Every girl’s dream


credit: zendirtzendust.wordpress.com

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a botanist and marry Jordan from New Kids on the Block.

Actually, the botanist thing was just a smoke-screen. I mainly wanted to marry Jordan from New Kids on the Block.

My daughter told me yesterday that she wants to be a squirrel when she grows up. Heady dreams for a five-year-old, but who am I to burst her bubble?

“Red or brown?” I asked.

She looked at me as if I’d just shit on the table. “Pink.”

Dreams change. For me, Jordan Knight was usurped when I discovered real, live men who didn’t sing everything in falsetto and wear their hair in a wisp.

Botany was replaced by the realisation that I had left University with an entirely use-free degree and a beer gut, and at this point any job would be a bonus.

Many of my grown-up dreams died along with my husband though. I wanted another baby, for example; I wanted a long and happy marriage. And we had shared dreams, as couples do. We wanted to see the cherry blossoms in Kyoto together, to move to France, to finally finish the Mad Men complete series box set after months of concerted viewing.

But in all that, I don’t ever recall envisioning myself as a pill-popping, thirty-eight-year-old widow with a small child and a drink problem. Unlike Don Draper, it was never part of the plan.

Not content with all its other insults, that bastard Widowhood blunders in and steals your dreams too.

15 thoughts on “Every girl’s dream

  1. I love the idea of being a pink squirrel! Sounds sooo exotic. G was never a planner, that was my job to arrange things and tell him where to be and, god love him, he rarely complained about it. He only started making plans about places to visit and things to do when he knew he was dying. I knew he’d never do them, but couldn’t bring myself to shatter his illusions and turn the conversation around to when was he planning to make a will! I hate that he never got to do the things he wanted – or to finish the West Wing box set (or indeed to make the will!) As for me, I was planning to marry Michael Praed from Robin of Sherwood. Love to you and the pink squirrel xx

    • That’sso sad, yet so understandable- the sudden compulsion to polish off ambitions when we are faced witha deadline. It’s actually the silly things, like not finishing a box set, which make me saddest. So much part of everyday life, so eminently achievable, yet now never to be. I can’t actually bring myself to watch the last series of Mad Men because we so enjoyed watching the first two together. Michael Praed is probably fat and bald now. You made the right choice with G!! XX


  2. you are doing the best you are able, and my heart goes out to you for the excruciating loss of having the dreams like having another baby and all the rest. I admire your candor, and am so grateful I found you. I think of you every day, and wish so much I could reach through this screen and give you many gentle hugs.

    my love is gone, and I am left alone to face a second cancer, trying to hold onto the remission from the first cancer while enduring a whole fucking course of rads, chemo, and wondering if my fate will mirror hugh’s – getting remission, then dying right smack dab in the best of it. WTF??? where is the room in my heart or my head for dreams? but I still have hope for so many things – that I will live, that once this cancer nightmare has faded even a little that I can carve out a meaningful and purpose driven life for myself, and that I can find a therapist (currently vetting) that can help me hold on to those hopes and give me even more – like the hope that I won’t die of grief.
    before that bucket of fuckedness called cancer does me in.

    I cannot imagine what it must feel like to be so young, to have had a love so deep and true that was stolen so abruptly, to watch your baby girl growing up without her father, to have all the responsibilities of parenting, maintaining a job and a household. the loss of dreams – such a huge part of grief, and so painful, and something people just don’t understand unless they have walked in shoes such as yours.

    but know this: your writing this blog is something that really counts. and even though you could never have imagined in your wildest dreams that you would be doing it, you are helping legions of others who are suffering and grieving and lost and feeling so alone. your writing voice is powerful both in it’s authenticity and it’s candor. and maybe, just maybe, knowing that you are helping others is in someway a comfort. maybe for now, you can turn what you do so very well – writing and sharing your story and giving hope to other people who wonder if they will survive the awful throes of grief- into a feeling of hope. and can’t hopes be akin to dreams? maybe not a sparkly vivid image – like a pink squirrel, or those beautiful cherry blossoms in Kyoto – but still, something you can hold onto.

    much love and light,

    Karen XOXO

    • Wow Karen, thank you. Writing it all down is the only way I really know how to express it – words don’t seem to form in the same way when they come from my mouth! I am so devastated to read of your latest battle with the evil C, and you have really made me think about dreams and hopes and what they must mean for someone in your position. I love that you have hope for so many things and seem to have such a positive outlook despite all that has been thrown at you. Loss and realignment of dreams is a really huge part of grief isn’t it, and one that doesn’t immediately hit you when your spouse first dies. As you say though, it is strengthening (in a warped kind of way) to know there are others out there who are also struggling to rebuild theirs. We are not alone. Much love and light back to you, XXX


      • thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words, it means a great deal to me if anything I write resonates. and you are right – we must always remember – we are not alone. love and light to you, always, xoxoxox

  3. Oh I love reading all your comments you all sound like such lovely adorable people whe through such tradegy have come out the other end so much wiser but what I really love is that you havent lost your sense of humour as im, e determined never to lose mine, iv, e also surprised myself that im so much more fiesty , loads of love to you all and a big kiss for the plnk squirrel x

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