Can you miss what you never had? What would have been? If…

I had her once. Just for a few days. The woman I might have been these last 20 years. I thought I’d forgotten all of that. Life moves on very quickly even after such a long period when things didn’t so much fall as apart as softly unravel like a ball of wool on a half-knitted scarf happened upon by a playful kitten. But today it was there again, this ache for something I never had. I don’t look back over my life with huge regret. Some of course – for the times when I was less honourable, or less courageous, or less fair, than I wished myself to be. But last year I had a little glimpse, for just a few days, when high dose steroids all but removed the traces of MS from by body, of who I would have been without it.

Oh she was glorious. This me without pain. Me able to move freely, even gracefully. Me alert and energetic for the best part of the days I had her. What time I had suddenly – freed of all the effort of thinking constantly about where my limbs are, how to avoid falling, how to manage my limited energies best. My mind bounced about eagerly The days seemed so much lighter, brighter. She danced in the sunlight and lit up my life even though I knew she would be gone soon, and there would be a price to pay. As there was. Is.

She was just a mirage of course – a suggestion of a life that will never be. A remembrance of things wished for but never achieved. But when she came during those glorious days last summer I recognised her immediately. She was the me of my dreams. I thought of her today and realised I haven’t dreamed of her since. I wonder if I ever will again. And I wonder sometimes if she exists in some parallel universe where MS and all the other destroyers of self masquerading as disease have been banished. Maybe there I’d find me. If…