On the night of the memorial for the man who left behind her dear friend and their daughters, she dreams again of being healthy.
In this one she runs.
Again she has the long beautiful red hair and she is so proud.
She runs through the woods with bare feet feeling the freedom of movement.
The freedom of unlimited strength.
She is among other strong healthy women.
She feels the soft grass on her feet.
She runs through pine needles but there is no pain.
There is a house.
A place for a small break among friends who cheer her on.
As she runs she realizes she loves it.
She wonders why she’s always chosen to walk when this gives her so much more joy.
The woman in front of her tells her she’s almost there and she realizes she’s running a marathon.
A full marathon, not the half or 10k she’s done before.
She is fast and strong.
As she winds her way through the woods, through the smell of pine and the sounds of rivers, everything changes.
She is on her street. Running back to the people who love her and give her strength.
She is home.
She is loved.
She is healthy.
And she has finished her marathon.
Her prize is life.
This time when she wakes, she is not upset. She is happy and at peace. She smiles, sighs and curls up with the warm body next to her. The body of the man who is convinced that if he loves her enough she’ll stay. This time she believes him.