Candles for Alice

This is an actual dream I had that woke me up at 3:23am on May 12, 2017.

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I was visiting my coach back in high school and all of his younger students in his old classroom. One of the students asked my coach, “have you shown her the ‘Brigette’ room yet?” And I joked saying “what is it, like a shrine to me? Is that where I receive all my racing power?” And they chuckled kind of awkwardly, but Coach gave one of the kids a pass so they could walk me to this room.

And the room ends up being what looks like a women’s restroom with an obscenely small door that you have to crawl through, kind of like in Alice in Wonderland, fit for a child and not adults. So they unlock the room and they say go right in. And I crawl through the door, but when I enter the room it’s actually a huge art gallery type room filled with the most stunning arrangement of giant wildflowers, built from all sorts of objects. The flowers tower above your heads and they’re predominantly soft yellows and pinks and oranges, it’s beautiful. (Again similar to Alice in Wonderland). Honestly, it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

I immediately start tearing up a bit because I think wow, did Coach really make this for me because I used to bring him wildflowers everyday? But somehow I know this can’t be the case, it can’t just be for me. Then I move towards the outer wall of the room and this wall is lined with various paintings of the same smiling little girl in different dancing poses at different ages of her life (none above the age of four, from what it looks like) and done in different artistic styles. Underneath the paintings there are also half-melted, lavender-purple candles of different shapes and sizes.

This is when one of the students comes up to me and says “The ‘Brigette Room’ thing is just a joke about the flowers. This whole exhibit was actually built for this little girl by her parents and loved ones. You see, she was dying of cancer and so her parents lit a candle over her bed and let it burn through the night, telling their daughter that it would keep the nightmares and cancer at bay. They did this every night for the little girl, praying that their words would be more than just comfort, but would actually come true. It lasted four months before the cancer took her. Her name was Alice. She just wasn’t strong enough.”

Now, I’m actually crying quiet tears. “She loved to dance,” the kid continues to tell me, “and she was looking forward to seeing ‘La La Land’ but she never got the chance.” He points to the large movie poster toward the end of the line of paintings. “The school did a fundraiser on the movie’s release night to raise money for the parents. Money can’t bring back their child… but at least it can ease their financial burden for hospital bills and funeral arrangements. Part of that money went into building all of this.”

The student left me after that and I just continued to cry and gaze at the art around me until I woke up.

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