Celebrate Life Month

Author: Linda Ambard

So often in life, people assume that there will always be another day to do the niceties we want to do for our loved ones.  Often people get consumed with the daily minutiae of survival and responsibilities.  I was no different.  Phil and I had spent our entire marriage being parents and with having five children, there was little time for anything else.  Our time, energy and resources went into being good parents and responsible adults.  While there were many things I did well for Phil and vice versa, we were very guilty of thinking that we had many more tomorrows than we received.

Phil never had a homecoming at the airport because dragging five children to the airport was neither of our idea of fun.  I had planned to fly to Atlanta and surprise him at the gate when he returned.  I wanted to do it well to make up for having missed so many.  I could imagine the surprised delight on his face as I walked by over and over until he realized it was me in the blue polka dotted dress.  I figured we could talk someone into trading seats with me so I could sit next to Phil.  I wish he would have had that moment of surprised delight, and I am sorry that he didn't get it.

Phil also never had a birthday party-ever.  While he said that he didn't want the fuss and attention, he would have reveled in just once having his life celebrated.  I intended to throw him the surprise birthday bash for his 50th birthday.  He never made it to that day.  He was killed just after his 44th birthday. April is the month of his birthday and the day he was received into Heaven.  I cannot fix the things I wish I had done or the things he should have had and didn't get, but I can change me. 

April is my celebrate life month.  I simply look for ways to celebrate the life I have been given and for ways to honor the man who loved me well for 23 years.  It isn't easy. I have to face my fears to celebrate life.  Last year made April even harder as terrorism sought to take one more facet of my life at the Boston Marathon.  I decided then that I cannot let terrorism take any more from me.  I cannot let people maim my spirit, my heart or the love I carry.  I must run on.  I will run on with a sassy swish of my red sparkly polka dotted skirt.  I will run painfully up Heartbreak Hill, but I will celebrate my life and Phil. I will find a way to celebrate his life because if I do not, I will have lost mine.