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Spun Sugar Flowers
By Jan Ackerson

It is possible to mourn a dream, exactly as you'd mourn the death of a loved one. Don't we all cherish our dreams, and nurture them, and watch them grow? And when they are snatched away from us, don't we grasp at the air, and sob as they fade from view?

When my daughter Jericho had a horrible accident, I had plenty of real losses to mourn: swing dancing with her in the kitchen ... how cute she looked in pretty shoes and flippy skirts ... taking off for a quick trip to the mall and a movie. These were all things that she had already known and loved, and they were gone now, or nearly impossible-like doing calligraphy in boxing gloves.

The injury wasn't just about therapy, and a wheelchair, and doctors' visits. Jericho's carefree life had been replaced by a very complicated one that we didn't order and couldn't return. And to the extent that mothers and daughters are joined by a mystical, spiritual bond, it had happened to me, too.

I remember a specific moment, very early after her injury, when a dream faded away. Jericho was in therapy, working hard to move her stubborn leg just an inch, another inch, one inch more. 'She won't be walking down the aisle on her father's arm, I thought. 'She may never marry.' The air around me filled with fragments of the dream: white lace, notes from a pipe organ, the clink of silver on crystal.

In the following months and years, Jericho reclaimed her life. Occasionally I snatched one of those shattered pieces of the dream out of the air and dared to hope that I might see it complete again-only to have it dissolve in my hand like a spun sugar flower.

And yet-

Not too many days from now, Jericho will stand in the back of a church and gaze into the eyes of a remarkable young man. Every event-both tragic and joyous-in both of their lives, bears the fingerprint of God, who has drawn them ever closer, closer, closer. Jericho will grasp her father's arm tightly, and lean into him, and walk with joy to her handsome groom.






Jan Ackerson is a Christian who has traveled though sorrow and depression, and has found victory and grace. She dedicates all writings to her Heavenly Father. If you would like to write to Jan, you can do so through the Letters page of this magazine.