Wow. My last blog post was November of 2018. What that truly means is that I spent an awful lot of time not dealing with my grief. Sure, up and about and functioning, but certainly not living.
When death defines your life it is impossible to grow. How do you process the pain? What allows the feeling of hopelessness to subside? It’s said that time heals all wounds. I disagree with that, but what time allows for is change. Change from the depths of despair to the height of joy. By the grace of God I am whole again and fully able to experience joy.
This is not to say that the emptiness that consumed me does not exist, it just exists differently than before. There will forever be a place in my heart and in my eternity for my husband, my best friend, my soul mate. After all, not only is it written in stone, it is emblazoned in my soul.
Many changes happened for me in year six of my grief. A significant health scare made me realize that I was not ready to join Keith just yet. I knew I needed to change my life if I was going to be here for my children and grandchildren. This meant eating healthy and beginning a walking schedule to reduce my weight significantly and to move toward living again rather than existing in a place of darkness. It was indeed life changing in more ways than I could have envisioned for myself. A pandemic presented itself during this time. Like many, I struggled with the isolation because I live alone. But I learned a lot about myself too. I am so strong. And I didn’t waiver in my quest for a better tomorrow. It took 10 months … I don’t look like the person I did a year ago. I don’t think like her either. I am healthy, off so much of my medications, I have shocked and thrilled my doctors. Mostly, and most importantly, I learned that with prayer, hope and desire, I am worth every bit of effort that I poured into myself. I turned sixty one earlier in the year. It took me all of these years … and I wake up in the morning so proud of myself and what I did – on my own. My husband loved me thinner, fatter, happy or sad. There wasn’t a day that I was with him that he didn’t make me feel loved but sometimes, many times, it’s not an easy sell when you look in the mirror. Today I look in the mirror and while I will always be my own worst critic, I see a survivor. Like when Keith Jr. died and huge pieces of us went with him, my loss of Keith sent me spiraling out of control — with food, with sadness. Despite the joy I got (and still get) from reading cards and notes and seeing photos of us experiencing life, today I actually FEEL THE JOY. What a blessing it is to say that.
Speaking of blessings and the name of this blog, I continue to be a woman blessed. With the change of time, came the realization that I deserve every bit of happiness that can possibly come my way. I have learned many things about myself and one of those is that I will never say never again. I knew in my heart that I could never love someone again, that I would not entertain the idea of spending time with a man again, nor would I be like 80% of the world now and join an on-line dating site. I could not have been more wrong about myself. I’m happy to share that with you because I will not ever be flawless. I am human. With my transformation I continued to pray for guidance, for hope, for reason to my life. Well, when Keith died, I still had so much love inside of me that has been waiting until my time on earth was through. So I thought. Between the pandemic and getting healthy in body and mind, I wanted to love and be loved again. I honestly didn’t hold out any realistic hope for that to really happen, but … it has. I did end up joining an on-line dating site.
I have met a wonderful man who has experienced the exact same things that I have. God has answered my prayers and blessed me once again with someone who loves me for me. Who enjoys the same things I do. I enjoy the same things he does. Laughter being among the most important. Let me tell you – I have been abundantly blessed with having a second soul mate. One can’t explain how that happens or why it happens. I can sit in the same room with him and not have to say a word. I smile. Oh how I smile, and how wonderful it feels to experience this type of love again. I could not begin to express the unexpected emotions that came from our very first 3-hour date that has continued daily for the last two months. We greet each day with a phone call and end each night with a text and both of us knowing that this is exactly where we both are meant to be. As my faith allows, we were sent to each other to heal our hearts and have another opportunity to love fully. Loving someone who is so in tune with you because they too have had the same experiences in life can’t happen by chance.
I am a woman blessed … again. I thank God in heaven (and Keith) for this opportunity to move forward in life. I believe he smiles too because I have finally fulfilled my promise to him. To take care of myself and to be happy. And so, I am.