IMG_1899I memorialized John’s Facebook account yesterday and changed my status to “Widowed” this morning. That was a tough milestone but a necessary step for me. I still miss him every single day, multiple times a day. There are still days when I can’t quite believe he’s gone, but those moments are fleeting now (as opposed to my predominant mindset a few months ago).

I’m in a strange place of wanting to hold on to (even live in, if I’m honest) the past, and knowing that I need to move forward and step into my new life and my new self. For a long time I didn’t think I’d ever feel joy again. Now I’m grabbing it with both hands every chance I get. I’ve never been a sipper. I’ve always gulped, taken big steps, walked fast. That’s what I’m doing now, after moving in slow motion and wondering if I’d ever feel like “myself” again. I know I’ll never be the same but I’m becoming someone wiser, stronger, and more grateful because of my loss. That’s all I can hope for.

July will be a month of huge change for me. I’ll be moving into my new house, getting back on stage and training again, and leaping into a whole new life in a brand new town on the other side of the state. I’ll be leaving the family of choice I’ve built for myself here in Walla Walla, amazing friends who’ve seen me through the worst time in my life, and moving close to my actual family and close friends who promise to continue that support for as long as I need it. I am truly blessed by the incredible people in my life and I never take them for granted. I’ll miss my Walla Walla peeps but know this is the right move for me.

I’m also dating again, slowly dippoing my toe back into the “love” pool. This is something my sweet, wise Johnny told me would happen. “You’re a partnership person” he said to me a few weeks before he died. “You need a partner and I want you to have that.” Then, with that familiar twinkle in his eye, he smiled and said “I’ll send you the perfect person.” He also told me that I’d probably “partner” sooner than anyone thought appropriate. “Do it anyhow” he said. I’m listening, baby.

I hesitate to say it, but I can embrace the fact that I’ve survived the worst of this brutal grief process. I’m not out of the woods by any means and I know that for certain, but there is more happy and joy in my days than sorrow now, so that’s huge progress. Through this transition, I can feel John with me, cheering me on and, as he always did when he was alive, wanting the best for me.

I’m living like Johnny, choosing joy whenever possible, and moving forward even when it’s scary. Those choices are the best way I can imagine to keep John’s legacy (of living life to it’s fullest and always finding the positive in every situation) alive. #livelikejohnny #lovetrumpscancer

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