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Today marks 10 years since my first husband slipped into a coma and later died of respiratory failure, the consequences of a genetic neuromuscular disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy.  I can still remember the details of that last day, the last week, the last 16 months of medical challenge, and the 17+ years of marriage, the vast majority of which was wonderful, despite his significant disability.

 

So very much has changed in the last 10 years.  I had anticipated his early death since the day I met him.  I know there are a few of us here who actually signed up to eventually become young widows, as we knew the potential from the beginning.  I don't think any of us could have known the depth of pain that would come with our future losses, but I also imagine that most of us would have chosen to love our spouses all over again anyway.  Love has a way of blinding us, doesn't it?

 

My life has no resemblance to the one I was living 10 years ago.  There has been more love and more loss since then as well. Rebuilding my life hasn't been and still is not easy.  Somehow, I have found the gumption to keep putting one foot in front of the other and I have created a life for myself, although it does not yet have all the components I need for happiness.  I continue to stretch and learn new things and I am trying to be more adventurous.  I sometimes feel like a fuddy-duddy! 

 

In the last 10 years, I met someone new, fell in love, moved half a continent away from where I'd lived the majority of my life, remarried, left my career of 26 years, went back to school, was widowed again, earned 2 more degrees, and then moved back east near where I previously lived.  I recently walked away from a work "opportunity" that was a good job for me, but the environment was toxic -  even though it took over a year to find a job in my field, and I have moved back to my house in the Midwest where I lived with my second husband.  I'm now doing something entirely new, not truly in my comfort zone, but in an environment that is supportive and with the potential to move to a different position in time.  My first husband probably wouldn't recognize me!

 

I miss him.  As a matter of fact, today, I really miss both of my husbands.  I'm going to go to a wildlife refuge with a friend and try to enjoy the present.  The past still hurts...

 

Maureen

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Maureen, wow, ten years. That's a long time and it sounds like in some ways you have moved on to your new life and in other ways, you have not. I fear that is what it will be like for me. I hate living alone, but I am adjusting to it. I am glad that you are going to a wildlife refuge to try and enjoy the present. Take care of yourself and Hugs to you.

Laurie

 

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Maureen, I have read this post at least a dozen times. There are no words. My refuge has been the mountains. I hope you find the joy in the present you are seeking. 

 

Marie

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I am coming up on 8 years out. I have followed your story since then. Your journey has been hard and long. I am amazed by your resilience.  I can truly relate to the life we live now is so very different than the life we lived then. I hope you find the peace and happiness you long for. 

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I just passed seven years, and you've been a fixture in my life since then. I'm so amazed by you and your ability to continue on and continue to try to find happiness. You have inspired and touched so many of us. 

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I get it..life is now so different, yet other times it seems like yesterday we were in our "old life"

 

Hugs to you. No matter how long, some years it still stings.

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