel, and checked her reflection. Good enough to fool the kids, but probably not Tony.
“After the kids go to bed, I need to talk with Tony about what’s happening between us.” Her chest tightened, “But I don’t want to get into another argument. We need help, and Lisa mentioned a few professionals we could check out. Please, God, let Tony be open to this.”
Throwing a desperate plea toward the ceiling, she headed back to the kitchen to check on dinner.
Later that evening, Emma approached Tony.
“Could we talk?”
Warily, Tony muted the TV and looked toward her. His guarded eyes shifted between Emma, the TV screen, and other parts of the room.
“Could we turn off the TV?” Emma asked.
While Tony complied, Emma took a deep breath, whispered a prayer, and took a risk. “Would you be open to meeting with a professional together? I want our marriage to work, but I think we need some help.”
Fearfully, she watched Tony.
“What do you have in mind?”
“Perhaps a marriage counselor? I feel like I need help to understand what’s happened, why you need to look at that stuff I found, and how to move beyond this hurt I feel.”
“So, it’s all about what I did wrong then,” Tony fumed. “Why can’t you just let it go?”
“Please, Tony. We need help.”
Emma waited and prayed. Whatever Tony decided, she knew she would seek help. But she desperately wanted him to pursue it as well.
As she waited for Tony’s answer, Emma recognized that discovering herself and learning to dream again was inextricably linked to resolving this issue between them.
If you relate to Emma, please reach out. I promise to hold your heart tenderly.