Monday, August 8, 2011

Ode to a dreamer: So long.

Ain't no party like a Uganda party. . .

For my friend and former Grady doctor, Kris . . . who will soon be leaving on a jet plane. . .

Ode to a dreamer:  So Long.

For so long
this is what you've wanted to do
this is what has tugged at your heartstrings
and slipped in and out of your daydreams
for so long

For so long
you thought, "There is no way"
no way that anyone else would be on board
and definitely no way that someone could be excited even
to do what you want to do
when you want to do it

Some way, somehow your dreams overlapped at the right time
and now
they are one reality
and now
dreams and realities are overlapping, too

For so long
I listened and heard you speak of it
eyes all dancing
hands all animated
and a little tremulous with excitement
because it's happening
it's really happening

For so long you leaving seemed further away
and where you were going didn't seem so far away
But it is
and the reality is
You won't be around the corner
or laughing out loud across from me at neighborhood restaurants
or clinking wine glasses in kitchens with artwork on the refrigerator
I mean, yes, you will in spirit
but not in person you won't
Nope, you won't
But that's okay

Because today it hit me
you'll be gone for so long
living your dream that you've been having
for so long
which ultimately makes me more happy than sad
and celebratory and glad
that you are bringing new meaning to the words
"Going there"

So long, my friend
so long

image credit


Kris Reid is my good friend and (former) fellow Grady doctor. In a few days, along with her husband Mike and their three children, she is moving across the world to Uganda. To some of you reading this, it sounds completely crazy to do that. To others of you, I know for sure that you are reading this from the other side of the world you once knew. . . . . getting it and digging it and feeling it. (NOLA and Charmayne. . .I know y'all are getting it and feeling it!)

I always laugh and tell Kris that--NO, MA'AM--I did not get the "move to the motherland" gene. At all. Matter of fact, I barely even got the "leave my house and my routine for more than a week" gene. But that's okay because I don't need to share her dream to appreciate it and believe in it.  And honestly? I don't waste a lot of time trying to dissect peoples' dreams either. Because look, man--I'm just happy to be trusted with it in the first place, especially trusted with one of your biggest, baddest, best-est dreams. And if you ask me, the very best-est dreams stretch us the farthest and often garner the most hairy eyeballs. Which should make the dreamer dream even bigger.

I went to a going away gathering for Kris and Mike on Saturday and I felt the weirdest mixture of happy and sad. I felt their nervous anticipation and how in sync they were with each other. It was inspiring, man. Mostly because I remember when she told me this dream to move to Uganda which led me to say, "Did you say 'UGANDA?' As in, Uganda-Uganda?" 

To which she just nodded hard and smiled like Mike had just proposed on bended knee.

Now that. . .that was a while back. And this? This is like a few days away.  So I am happy and sad to see my friend go.

But mostly happy.

You go, girl.


Alright, y'all. What is your dream?  What are you doing about it?

(That's for you to answer to yourself. . . not me. )


  1. I have truly loved getting to "know" Kris through her blog and I cannot wait to pray for her and support her and her family in this dream of theirs. So glad I found her through you. :) She is truly one of a kind.

  2. Love it when people follow their dreams! And love the story of their daughter in Uganda - that's so true about the acceptance of differences outside the US.

  3. The words don't quite match but your ode to Dr. Reid brought to mind Leonard Cohen's "So Long, Marianne."

    Now so long, Marianne
    It's time that we began to laugh and cry and cry and laugh about it all again.

  4. All I can say is that the wish I make on every falling star, every birthday candle I blow out is "More of this, please. More of this."

  5. Crazy dreams? Those are always the best ones...

    Across 3 continents, 5 countries, several states, and too many years... and now with 2 kids in tow - I am following the big dream I had dreamed before I was old enough to attend kindergarten.

    For some people the roads are straight and paved and the lights are almost always green, for others they are soft and mossy with gentle curves and some unexpected twists, for others still they are full of sinkholes, boulders and thorny bushes... but each thorn prick gives the dream greater urgency, each new hurdle gives the dream new meaning, and when the dream is finally in sight, you look back and are awestruck by the countless colorful stories to be told once you arrive, you look within and marvel at the colorful story you have become. :)

    I wish your friend Dr. Kris and her family a happy future, living their dream and making new dreams in joy and harmony...

  6. Crying - almost ugly - but I'm in a restaurant- I love u

  7. Thank God there are people like Kris and Mike. I support them with prayers and cash. My dreams are smaller but I like to participate in "crazy" dreams too. Even if it is a tad bid removed...Safe journey to Kris and her family.


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