Goals, Dreams, and Remembering My Father

I was thinking about my father as I drove into work today, and it made me feel kind of melancholy. We’re coming up on the third anniversary of his death, so he’s been in my thoughts more than normal, I guess.

The reason I was feeling melancholy was not because he died. He’d suffered for a long time and saw death as a release. But I was thinking about the dreams my father had, his goals for his later years.

They were simple dreams, really.  He wanted to buy a little truck and go around working as a handyman. He wanted to care for his house and lawn. He wanted to take long walks.  He wanted to travel.

Then I thought about my own life, and my participation in it.  I have goals too. I have dreams. But what have I done to work towards them? Yes, I have a book published. Yes, I have written other things, some published, some which aren’t and never should be.  But I’ve known for years and years that I want to be a writer and it’s only recently that I’ve been committed to working towards that goal.  I’m stalled in a lot of other areas as well.  Why do I hesitate?  Why am I afraid?  What am I waiting for?

It’s so much easier to devote your time and attention to the demands of ordinary day-to-day existence than it is to become extraordinarily “you.”

Thinking about my father today reminded me that we don’t know what life is going to bring us. We can try to drop out of it, but life will always come in and sweep us away – whether we want it to or not. The illusion that we have all of the time in the world is just that – an illusion. My father did not imagine that he would die in a nursing home, trapped inside his own body. He thought he had time.

Although I am feeling a little melancholy, this is not really a melancholy post. In my mind it’s a  hopeful one. Because we may not have all of the time in the world, but we do have today. The future will be what the future will be, but the choices we make today are what set it in motion, at least to a certain extent. So the important thing is to remember all of the things that are important. And to do the best you can. And to work towards your dreams.  Today.

“You are never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however.” – Richard Bach


  1. That is beautiful, Betsy. I remember well when your dad came back from his trip to Hungary. He loved showing the pictures and telling about Budapest. It made me want to hop on a plane and go there!

    • Betsy Horvath says

      @Nancy: Thank you! He went twice, and I know that he wanted to go back again, but the long plane trip was pretty rough on him. He loved to see the US. I think he would have enjoyed a long trip by train – that would have been right up his alley,. Or can you imagine him and Mom on a cruise? Uh…yeah. Neither can I. LOL

  2. Margie Shepherd says

    This is a very touching post. I’ve also been thinking about his life and death and how time does go by so quickly. I have also thought of how sad it is when you see/know young people who squander away their precious time when Daddy would have given anything to have been in a healthy body for just a little bit longer to be able to do more living. I’m very proud of the steps you have taken to reach your goals and the accomplishments you have made!

    • Betsy Horvath says

      @Margie Shepherd: I get so frustrated with myself, because here I have these examples right in front of me and I can’t seem to change as much as I’d like. Oh, well. There’s still time! 🙂

  3. This is your best one yet, my friend. My dad would have had his 80th birthday back on the 6th. Somehow, I cant imagine him that old. I do remember what he told me in one of his lucid moments the last time I saw him….”Don’t ever give up” I wish he had followed his own advice…..

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