Losing Your Dreams

What’s your dream?  Have you achieved it yet?  Most of us have lofty ambitions and dreams when we’re young, but as we grow older, reality intrudes and we settle for something less than what we wanted.  Luckily, most of us find happiness in our new dreams and have a fulfilling life.  

Guess what I wanted to be when I was a child?  I wanted to be Miss America.  My family made a big deal out of watching the Miss America pageant every year.  My aunts and girl cousins would all come over, and we’d eat snacks, criticize the talent competition, and try to pick the winner.  Well, I didn’t become Miss America.  Instead, I became a social studies teacher, wife, mother, grandmother, and finally an author.  Am I content?  I sure am.  My life is full and happy.

But what would happen if you had a huge dream that came to pass and gave you everything you’ve ever wanted, and then you lost it?  Could a replacement dream ever take the place of your old dream?  

In my novel A New Dream that’s exactly what happens to Matt McCallum.  Matt achieves his dream of playing pro-football.  He was a first round draft pick for the Green Bay Packers, and during his rookie year he kicked the winning field goal in the Super Bowl.  He has fame, money to burn, and a sexy fiancée.  Life doesn’t get any better than this.  And then he loses it all when a car wreck takes his career away.  Here’s a blurb and excerpt from the book.  In the excerpt, Matt awakes in the hospital and finds out about his loss.


What do you do when you lose everything?

After an auto accident destroys his pro-football career, Matt McCallum struggles to find a new dream for his life, but nothing engages him the way football did. After a stint in rehab, he takes a job managing a grocery store where he meets Violet Emerson.

Violet works in the bakery department, but her dreams carry her far beyond the doors of Chef’s Pantry. As soon as she can save the money, she plans to open a catering business. And she thinks the new manager’s broad shoulders and blue eyes are simply divine.

Thrown together at work, Matt and Violet find a common dream for their lives, but a loose end from Matt’s past returns to jeopardize their future. Will love be enough to save their new dream before it turns into a nightmare?

Excerpt: My hero wakes in the hospital and is talking to a nurse.

Matt closed his eyes for a moment and rubbed his throbbing temples. “I don’t remember what happened.”

“That’s normal. You may never remember everything.”

Matt tried to sit up, but he couldn’t muster enough energy.  “What’s wrong with me? Why is it so hard to sit up?”

“Oh, that’s because of the medication we gave you to help you rest.” She patted his arm and checked an IV that he hadn’t noticed until she touched it. “We didn’t want you tossing and turning all night.”

“What’s wrong with me?” he repeated.

“Shh, don’t worry about that now. The doctor can talk to you later when you feel better.”

Matt didn’t like the blank expression on the nurse’s face at all. I must be hurt pretty bad. “No, tell me now,” he insisted.

Nurse Whittaker stuck a thermometer in his mouth. “You have some trauma to your legs, Mr. McCallum, but the doctor says you’re going to be fine.”

Matt spit the thermometer out. “Trauma to my legs?”

“Yes, sir, and I’d rather you talk to Dr. Williams about it.”

It’s bad. It has to be. “Tell me,” he demanded.

“Mr. McCallum…”

Matt forced himself to sit up. His head spun and made his stomach turn over, but he managed to pull the sheet off his right leg. Wow, he must really be out of it. It looked like most of his leg was gone. He shook his head to clear away the cobwebs and looked again. His leg was gone!

He started to shake and grabbed the nurse by the arm. “Where’s my leg?” he cried.

The nurse took a look at one of the monitors in the room and called, “Jenny, would you bring me another dose of Mr. McCallum’s medication?”

A nurse arrived with a syringe which she injected into Matt’s IV. “There you are,” she soothed. “You’ll be comfortable in a few minutes.”

Dizziness washed over Matt. “What did…you…give…me?”

“Something to make you rest,” Nurse Whitaker answered. “You go to sleep and don’t worry about a thing. We’re taking very good care of you.”

Pretty bad, huh?  Think Matt will find a replacement dream?  Of course he will, but keeping his new dream may prove unexpectedly difficult when a loose end from his past comes back to haunt him.

About Elaine Cantrell

Elaine Cantrell was born and raised in South Carolina. She has a Master’s Degree in Personnel Services from Clemson University and is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary sorority for women educators. She is also a member of Romance Writers of America. Her first novel A New Leaf was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love Contest and was published in 2004 by Oak Tree Press. When she isn't writing you can find Elaine playing with her dog or maybe collecting more vintage Christmas ornaments
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7 Responses to Losing Your Dreams

  1. Jeff Salter says:

    terrifying scenario — to wake up in the hospital bed and not know what happened. And not know if you’ve still got all your parts.
    Well done.


  2. J.Q. Rose says:

    Oh my goodness, what a timely topic. Tiger Woods was just in a car accident and is in the hospital. We’ve all had to revise our dreams. Sorry, you never achieved Miss America, but I never became an entertainer like Carol Burnett!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is one from YOU, so I don’t really have to dream that Matt gets a new dream! I never wanted to be Miss America,(or even Carol Burnett), and it’s too late for me to be an archaeologist and dig up the Mediterranean and area.


    • Elaine Cantrell says:

      I wouldn’t have minded being an archaeologist myself, but when I think of the reality of the job I realize that I could do a much better job in the classroom.


  4. Patricia Kiyono says:

    I remember watching the Miss America pageant with my, too. I don’t remember WANTING to be Miss America, since none of the contestants looked anything like us. I did have lots of other dreams, though, and I can’t imagine having one in my reach and then having it taken away. But now, I have to say I’m “living the dream” of being healthy and growing old while still able to do most of the things I love. Great excerpt from your book!


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