Disclaimer: Star Trek is the property of Paramount/Viacom. This story is the property of and is copyright (c) 1979 by Ingrid Cross. Originally published in Odyssey #3. Rated PG.
In the midst of grief, she directed her thought inward. And she dreamed.
She dreamed of a time when men and women could always bring understanding and acceptance to new relationships. When race or color, health or appearance would no longer matter. When matters of the heart meant as much as matters of the mind.
She created a thought-world where all men's hopes would be easier to reach. Where men could feel comfortable enough to speak of their hopes and plans to others.
(She leaned over the pale body and grasped a too-thin hand. The machines dripped unnecessarily into bruised veins. She knew, then, that the cold of the gentle hand signaled a dreaded end ... a new era was beginning. And with that certainty burned into her being, she wept once more.)
She dreamed of a galaxy of shining stars. And each star held a promise: escape, adventure, danger or peace. Mostly she wished for a star of peace. For too long, she had known the pains of the earth-bound heart, and she craved solace and rest.
(The doctors came silently, efficiently ... pushing away a part of her self when they gently pushed her aside. And when they had floated out again, she heard a new sound: a change in the respiratory rhythm. She sat as a stone; but breathing for the other, mentally pushing the air through the oxygen tubes faster, faster, faster...)
And she dreamed of a time when gentleness would have free rein in a spectacular universe. When sensitivity would be not a curse, but an honorable trait. And she wished to look in others' eyes and never see pity.
(The family gathered together ... together minus one. For between the blessed haze and the too-bright sun, the agonized soul had taken flight. They realized it was better for the beloved, and didn't wish to recall her to a world of pain. But that didn't stop the numbness ... the inner helplessness ... the cold aloneness.)
And to the last moment, she had dreamed of a future where familiar diseases were only dictionary references and no longer living nightmares. Where doctors could feel useful, could pull magic tricks from stethoscopes. Where there was a better chance at cheating death sometimes ... where one could reach for the stars and finally touch them and somehow feel closer to the loved ones snatched from one's side.
Live each day as it comes to you -- live it fully, grab onto it and don't let it get away. Don't look ahead to tomorrow; save up your hidden supply of strength, keep adding to it so you can draw miser-like on it when you need the strength and courage for the time which lies ahead.
Learn from yesterday, love today and don't be afraid of tomorrow's half-disclosed shadows. Live, breathe, inhale and exhale. Don't even look for your next breath -- it may never come.
Tomorrow steals up silently, stalks behind you, lurks in your shadow. Tomorrow comes suddenly and yesterday is at your back.
Tomorrow is your future. Don't waste it; don't dream it away; don't throw it to the dogs or into the fire. Love today, learn from yesterday. Stand with courage at your right and peace at your left to meet tomorrow head-on. Don't shirk from what needs to be done today so it will be a finished task tomorrow.
Peace, courage and love. Let those three be your weapons against tomorrow.