I longed to return to Venice the day I left in 1999, and I’ve been planning to go back ever since. I’d visited the week between Christmas and New Year’s. The city was nearly empty except for its most famous attractions. The water was aqua blue, the food hearty and fine, and the people beautiful and warm. When I returned home to Boston, everyone seemed homely and dull by comparison.
Life, however, in the form of a cross-country move, divorce, five new jobs, the purchase of a home, intermittent health crises, and a book publication delayed my plans to visit Venice again. I’ve taken vacations most years, but they’ve been less expensive and easier to execute than a European jaunt would entail. But next fall, I’ll return.
I’ve held onto my dream of returning to Venice, just as I held onto my dream of professionally publishing my book. I first conceived of Living Well with Chronic Illness in 1998. During the following seventeen years, I never abandoned my dream to publish it. I encourage all of you to hold onto your dreams too. When I was acutely ill, I dreamed of getting better, and I did. I dreamed someone would publish my book, and this year it happened. Even when I’ve been acutely ill, I’ve continued to dream of good things happening in my future. I’ve never allowed myself to feel hopeless. I dream of returning to Venice, and I know I’ll go there again.