When I was young, just out of college, I spent a lot of nights in my room dreaming about the life I wanted. A high-powered career, a wonderful husband, and a big house. I wanted two kids, but left the door open for a third in case the first two were the same gender (and I hoped that the first two would be girls). I wanted to be done having my kids by age 30. I wanted my best friends to live down the street from me. I wanted to grow old surrounded by everyone I loved.

Here I am, thirty-three in a few weeks. I have the wonderful husband and a home I could live in forever. Through circumstance I have a job that is flexible and lets me focus on charity – something I’d (shamefully) never considered. My first two children were the little girls I wanted. Almost all of my friends are no further than an hour’s drive (or flight) away.

Written out, it sounds a lot like the life I wanted. But so many bad things ushered in the good that I could never honestly say this life is a dream come true. And for that, I feel guilty.

One of my best friends is dying, and she doesn’t get to have many of her dreams come true. My daughter died before she ever had the chance to make any dreams. I think that I can’t grieve this pregnancy because it feels like a selfish luxury to be able to grieve at all. As time passes around me, I become more acutely aware of what I have in my life, and more acutely aware of what others don’t, and won’t.

I don’t dare dream anymore. I’m not afraid that they won’t come true…I’m afraid of how they might.