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The death of a dream

The death of a dream

By: By Don Harold Lawrence

In his novel, “A Painted House,” John Grisham’s main character, Luke Chandler, is a 7-year-old boy who lives with his parents and grandparents on a rented 80-acre farm in rural Arkansas in 1952, and he constantly dreams about becoming a pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Children, as well as adults, have dreams. Sometimes those dreams come true; many times they do not, and the “death of a dream” creates a painful grief experience, especially if it is important. Many have their own personal graveyards where they have buried dreams that died.
There are as many reasons as there are people why their dreams die. Sometimes people make certain choices that take them in directions where it is impossible to pursue their dreams.
Age and the time factor are often responsible for the “death of a dream.” As a boy grows into manhood he may lose his enthusiasm for being a cowboy; or his strong youthful body begins to age, change and slow down so that he can no longer play baseball like he once did. When one reaches a certain age, they realize they are never going to be elected president of the United States or become a CEO of a major corporation.
Accidents play a role. A critical knee or spinal injury may end one’s dream of becoming a professional football player. An explosion, airplane crash or car wreck may change one’s plans.
Health issues play an important role in the “death of dreams.” Cancer necessitated the amputation of Dave Dravecky’s pitching arm and ended his baseball career. Arthritis or muscular sclerosis may prevent a person from fulfilling their dream of being a concert pianist. A heart attack can suddenly change one’s plans.
Sometimes dreams die because the person does not possess the skills, talents, intellect or physical strength to make their dreams come true. It is futile for one to apply to enter medical school if they have poor grades in high school and college.
Responsibilities of marriage, parenthood, work, paying bills and caring for a sick loved one often require one to postpone pursuing a dream or letting go of the dream altogether. Sometimes natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, drought, crop failure and fire drastically change one’s plans.
Once we have experienced the “death of a dream” it is important to accept the reality of the loss, realize that others have been through these kinds of experiences and talk with people who will encourage us to set new, realistic goals and develop a plan to achieve these.
Don Harold Lawrence is coordinator of SUNRISE, which is sponsored by Shackelford Corporation. He may be contacted by mail at 145 Abernathy Drive, Adamsville, TN 38310-3001 or by telephone or fax at (731) 632-4483. His Web address is
Published in The Messenger 2.21.08

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