You may have noticed that I changed my status on Facebook today. It was a difficult decision but one I needed to make.  Five years ago on August 4th I lost my husband. We had been together for 39 years…almost to the day.

Like every relationship, there were ups and downs, good days and bad and some that were just totally outrageous crazy. But, through it all, I knew I was loved. Even though there was a large age difference, we never really noticed. Okay, at first when people thought I was his daughter, it did get a little out of hand, but overall the difference didn’t exist.

As he aged, he was concerned that he was holding me back, not able to work like he used to or do the things we enjoyed on a regular basis. That didn’t matter, our life was just fine, and every day I knew that he was there for me.

Over the past five years with the encouragement of family and friends, I began to spread my wings and embrace my new “normal.” I have made changes both physically and mentally and today I’m stronger than I’ve ever been.  But none of this would be true without the support I received.

To my cousin that has kicked my butt and made me get up and get going, thank you for pushing me to carry on and to come into my own. To my brother and sister-in-law, thank you for being with me, for holding me when I cried and for always making sure I’m included and even for fussing at me when I’m in crisis mode and don’t call.  My stepson and family are wonderful and I speak with them on a regular basis. I treasure that relationship because I’m family by marriage, but I might as well be blood.

And to my friends…I can never thank you enough. Some of you have listened to me complain, cry and wonder what I was going to do without Larry. You helped me make it to the NMMI Ceremony to honor those that had passed; you stayed with me for days as I adjusted through the funeral. You’ve fed me and distracted me. And, you have allowed me to become a guest at many dinners and family functions and have become like a brother and sister to me.  I am truly blessed.

So, while I change my status to “widowed” it doesn’t mean I am closing off all my memories, it means I am a strong independent woman that knows that she must move on and accept the new roles she faces. I refuse to feel sorry for myself and wallow in the past remembering when. I will honor his memory and I am moving forward, taking ownership of the new and exciting adventures that are ahead.

Until we meet again.