Letters to My Granddaughter, No. 56

By | February 23, 2024

[February 23, 2024]  I woke up in a sweat, my heart pumping and my mouth dry.  It was the same dream I’d had since I was a little kid and before I could remember my dreams.  It was not a nightmare, not too scary or crazy, but not uncommon either; it was a frustrating dream that little kids regularly have.  I’m standing on a set of railroad tracks, and a train is barreling down on me, but when I try to move out of the way, my legs go only in slow motion, like stuck in molasses, held by some unseen force.

I’m not into interpreting dreams, but I think this one means I had no control over what was going on in my life.  At least that’s what my Dad told me.  Like “the sap keeps running,”  I saw things for what they were but thought I didn’t know what they were.

I had two favorite dreams.  One had me running through an open field of flowers and buzzing insects on a bright and sunny day.  It was a pretty cool dream, warm and pleasant, and the kind that made you want to stay asleep.  Inevitably, Mom would wake me up in the middle of that dream, so I never got to its end, like unfinished business or taking a shower in a raincoat.  In the other, I was flying above the land.  There was a special thrill to this one, and soaring up high was good where I could see things better than regular sight, but each time it ended with me falling.  I woke up before crashing.  So weird.

Oddly, my dreams are all in black and white.  Well, that’s good because when, on the rare occasions that I did have a nightmare, it was easier.  Was it because I only ever saw a black and white television?  The problem with nightmares was they seemed so real at the time, high emotion and fast moving.  My bad dreams followed a theme: something dark and terrifying lurking just far enough away to be unrecognizable.  The figure rarely moved; it didn’t need to scare me awake.  I had these nightmares for years.  I awoke often with my Mom sitting on my bed, stroking my hair to calm me down.  Thanks, Mom; your presence had a calming effect on me.

Then, one day, my baseball coach said I could be a better player if I had more confidence in myself.  He said that any great player must first convince himself that he is a great player before becoming one.  Good advice.  I didn’t improve much in baseball, but I did figure out a way to gain confidence.  I started daydreaming about how I might be stronger, more powerful, faster.

While awake, I thought about those dark figures and willed myself to dream of attacking them and destroying whatever it was.  I daydreamed this for many months, creating even more diabolical ways of destroying those amorphous dark creatures.  Slowly, very slowly, I had fewer and fewer nightmares.  By the time I was in High School, the nightmares were essentially gone, not for good but rare and short and in the dream, I attacked the dark creature like I imagined in my daydreams.  I decided to face my nightmares voluntarily.  And while they still scared me, I was braver and could now sleep more soundly.

Why I can remember dreams as a kid is in odd contrast to being an adult.  As an adult, I rarely remember dreams except for a vague fragment here or there.  Perhaps that is a good thing.  I no longer wake up in a sweat or with my heart pumping.  And I no longer find myself standing on railroad tracks or seeing vague figures in the dark.  I won out over the nightmares, and I became braver.


NOTE: See all my letters here: https://www.theleadermaker.com/granddaughter-letters/


Please read my books:

  1. “55 Rules for a Good Life,” on Amazon (link here).
  2. “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” on Amazon (link here).
Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I provide one article every day. My writings are influenced by great thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Jung, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Jean Piaget, Erich Neumann, and Jordan Peterson, whose insight and brilliance have gotten millions worldwide to think about improving ourselves. Thank you for reading my blog.

34 thoughts on “Letters to My Granddaughter, No. 56

    1. The Observer

      ijore, you’re right. These letters have become now some of my favorite articles (letters) to read. I only wish that Gen. Satterfield would publish one everyday….. now that would be great. But alas, I understand that there is only so much time in the day for Gen. S. Thanks ijore and all those who support Gen. S. and his website. Be sure to get a copy of his books. The best one is “55 Rules for a Good Life.”

  1. ZB

    Gen. Satterfield, you’ve done it again. I get to smile each time I read your letters to your granddaughter. Now, my wife is reading these letters too. This morning, while drinking my coffee and having my dog at my feet, I opened my computer to read another letter. My wife comes in to say, “Hey what you doing?” And she started to read your latest letter. Now she is a fan of yours. Keep these letters coming our way.

  2. DocJeff

    Every time I come to this leadership website, I’m surprrised and happy about what I get to read.

    1. Janna Faulkner

      Yep, exactly the reason I read his blog daily. ❤ These letters are ‘love letters’ too. They tell a story of a good man’s life. ❤

  3. Valkerie

    General Satterfield keeps on giving. These letters are wonderful. And, also, thank you sir for putting them into a tab. For those new to this website, there are tabs at the top of the page that links you to a number of resources. In this case, the complete list of letters: https://www.theleadermaker.com/granddaughter-letters/
    Also, I would recommend getting copies of Gen. Satterfield’s book like “55 Rules for a Good Life,” which is my personal favorite.

  4. Idiot Savant

    WOW! Another letter to “My Granddaughter.” Just what I’ve been waiting for now for a week.

  5. American Girl

    Letter Number 56. Can’t get a better day than starting it off with another letter from Gen. Satterfield to his granddaughter. These are the kind of letters that make your kids/grandkids want to know more about you. I hope his granddaughter, and all his grandkids are reading these (if they are old enough) and are able to appreciate them for what they are. These letters are a window into the life of a very successful man who managed to go from poverty in the bayous of Louisiana to being a US Army General in our armed forces. It is difficult to imagine the work and self-improvement that had to be accomplished to make this happen. Others have suggested and I second the recommendation that Gen. Satterfield turn these letters into a book at some point. Just some of my thinking off the cuff. Gen. Doug Satterfield is a real patriot. Let’s keep supporting him.

    1. Chuck USA

      Nailed it, American Girl. Yep, I agree and I already purchased his two books. Another book is one I will buy right awqay.

  6. Greg Heyman

    Sleep well. Dream good. Act properly. ‧₊˚ ☁️⋅♡𓂃 ࣪ ִֶָ☾.

  7. Bill Sanders, Jr.

    This article (letter) is the real reason now that I’ve become a bigger fan of Gen. Satterfield’s personal blog.

    1. Paulette Johnson

      Yep, we are ALL there. 😉 Gen. Satterfield continues to entertain, inform, and encourage. Mr. Gilliam who regular writes articles also inspires. Good to know that there are good men out there. Pray for men like them. 🙏

      1. Willie Strumburger

        Paulette, a pleasure to hear from another wonderful person who also loves reading these articles. Gen. Satterfield is sharing his time as a boy and hopefully later, as an adult, to show us that being raised with a mother and father is the best way of conducting ourselves as outstanding parents. We can hopefully have more of these letters to Gen. S’s granddaughter. We all are better off by reading them and maybe writing our own letters.

        1. Eddie Gilliam

          Paulette,Mainer and my friend Doug Douglas Sattefield. I love writing blogs to inspire and encourage them. It’s so funny Douglas write about the dreams he had as a child. We are in a series of the life of Joseph. Joseph in Genesis chapter 37 through 50 deals with him the one was God used to interpret dreams. Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers for jealous of he telling them he had a dream he be over them . Put in jail for refuse to sleep with king wife. While in prison Joseph interpret the Chief baker and butcher dream. When the butcher remained the king 2 years later when the butcher was restored his place back in the palace. He told the king who was mad no one could interpret his dreams. The king summons Joseph who interpret the king dream. Joseph says that God interpret dreams Joseph was recalled to say it meant.
          Gen my friend asked God was the meaning of your dream. What i seen knowing you is the you on the train track as you were stuck but not hit by train. I have some information on what I see. I will share it with you.

          1. McStompie

            Wow, Mr. Gilliam, a friend of Gen. Satterfield, well done!!!!!! That means you are also a great man of the cloth.

  8. Lady Hawk

    Another great letter to Gen. Satterfield’s granddaughter. Smiling while I read it.

  9. Audrey

    Here is the lesson, let us not overlook it.
    “Why I can remember dreams as a kid is in odd contrast to being an adult. As an adult, I rarely remember dreams except for a vague fragment here or there. Perhaps that is a good thing. I no longer wake up in a sweat or with my heart pumping. And I no longer find myself standing on railroad tracks or seeing vague figures in the dark. I won out over the nightmares, and I became braver.” – Gen. Doug Satterfield
    If you are looking for a way to crush the bad dreams in your life, here is the outcome you want.

  10. Wild Bill

    🌙🛌 Gen. Satterfield has done it again, and this time with an unexpected solution to nightmares for kids (and for all of us for that matter and he deserves being thanked). 🌙🛌

  11. Xerces II

    A real problem for kids …. learning how to deal with nightmares. And now we see a “kid” who is learning a way that seemed to work out well. Thank you Gen. Satterfield for your advice on how to properly deal with dreams and nightmares. Well done!
    ‧₊˚ ☁️⋅♡⋅☾⋅☁️ ˚₊‧

      1. Eduardo Sanchez

        Yeah, love the graphics.

        1. Yusaf from Texas

          We all love these letters. I recommend to all of us that we keep on recommending to Gen. S that he write a book on these letters. We can help by making suggestions on how to put the book together. ✌ And we can also offer suggestions along the way in his leadership forum here.

      1. Kenya

        I agree with all you folks, we are now reading some powerful letters because they can affect us in a good way also.


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