The Wake of Dreams

I am trapped between choices equally as peril to my soul. If I do not leave this town, I am sure I will go mad. My dreams can only be fulfilled outside the barriers of this small town where nothing really happens and everyone is half alive.

I could leave easily and quietly. But It’s economics. Even memories have opportunity costs. Each day I spent chasing my dreams on the other side of the world will cost me time away from the person I love most.

Death and dreams wait for no one, not even me. Every day that I let pass without taking action is another day I get older and my dreams get further away. But he is here, the man who helped raised me, who needs me now more than ever. Our time is fleeting. The clock is ticking. How many more opportunities will I have to enjoy sunshine on this park bench with him by my side? Is there a dream great enough to risk this?

It’s not guilt or obligations. It’s the immense love this man has given me, my need to give it back, and the profound fear of losing him. I need to know him, his life, his story inside out. Because one day I won’t be able to ask and this is all I’ll have to hold on to. There will be no one else who can reminisce on the day he met my grandmother, the stories of his fight in WWII, the mischievous things my father did. I have an opportunity here and now to siphon all the days of his life out of him, so I can remember him wholly and entirely.

The only thing more terrifying than the pain that will follow his death is the fear that one day that pain will fade. The cruelty of time will wash away our memories one by one. As time passes by, I’ll remember fewer days and less stories. That is guaranteed. The only way to heal is to begin to forget. So I can’t let myself heal.

I want to make sure it always hurts when he’s gone. I’ll create a plethora of memories so I will always rip me open because I’ll always know loss. For as long as it aches, our memories will be alive. Time can’t take that away.

In the end, will I regret it? Staying in this small town to keep an old man company? I doubt it. The days spent with him will always be worthy of the cost of my dreams.