I have had this dream for going on ten years...and the dreams always have the same flavor:
there's me, sitting in an RV riding down the highway...there are dream friends and dream family riding with me...and we are all sitting around in uncomfortable silence. At some point I look up at the front of the vehicle and realize that NO ONE IS IN THE DRIVERS SEAT. This causes me to lurch into a standing position and scream at my companions "WHERE IS MY DAD?!?!?!" Because of course my father is the king of all RV drivers. Even in my dreams. But dream Dad is absent and no one seems to want to do anything other than flip out and run around inside the RV screaming.
So I take my place in the driver's seat and attempt to navigate this lurching monstrosity safely to our destination. It feels like I am driving 100 mph across icy roads with little control. The steering is unresponsive, the brakes don't work and there are always bridges on my path that seem to be 3 inches wide. I am convinced we are going to die around every turn. At some point in the journey I do loose control...and we either flip 100 times or careen off one of those bridges. Taking out more than a few innocent bystanders in the process. That's when everything goes into slow motion...
I wake myself up screaming.
More than one therapist has dissected the dream. They seem to think that the RV symbolizes my soul...or my inner most self. I have processed through every traumatic RV experience I have had in hopes of eliminating the dream...even gone so far as to take a few RV trips and try to forcefully supplant my subconscious RV fears with positive experiences.
So far nothing has worked. But maybe that's because dreams don't represent anything! Maybe it is just random neural firings after a long day of thinking too much about the wrong things and too little about the good stuff.
I have a friend recently home from Afghanistan. She has seen the stuff night mares are made of. I asked her today if she has nightmares...and she says nope, she sleeps like a baby. This is a woman who has seen combat, watched bombs explode, held her peers' wounds shut as she prayed medical evac arrived before that artery ran dry...
and she sleep like a baby.
Because she, my friends, is a rock star. Pure muscle and a smile that could charm anyone. She has shaken the hands of presidents, and been published for her eye-witness accounts of the cruelty the Taliban inflicts on the helpless. She doesn't send money to Save The Children, and she doesn't send emails to her congressman...she picks up a rifle and patrols the dirt roads of far away lands to make sure that any young girl that wants to go to school can make her way there.
Tonight I light a candle for those soldiers who have be fortunate enough to come home from the horrors of war, and also for those soldiers who took their last breath on foreign soil...thinking about their moms, dads, lovers or children as their lives were extinguished.
Happy Memorial Day weekend y'all. I'll be at work - because hospitals don't close. But be sure to enjoy yourselves on my behalf ;)