One year ago, I wrote a post about how much I dread the first half of July. During the few days before the 4th of July holiday and 10 days after, I recall what was happening during those days in 2009 with such incredibly clarity. The same is true this year, but there also is a big difference. It's a wonderfully positive difference.
As I approach the five year anniversary of Steve's death, I am acutely aware of the convergence of my past, present and future.
I've written a lot about my past ... I was married to a wonderful man who loved his family, the outdoors and life itself. He adored his children, loved his work as a wildlife biologist and spent many beautiful days on Lake Erie fishing for walleye and perch. He also suffered from depression. Although he was doing everything he should have done to get better and deal with the depression (see his doctor, take the medications as prescribed), he couldn't beat the disease.
My present has been a journey to find my new normal. I know I'm not the same person I was prior to July 2009. Life isn't the same. What was normal then is different now. During these past few years, I've been learning how to move forward while figuring out who I am as a young widowed mom. I've been blogging about my journey - the good, not so good, the down right ugly, the happy and sad.
Once I emerged through the fog of the first year or two of grief, I decided I didn't want to just exist. I chose to live ... to live a full and happy life. Part of embracing a full life has meant choosing to love again. I know what it is like to lose someone I love. I know the depths of that loss. Still, I have been open to loving again.
As I look to my future, it's a future that includes a second chance at love. A long friendship with an incredibly kind, giving, supportive and caring man has turned into a very special love. I feel so blessed. He may not fully understand this crazy journey of widowhood, but he gives me his love and support and room I need when I need it.
My journey certainly has evolved during these past few years. It is evolving again in a very big and exciting way ... I am marrying again!
I've ended each post with the same phrase ... "my journey continues." Even as I marry again, vowing love for the rest of my life, widowhood won't end. I will be Steve's widow and Mark's wife. It may sound complicated, but I know my heart has the capacity to love two incredible men. Love lives on in my past, my present and my future.
And, yes, my journey continues.