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.

Ambard Family Portrait

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.