The future and the past have been woven tightly together for me for sometime. Since my husbands death nearly three years ago I have been working consistently on two opposing goals. Keeping the life we built for our children in place and building a future for myself that would likely include none of it.
Last Friday, I watched my youngest daughter and her friends graduate from high school. Last night, I was in San Francisco talking to an audience about my brand.
As I am closing out my life as a full time parent in our small town I am simultaneously working diligently on my future and making plans to be in distant cities promoting my company.
Recently, I’ve had some amazing opportunities presented to me. I’m doing exclusive designs now, I’m opening new distribution channels and raising capital to expand. These are the seeds I’ve been planting as I continue to mother my daughters and get my youngest ready for University in the fall.
For the past thirty five months I’ve worked diligently on my many projects. As an early riser I’ve worked alone in my office planning my future before the sun came up and I had to get my girls off to school and go to work myself. In the darkness I used colored pencils to chart my course making graphs and timelines of what could be.
When my husband died friends and relatives told me I couldn’t possibly expect to continue to live the life I had lead. I was so raw in those early days and so scared I could hardly breath. Death shakes you to the core in a way you can’t imagine unless you’ve experienced it.
In those first days I was afraid of everything. The wind shutting a door unexpectedly would cause me to jump to my feet, the phone ringing, quick movements, or anything out of the ordinary made me feel threatened. But, even so, I remember specifically the topic coming up and it insinuated that we could not expect to have the life we had in the past as I was having breakfast at Chow in Lafayette, California with two friends. It was a foggy early August morning, but I remember it as if I had awakened from a dream. In that moment I found my voice and said, “No, I will give up nothing,” this was a startling declaration at the time, but I meant it passionately.
The five years before my husband died had been difficult, the bottom had fallen out of the commercial construction market and we were scrambling. My husband was one of the hardest working people I had ever met and he gave 100% to everything he did. He died at his desk just as his industry had turned around and his company was taking off.
After his death, I was determined to give our children the life we had together created for them. They would stay in our home, they would go to college, thrive and grow. I knew I would have to work hard for it, but since hard work and I have never been strangers I knew this wouldn’t be a problem.
Miraculously, it has unfolded as planned. On Sunday, my children will watch as their friends celebrate Fathers Day. It will not be an easy day for any of us, however, we are deeply grateful for what we do have. We have each other, we have loving friends, and the knowledge that we can depend on our own strength and fortitude in the face of adversity.
This is the lesson; never give up under any circumstances in both matters great and small. Plan your days wisely and carefully, keep your own council, do not listen to others who do not share your vision. Chart your own course and do not give in to fear. No matter how dark the day or how hopeless the situation may appear you must never ever give up.
Love and blessings to all.