Until July 21, 2009, I was living a quite-normal life of wife, mother, and teacher on 45 acres in the middle of a very-rural county with my husband of almost 25 years. Just a few weeks before we were going to enter the next phase of our life together — the empty nest — and just a few days before my husband’s 48th birthday, he was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer. To call the diagnosis a shock is an understatement — there was absolutely no family history as far back and wide on his side of the family that we knew of (which was quite extensive), and he had exhibited absolutely no symptoms. If it hadn’t been for an abnormally-high bilirubin count detected at a routine yearly physical, we wouldn’t have had a clue that anything at all was wrong. But something was wrong, horribly wrong, and 6 weeks & 1 day after the diagnosis and just 13 days before our 25th wedding anniversary, my husband passed away.
Fast-forward through the past 31 months (or 2 years, 7 months), and I have sold our house and land and moved about 110 miles — and worlds away — from where we were living to begin a new job in August 2010. I had a new, small home built and moved in just over a year ago (January 2010).
The life that I think of as “mine” has changed irrevocably, and I’m facing a new life — a life redesigned.