John-birthdayToday is Johnny’s birthday. He also died exactly 6 months ago today. I’m writing this from an airplane on my way to San Jose to spend a few days with his kids Chelsey & Chad. We’ll reconnect after too much time apart and share stories, memories, and probably a few tears as we remember their dad and my husband. He would have been 52 today and he died far too soon.

He still had way too much to do to go…adventures to have, road trips to take, future grandkids to hold, and a lifetime to live with all of the joy and love he couldn’t help but spread in this world. In the last year of his life he aged a lot, but as the months pass since his death, so does my memory of the toll cancer took on his body. More and more, I remember him as he was before he got sick and lately I’ve thought about how he’ll never age in my memory. He’ll always be that good looking, middle aged man with just the right amount of gray hair at his temples to make him irresistibly sexy.

I’ve made great strides in my own life in the past few months and feel as though I’m moving forward in a really positive way without him physically here with me but also with his clear support and presence. I’ve moved back to the Pacific Northwest where my family and many close friends are and am re-defining my life and myself without him. Some days I almost feel normal again, like I’m waking up from a bad dream a little at a time.

As I mark his birthday and this half year milestone of this death, I’m pretty much where I expected to be…not done mourning by any means, but healthier and happier than I’ve been since he died. I’ve actively and intentionally grieved losing him and the life we had (and were supposed to have but never will), and am proactively creating a new life for myself on a daily basis. I’m not the same, will never be the same, but I like who I’m becoming as I integrate the learning from this most devastating time in my life into my new life experiences.

So today I honor John, how I’ve changed because of how he loved me, and who I continue to become because of his impact on my life. He was a true light in this world and was taken from us far too soon, but he made a huge impact on everyone he touched in the brief time he was here. Happy birthday, babe. I’m sure wherever you are, you’re living it up today, skydiving or whitewater rafting or jumping off a cliff somewhere, and laughing your ass off at the sheer joy of it all. I miss you every single day but I know you’re still with us, “just in the next room,” somehow, as you fully expected, experiencing everything in our lives right along with us. #livelikejohnny #lovetrumpscancer