Author: Linda Ambard
Sometimes it feels like life is unfair. As I watch happy families together and as people assume that I am single by divorce, I want to scream at the world that this isn't my choice. None of it. Like many people, I thought I knew what my future held. I can't say that I always liked every aspect of my life, but for the most part, I liked my status quo and I knew who I was in my world. I was Phil Ambard's wife and Patrick, Josh, Emily, Alex, and Tim's mom. I wasn't anything special to anyone, but in that world, I was everything. Perhaps that is the hardest part of the journey of loss. Who am I without my Phil? My children are grown up and I just do not fit in this world that I have known my whole adult life.
I knew who I was in the military world both when Phil was enlisted and when he was an officer. It is kind of like a fraternity of sorts. I knew the rules and I embodied that role. Now, I work in that world and I am the outsider. I don't quite fit. I have one foot in both worlds-the civilian world and the military world. I am not married, but not by choice. Who am I without my Phil next to me? Who am I and where do I go next?
It feels like being an adolescent again. I am all over the map in terms of figuring things out, but I have discovered that I have a purpose that I never saw coming. I do not have a choice about Phil, but I do have a choice about using the survivor benefit to go back to school and create new opportunities and grow as a person. In getting this degree, I have changed and my dreams have changed. While I know that there is more than work and more than school, it is a step toward figuring it out. I do not know if my future will include a chapter two. I cannot see the future I once dreamed of, but I do know that I will figure it out one small step at a time.