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his presence is fading.  when he first passed away i felt him with me everywhere... i kept expecting him to round the corner, eyes crinkled with a smile, a "hey babe" thrown my way.  or even round the corner with a frown on his face, upset from his latest talk show about the current political climate of our country.  (if i had buried him, he would be rolling over in it right now).  sometimes that's when i get the most mad is when i realize he left me with trump and clinton as our candidates.

it is both good and bad.  the shadow is everywhere.  i am under a cloud.  aurora, solon, hudson, stow... they all hold memories, good times and bad, regrets and promises unfulfilled.  a drive in movie, the county fair, a fancy night out in downtown cleveland... whispers of the life that i will never live and the shadow of the life i had

this shadow is so big and so long.  the shadow remains while his presence fades.  very little of me expects him anymore... i actually get surprised when something catches my eye and i think "oh where's jim again?"

fresh.start.

it's coming, like a wave washes out the sand from before and leaves a smooth surface.  our start is coming.  right now we are wading, the sand is getting washed out from under us and we are struggling to stand.  but it's coming.  i am doing my best to navigate, to help my kids to navigate... uncharted territory, with dark dark dark days, with the shadows and fears and PTSD, with darkness and clouds, it is all so choking.

but we press on.  i'm not sure i will ever have peace regarding it.  at least not here, i long for peace, but i think it will elude me on this earth.  a certain level of turmoil, it will always preside in my life.

____ though?  ____ is done for now, it is the last paragraph in an old book.  the pages are crumbling, i cannot keep writing in it.  it calls for new new new.

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people... i don't even know what that is.  but i know what i want…

dating in 2016, also huge LOL at even posting this.

Half of me can’t even believe I am writing this post.  Dating is gruesome, isn’t it?  Like most of life, I suppose.
The weekend that Jim died I was standing there, a wreck, while my phone was blowing up.  Alayne goes “who is texting you so much?”
I respond “oh those are just my tinder matches” 
and I know that not everybody gets the hilarity and all I can say is until you are in the fire, you don’t see the need for a respite from getting burned.
anyways, i was talking to my therapist about dating and i commented “single, widowed mom, sole custody of two kids… it’s a tough sell” and it is.  
i have this story that literally leaves people speechless.  most people when they hear it don’t even really know how to interact with me much less get involved romantically.  and i know eventually it won’t be such a big part of my identity, this widowed, grieving mom, but right now it is and if i want anything to do with the person then it’s like they have to know it.  
again, it’s a tough sell.