I remember my parent's biggest topic of discussion, usually part of our dinner conversation, was how they would spend their retirement. Traveling was always the consensus. But the details of how long they would spend in a certain country were always up for debate. There was never an inkling of thought that neither of them would have the opportunity to do so. Traveling around the world was their dream. And despite many challenging times in their lifetime, they never abandoned their belief that dreams came true. Why would they? Dreams had come true.
They both aspired to come to America in their twenties to build a life here. And they did. They both looked forward to meeting the person they would marry, their soul partner. And they did when they met each other. Their love story was incredibly synchronistic and the events leading up to their first meeting signified the true essence of fate. They both were filled with healthy ambition in the pursuit of their respective careers. And they felt a great sense of pride in their accomplishments and their impact on others lives. They both wanted children. And they were thrilled to say they were the parents of two lovely daughters. So yes, despite some significant "bumps in the road," their commitment to living out their dreams were still alive and well.
But two years before my father retired, he was diagnosed with a neurological condition that doctors were never able to diagnose. We never knew the name or its trajectory. The inconceivable had become our new normal. And their dreams of traveling became a distant thought taken by life's sometimes strong winds.
The years ahead after my father retired proved to be an extremely intense and difficult time as caregiving for him became the center stage of familial discussions. I have often wondered what if we, as a family, would have discussed how we could have prepared for a different reality- one where travel perhaps was not in the cards.
But when I reminisce about those days chatting at the dinner table, albeit sometimes getting frustrated with the topic of conversation that we were once again diving deeper into, I would not change it - not even for a minute. In those moments, I had an opportunity to watch my father smile at the possibilities. I saw an illumination of his inner journey where healing and vision beyond the capacity of our everyday mind could not ever conceptualize. His dream was already happening - any energy that had been depleted by the everyday noise of life was being awakened by simply dreaming of what could be.