Today Is My Day
Author: Linda Ambard
So many people spend their lives in quiet desperation thinking of one day - someday. I was no different and, at times, I am still stuck in the rut of day-to-day responsibilities and routines. Mired in the frenetic pace and wanting more, never quite reaching that elusive someday, is exactly where I was when Phil was killed. I was happy sitting on the sidelines waiting, but I knew something was missing for me and for my life.
When Phil married me, he married a family. We were too poor to have magical vacations or meals out without our children. Our fun was family fun. There was no point wanting what we couldn't afford, but when we finally reached that place where we could have vacations together, we were stuck in the thought of "one day we will." One day we'll go to Venice. One day we'll have the honeymoon we never took. But Phil's days ended long before anyone could have thought and the opportunity to live that dream is gone.
Phil's death ended every dream I had for the future I envisioned with the two of us. It ended the opportunity for the someday. Langston Hughes wrote, "Hold fast to dreams for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." With no dreams, what was there to work for? To get me through the day for? To live for?
Part of learning to live without Phil has been finding the will to dream and hope again. I spent my days from the time I was twenty-one and became a mother for the first time, dreaming for others. I didn't consider what I wanted. Other than running, my eyes were focused on survival and that proverbial thought of "one day when we are retired." Developing new dreams when one stands alone is difficult at best. This struggle is ongoing, but as part of living and loving life, I simply must dream again.
I have three simple dreams. The first is to watch all of my children get married and find happiness. A parent worries and wants better for her children. I have little control over this dream, thus I must quietly hope.
The second dream is running The Great Wall of China Marathon. That dream is within my grasp. May 2016 is my projected date. Yes, there are other ways I could spend my money, and, yes, perhaps there are be less painful ways to go to China, but my dream includes running. Yesterday, I signed up for the travel agency's newsletter to remind me when I can act on my dream. To make a dream come true, action is required.
The last dream is the most difficult of all because it involves being vulnerable, opening up, and letting go of what once was. While Phil's death shattered my dreams of our future together, it gave way to dreaming of a different future. One of learning to love again and establishing a future with another person. It is terrifying and this dream seems far beyond my reach. But I do know that if I do not reach for this dream, I have limited myself.
It is breath taking to even imagine a future with someone other than Phil, but I know that it would crush Phil if I stopped living and loving because of his death. He would want this for me. He told me so in our last face to face conversation. "Linda, would you want me to be happy again if you died first?" Why yes, yes I would.
This dream is easier said than done, but as part of living my dreams, I am reaching. I no longer sit in quiet complacency. I act on the dreams that I have the power to achieve and when I reach my dreams, I find more. I am no longer the broken winged bird that cannot fly. Someday is today.