Last night I had a dream.
All of the people I’d ever helped were there. You know, all of those clingy people who drive me out of my mind, but whom I love so very, very much? All of them. Even people whom I hadn’t realized I was helping in that way, like a cousin of mine, who I had unknowingly helped when we were five (this is my dream, remember, not based on actual events).
There came a day when suddenly my friends didn’t need me in that respect any longer. Everyone was self-confident, balanced, and happy. Though startled, I was very glad, and actually pretty relieved. I had to learn how to cultivate 50/50 friendships, but I had lots of practice in that, and life was good. Soon, though, I noticed that I had some health problems. I went to the doctor, and by the next week I was in bad shape. I think I had bladder cancer, but I’m pretty sure it was in at least some of my bones, too. There were several other health problems involved as well. I was bed-ridden and miserable.
I’m not sure where my family was at this point, but they weren’t really a part of my dream. I suppose they must’ve moved far away, or maybe even died. The only people in my life that I could turn to were all of those friends who had "sucked my life away" for so long. And WOW did they come through! One friend came and stayed with me all day long almost every day. Even though my mouth was dry and I couldn’t really have a real conversation, just having her in the room helped me so much. My friends brought me flowers, food, entertainment, love. They made sure the hospital was taking care of me, made sure my bills were being paid, made sure to check with the doctor on my progress and such. One friend, who had gone on to become a lawyer (albeit the worst lawyer to ever pass the bar) was trying to make a case for the hospital to pay my bills because my cancer may have been caused by their earlier mistreatment of a Urinary Tract Infection. He was pathetic at it, but I appreciated it so much.
The love and care and self-sacrifice my friends poured out on me blew me away. It brought me to tears. It humbled me, and it raised my spirits. Most of all it encouraged me. I got the feeling that my friends were helping me because I had lived the Gospel for them when I had helped them, and God had taught them through my example. It was as though God was telling me through this very difficult and painful time, “Look, I’ve used even you! The life you’ve lived HAS been to My glory, even when you thought you were failing.”
One morning two of my friends came to visit me, and I was in an unresponsive state. They weren’t sure if I was asleep or comatose, but after trying unsuccessfully to wake me, they called for the doctor. The doctor said that they had done all that they could do, and suggested they put me on hospice.
Though I couldn’t open my eyes or move, I could hear what was going on. I smiled inside and thought, “Oh good. Now my friends can finally rest.” I was filled with love and thankfulness.
Then Mom woke me up and asked if I wanted to go shopping before everyone else woke up.
I briefly considered falling back asleep and trying to finish the dream, but decided against it. I’m content with this ending. And I’m thankful for this dream. And I'm thankful for those great deals I got on Christmas presents this morning!