Having just come through a 10 year loss of my husband, and facing the proverbial empty nest (after raising 6 children), I find myself with a lot of questions about what to do next. Quite honestly, I have no clue. I was fortunate enough to be given a great gift of TIME; some much needed away time to think, pray, regroup, a little panic of course, and a whole lot of writing. This past year I had 2 knee replacements. I had the knees of an 80 year old (that’s what the x-rays showed), but inside of me I knew was still beating the heart of much younger, still had a lot of life left woman (I am just in my 50’s. I like the word JUST:)). Fast forward to now, 12 months later, I feel like a million bucks! (I even played out in the snow yesterday, and I am pretty sure I have NOT done that in years!)I am officially pain-free, after a good 18 years of increasing pain. The physical pain is gone, but the pain of losing my mate, is a part of me; there is no heart replacement. And you know what? If there was, I wouldn’t want one. I earned this pain; this pain reminds me of the amazing life I had with my amazing one-of-a-kind husband! With every stabbing pain of loss, is attached a happy memory – I am learning to give and take with this pain experience. Yes, I did say I lost him 10 years ago, and No I am not over it; nor will I ever be. How can time erase something that has absolutely NOTHING to do with time? Love is a matter of the heart, and it remains exactly as it ever was. I have found this very healing; I have found I can laugh and cry within minutes of each other, and know that its normal, and I am not losing my mind. When you lose a loved one, the worst thing you can do for yourself is to compare how you think you are doing, with how you think others are doing. The journey is yours, and yours alone, and as you learn to breathe again, love again, dance again, and dream again, it doesn’t take away from the face that that person is not there. So, maybe you can walk some roads with me in this blog, and see that the pain and the joy go hand in hand, and that someday you will be okay with that. Maybe not today, or tomorrow. but, someday……I know I am.