A Legacy of Living Well

To me, 'living well' has a lot to do with what has been considered HEALING for me over the last couple of years. It has meant just 'getting by' rather than thriving. It has been defined by duty rather than reaching my potential. And it has been about maintaining sanity rather than truly building strength.

Perhaps I am ready, or getting ready, to move beyond that. As I look back on a full two years as a widow, so many stages flash before my eyes. First a twilight zone, then complete and utter turmoil, next living with some intent and order but absolutely no laughter. Now I see myself in this present moment more engaged, loving and laughing--laughter still feels foreign at times but in it's genuine moments the smiles bring a true sense of accomplishment.

Who would have thought that a smile; a feeling of content would be my indicator of my growing confidence?

I am still healing, no doubt about that. Emotional wreckage requires rehabilitation as much as physical ailments.

I am still shaken and in disbelief from time to time. But, the man who I miss taught me something about living WELL. REALLY WELL. He did not know it, but perhaps all this writing, all these personal and professional goals of mine are supported by his love and encouragement still stirring in my heart.

It is a comfort to have him so close as time moves further away from his physical proximity to me!

Kevin was always my biggest cheerleader. He trusted me in my choices and actions as a mom, as a business person, as mostly his wife. But he taught me by example how to love with a passion and live with certainty. He lived WELL. Sure, he was fit and healthy as a result of generally healthy eating and exercise. (see the pic? And that was post cancer diagnosis! This was one of his 'Cancer Fighter' poses.)

But, just as I try to convey when I write about living WELL, without ever verbalizing it, he did and still does inspire me today to live this life well. He never compromised his values--even in all of his outrageous humor and fun loving antics! He spent time with the people he loved; he TOLD people, even the men in his life, that he cared about them deeply; he made time for decompression between the two jobs he carried to support his family. And most of all, when Kevin saw something in himself that he wanted to adjust for the better HE DID. I admired him for that when he was here and I remember that quality now with awe. In my own journey of change and aspirations to thrive post loss, I look to his example of taking on the challenge of personal growth and development.

That my friends is living well, REALLY WELL. Yes, all of the tangibles necessary for a healthy fit body are a must. But being able to.... *assess your aspirations, *identify your truest intent, *act upon it without pride or habit holding you back *and follow though is, in its truest sense, 'wellness'.

Back to my readiness to move beyond healing. Alongside my continued healing, I am ready to push my potential. I am ready for more than simply keeping my head above water. I want to live WELL within the joy and bliss I believe accompanies the ability to make positive change.
And I say this all just before Kevin's 2nd heavenly birthday. While I don't know what his words on this day would be, I feel the embrace of his encouragement as a loving and loyal husband. On this day 2 years ago, I slept in a hospice room by his side. On this day 1 year ago, I was buried in confusion, dismay and simply existing not even considering a thriving life. Today, although somber memories and loneliness plague me and I know struggling days are still ahead, I have HOPE for re-defining what 'living well' means to me.

With Growing Gratitude as I Dare to Hope, Katie

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