Monday, September 11, 2017

Play Forever

I woke up crying Sunday morning from a horrible dream.

In the dream, my Wife, nine year old daughter, and I were killed in a horrible car accident.  An explosion.

I remember my daughter asking "what happened?" when we arrived on the other side. I told her that now she could go play.  "Play forever."

She happily skipped off to find new friends to play with.

It seemed so very real.

I have been crying on and off all day.

I'm crying now.


I've tried to analyze it.  First it's that, in the dream, my daughter would never grow up to be the woman she was meant to be.  Yet it's also that in reality, she WILL grow up.  She will stop skipping.  "Play" will fall away to become teen concerns.  Boys.  School.

I barely see her.  She is growing up without me.  Sometimes, when it's warm enough, we throw a Frisbee back and forth outside.  It's so rare that I actually get to watch her play with her toys.  Toys.  The tools of a child's imagination.

Each Christmas/ birthday, she gets gifts, some of which are toys, and I am not there to see the delight in her eyes.  I do not experience the magic of her childhood.  These moments are lost.

"Play forever."

The idea that she would be a child forever.  The idea that my Wife, daughter and I would experience eternity together as a family.   She would play.  What would we do?  Who cares?  The idea that I would be with them through eternity is more than I could ever dream.

My condition- my transition- tore my family apart.  It was coming apart before I "re-discovered" my female side due to my anger, drinking, and inability to find a real job and move out of her mother's house.  Then, those horrible days when I was told to leave and that Wife would not be coming.

Could it also be a reflection of my own lost childhood?  In many ways, I didn't want to grow up.  As a child, I would lose myself in the worlds of my own imagination, helped by my toys, whenever I could.  I usually played alone.  Looking back, I feel that I was robbed of my childhood by many factors.  Maybe that's the reason I didn't want it to end- I felt that there HAD to be more to it.  But, as all things, I grew older.  Into my teens.  The few toys I still have from those days are in a small box in storage, waiting silently for young Lance to come and Play again.

Play forever.

But it won't happen.


This week, I will be 51.  The better part of my life is behind me.  Last year, on my birthday, I wanted so desperately to die.  But I didn't.  I couldn't even do that right.

Life is about dealing with loss.  I lost my family- My Wife and Daughter.  I lost my dearest friend.  I lose constantly.  I'm tired of losing so "god damn always."

A person I care for deeply sent me the following texts today:

I wish I could.

"Play forever."

I can't stop crying.


  1. Sophie -

    Like you, the better part of my life is gone. And I've learned a lesson that I'd like to share with you. Worry about the things that you need to change that can be changed, and stop worrying about the things you can't change or can't be changed. React accordingly to all things, and go out with love and peace towards all.

    None of the above will keep you from feeling pain, nor will it keep you grieving for what you've lost. Instead, it will keep you focused on the things you can do and the things you have a reasonable chance of accomplishing. Life is way too short to keep hurting yourself by dwelling in a past that can't be changed.

    Your dream is telling you that there are parts of your life that you can't change, that you can still influence. You still have a gift you can give to your daughter, and that is to let her know it is her right to be authentic and happy. Your mother in law is someone who may be trying to teach your daughter to hate people like you. But as long as you don't abandon her, she will be able to overcome those fallacious teachings and understand what real love is all about. Yet, you know, as all parents do, that your daughter must live her own life and you can give her the permission to be happy - something you seem to be doing, as evidenced in your posts that mention her.

    Does any of this make it easier for you to be happy? If you focus on your hurt, it never will. But you can still transcend your past and help make both yourself and the people you care for happy by your presence in their lives. I do not have a magic pill for you. All I can give you (I hope) is a beam of hope for you to work with.


  2. Sophie, thank you so much for sharing and writing so eloquently, perceptively, and universally. I truly hope that your relationship with Daughter will provide you with inspiration and purpose. I know my relationships with my divorced parents have evolved for me even as an adult. It's wrong that you don't see her, but I think she will hold out hope to get to know you when she gains more independence.

  3. Sophie, thank you for sharing so perceptively and openly. (Unrelated, I lost my previous post, so sorry if this isn't specific enough). It's wrong and unfair to you and Daughter that you two see each other so seldom. As a daughter of divorced parents, I have noticed my relationships with them have evolved even in adulthood. I imagine that Daughter will have memories of you and will be curious and yearning to know you in the future. Just so sad and heartbreaking that it's not now. --Linda Olsen