The Dream

When I was young

You asked me what I wanted to be

I said famous

You asked why

I said to change the world

You asked how I’d do that

I said through kindness

You patted my cheek, smiled, and said “good luck dear”


When I was older

You asked the same things

My answers didn’t change

You forced a smile and said,

“That’s wonderful dear

But you’re getting older now

And maybe it’s time to think of something else

Something more realistic”

I gritted my teeth and said nothing


When I left for college

Your questions came again

My answers were the same

You threw your arms in the air and said,

“For goodness sakes, grow up already

You’re an adult now

That’s just a dream

And you need more than dreams to get you somewhere”

I gave you a hug, told you I’d loved you

And left for my new life


When I had my first child

You brought them upon me again

I answered them the same as always

You pointed at my child and said

“They’re the next generation

And you can’t fill their mind with silly thoughts

They need you there for them

And that silly dream won’t help.”

I looked at my child and kissed its head


When my best friend got in a car wreck

You couldn’t keep the questions from coming

Teary eyed, I spat the usual answers back at you

You looked at me calmly and said,

"Child, if you don't let that thought go,

You could end up like your friend.

Covering up reality with fantasy,

That won't get you anywhere."

I stifled my sobs as you tried reassuring me


When you were sick in the hospital

You whispered the familiar words

Bravely, I gave you the usual response

You took my hand and said,

"All my life, I've been telling you you're wrong

To dream about such a thing

But now I realize I was wrong to hold you back.

Give it all you've got and don't let anyone stop you.

I love you"

I nodded, kissed your forehead, and sat down.


Nobody died in the hospital that day

Not a single soul

Everyone prayed that night

For the same thing the next day

Unfortunately, we weren’t as lucky


At your funeral, your words still rang in my head

“Don’t let anyone stop you”

As I kissed your forehead for the last time

I made an oath, to you and myself

To do just that

I cried, watching as a tear landed on your cheek

You almost smiled


Ten years later, as I walk to my new job

The sun shines in the early morning

Bikers ride down the empty streets

A once homeless man stares out a five-story window

A store owner gives an apple to a poor boy

And there isn’t a single sad soul around

I smile with ease


Early to work, I take a quick detour

I stood where I had ten years ago

Crying from the grief I had suffered

This time though, I smile, and speak

“Mom I did it.

I’m changing the world

One small step at a time

Just like I promised.”

Tears welled up in my eyes

I kissed your headstone

Said I loved you

And left for my job


As I walked away, I heard your voice

You said a million things at one

But all I heard was

“I love you, dear.

And I’m sorry”







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