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Dear Friends,

About 1:30 pm, one year ago today, my love dropped dead before me. Literally fell to the floor and died. This afternoon the sun has come out and my daughter and I have been sitting talking about Tom. About how much we love him and miss him and how much he made life enjoyable and saw the good in people and made people laugh and not take life too seriously. He taught by example, not lecture. You all would have loved him.....really. He was a charmer, in a good way.

I want to again say thanks for this forum and for a chance to express feelings here and feel that you are heard. And also to listen and gain courage from others. And to feel the compassion that is shared here. Thank you all.

As I enter this new year I do it with a heavy heart and yet a thankful one. I was blessed to have such a fun time for almost 40 years and to have so many great adventures with my Tom. I want to find strength and resoucefulness and be a woman still capable of carrying out some of our dreams. Now I need to go and have another cry. My son will join my daughter and I tonight for a toast to dad....have an Irish whiskey for Tom....and then talk about how lucky we were to have him in our lives. I am going to try really, really hard to learn to express joy again....for my kids and mostly for Tom. To find the positive that lives in our world.

And I am thankful that Tom is no longer suffering or wasting away. That death took him quickly. Eventhough I would give anything, anything to spend another day with him laughing, holding hands, kissing, dancing, talking politics, planning a party or going out on the boat. Or even a good argument. No, not really. Wouldn't that be a waste of a day. Another day to say I love you. That was one thing my daughter said today, "dad always told us how much he loved us", which was true. He didn't need any final words as he always let you know your importance to him.

Again thank you all. So much.

Your friend,

Valley

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Dear Valley,

I just wanted to say that I was thinking of you today, because I have just past my first year and I know it is hard, I am glad your Son and Daughter are able to be with you. I also have a daughter and it is such a big help to me. I don't know what I would do with out her. I will add you to my prayers tonight.

Take care

Mary Lou

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Valley,

What a touching post. Your husband sounds like a wonderful person. How blessed you are to have had him for 40 years. A year seems like a mountain of time to me right now. I guess that we all climb those mountains a step at a time. I hope that you get joy from your family and your sweet memories. Funny how the very memories that make us smile also bring us to tears.

Thank you for sharing this day with us.

Love and Prayers, Lostluv

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Valley,

Your post made me smile. God bless you and lead you in your goal for the coming year - to find joy in life once again. What more legacy can our loved ones leave us than for us to once again seek joy?

I am not at two weeks yet. A year seems like an impossible journey to me right now. But I know that time passes, 24 hours at a time.

I know that my husband would not want me to be sad forever. Well, he would want me to be sad for a while - because he was a bit of a vixen, that man!

Anyways, my best wishes for you today on this anniversary of his passing.

Take care of yourself,

Dee

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Valley,

I pray those happy memories of your husband and the love and arms of your children will sustain you through this day. He sounds amazing, not unlike those he left behind.

Take good care,

Kath

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Valley

As I've told you before our lives parallel in so many ways. I am glad your children are with you. My Tom would have loved the toast but with a Bud Light. My one daughter and I went to the riverboat on our one year anniv. because even though he didn't go often Tom loved the black jack tables.

It was rather bittersweet and I didn't win but I knew he was there enjoying the day.

I don't want to be the devil's advocate but this second year can be harder than the first in many ways so don't be surprised. Yes, you may smile a little more but the numbness has worn off and reality really sets in at times. Just today one of my sisters in law told me to get over it and move on. Well, when she walks in my shoes then she can judge me. Just know that we are always here for you if you need a net.

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Valley:

When I read your post, I cried. Your husband sounds like a wonderful man, husband and father. You have two children that love you and seem to be close to you.

You husband told you and your children that he loved you all. That is very important. My husband and I never went to sleep without telling each other: " I love you". When I would leave for work, on the phone or whenever. It is nice to remember that you had good memories about him.

Love and God Bless,

Jeanne

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Valley - the end of the first year is a huge milestone in our lives. Your love for Tom, for your children, and support on this fortum shine on loud and clear. Realizing that I could find joy, yet still grieve, side by side, was something I've just slowly begun to understand. I'm wishing you many moments of joy, in this journey of rediscovering ourselves. I'm sorry I'm mixing pronouns, but the I and we also seem to go side by side (!). Love and hugs, Marsha

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Marsha,

I love that you say joy and grief can exist side by side.

Yesterday afternoon my daughter and I had a big cry and as we talked, she said that she always loved to come home because her dad was so much fun and made her laugh and brought joy. He did. That was true. I am a more serious person by nature. Thats one reason Tom was such a good balance for me.

My daughter wants to be able to come home again and find that happiness and joy. She hates to think of me at home crying and upset all the time. I tell her I have many happy days...I do. But the whole in my heart and also in my identity is large right now. So when I say I want to find and express some joy again, I do. For her and for me and for my son and to fill this house again with a welcoming fullness. Not grey clouds. I know it will take time.

My daughter left this morning for her home, 5 hours away. The house went silent and feels huge. I feel sad. The sun is out today and I will head out to the garden and pick some tomatoes and basil and make some tomato sauce. Moving my body and being in sunshine will help.

I believe what you say about joy and grief, I just need to remember that.

Thanks everyone for your caring. We also said "I love you" when we went to sleep at night...except sometimes! Sometimes, well you know, you dislike the other person, before you find your way back to love.

Mary Linda I like to think of you on a riverboat! I have no illusions about beginning this second year, I really don't. I feel adrift except for all the responsibilities that I have that anchor me, and the fact that my mother (92) needs my attention too. And yet I need to believe that I can learn to live with the grief and not let it overtake me. I need to set some goals that I can shoot for......pull myself up when I get down, try and try some more to see the positive.

Love to all,

Valley

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Valley

what a blessing, thank you for your post. I don't know where the 5 months have gone but as we head into fall I realize that I missed my Scott for an entire summer... time keeps moving and seasons are coming and going and we are .. making it. I just cried reading your post... thank you for that. Every single phone call to each other ...every single one... we always said.. "I Love You" we always held hands everywhere and no one could hug better and more completely than Scott for me. My faith has allowed me to feel and believe that he is at peace, happy and with all our family members that have gone before him. I still feel his presence guiding us and there is some brief healing with joy in my boys (which I am so happy for) I too am the serious one and it is a struggle for me lighten up when I have such a heavy heart... but I am trying. My boys deserve that.

One day at a time.. and with help of family and friends, we are all making it ..

thank you again for your post

laurie

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Valley,

I am so sorry I wasn't on here this week, my daughter got married on the 9th and my job as been super busy. I know the one year mark is very hard to go through and I'm glad you have that behind you now. I thought of it as somewhat of a milestone...the second year is also hard, but there was something about going through all of those "firsts without" that felt good to have it behind me.

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Valley:

Such a beautiful post. It will be 3 months on September 19 for me - a year seems so far away....

I hope you are doing well.

Korina

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