I have two different kinds of dreams. One where Jeff is in a wheelchair, and one where he is able-bodied. It's the dreams where Jeff is still able to walk, still able to wrap his arms around me that are the hard ones to wake up from.
But this post isn't about that kind of dream. A couple weeks ago I had a dream that has stuck with me. One where the images were so vivid, if I were an artist, I could draw the whole thing perfectly.
This is a dream for the textbooks. The psychology textbooks that arm you with tools to decipher the deeper meanings behind your dreams. Get your secret decoder ring ready ...
In my dream, Jeff was in his power wheelchair, and I was walking next to him. We were attending some kind of retreat where we were going to meet others in our situation. I remember thinking the chosen location for this retreat was odd. It was very hilly. Many of the streets were paved with cobblestones. Not an ideal place for people in wheelchairs.
Jeff and I were at the top of a high hill, and were making our way down to the bottom to our destination. Jeff's chair began to swerve as it headed down the hill. It rocked back and forth as he tried to regain control of it. The chair turned sideways, and it looked as if he would overturn and tumble down the hill. I saw his face as the chair was turning toward me. He was crying - terrified.
I ran ahead of him as his chair spun, and he was now facing the top of the hill but was moving backward toward the bottom. I dug my feet into the ground and used every ounce of strength I had to keep Jeff's chair from flying backward down the hill. The muscles in my arms and legs burned as the weight of the chair pushed against them. I remember thinking "This chair weighs 400 pounds. How is it not rolling over me and crushing me? How am I able to hold it up?"
I kept walking backward, slowly, steadily, knowing we had a long way to go till we reached the bottom. My legs were getting weaker and my hand grip was slipping. Just as I was about to give in and let the chair flatten me, I realized we were on level ground. We made it to the bottom safely.
Then I woke up.
The 400-pound chair.