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Many of us go through the pain of being a caregiver and a widow to a place of moving on. Given life’s circumstances, we have to grow and change over the years.

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Every piece you write, Janice, shows your strength and resolve coming into its own. Your "evolution" gives us all inspiration. Thank you

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Wishing you blessings in this new chapter of your life.

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Happy birthday πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‚

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Hi Patti, It is true about the special bond. My daughter's older dog is a great example of that. He is definitely my little friend - still I wouldn't want the responsibility of caring for him.

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Well, first of all, happy birthday! I'm a year older but with this many years gone by we could be twins! 😊 And congrats and thank you for saying out loud what so many widows are thinking but can't quite bring themselves to say.

I belong to a widows group on FB and I'm about to leave it because the anger and guilt in that group is palpable. Most of them refuse to move on, somehow believing it's disloyal or immoral or whatever. Since the one we love is never coming back, what else can we do but move on? As painful as that realization is--that they're not coming back--it's liberating, too. And healthy.

How wonderful that we can move on and take care of ourselves. I know my Ed would want me to do just that. And if I'd gone first, I would have wanted it for him. It's not easy, and we can't rush it, but I'm getting to that point where I'm thinking about my life ahead, where it's just me, and I want it be the best it can be.

The truth is, at 86 I don't have that many years ahead so I'm going to make them mine. And I'm not going to have a single hesitation about it. I can't go back, I don't want to stay dormant, I want what life ahead has to offer.

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I love how you are moving forward and sharing details on how ypure making it so. I hadn't seen the stats on aging until this read... I'm 65, guess I'd better start thinking more seriously to thrive (not merely survive) until 82. Great read... and now I'm warming up more to getting a cat rather than a dog... at least for now.

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Janice, husband and self have just watched Living to 100 - the Blue Zones on Netlfix which was fascinating in terms of how to create quality of life and healthy longevity. Food for thought. You may find it interesting, if you haven't already seen it.

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Ms. Walton:

My deepest condolences about your husband’s passing.

😒

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I enjoyed this article tonight, as I am a caregiver for a woman that is three years older than I am. I turn 76 in September and I want to live to be 103. And I plan on living to be 103 and independent. congratulations to you for turning 85, and I am sure that your independence will help you reach your age of 100. Here’s to us to reach our goals and be healthy when we do it. Have a great Thanksgiving. blessings

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Happy Birthday! I was sorry to hear about Dan. You continue to inspire me.

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Happy Birthday. You are amazing. How I hope one day I can learn to mellow and follow in your steps. You truly are the best and I look for your posts each week. Maybe you should start teaching a class. You could have plenty of students.

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Well, I want to wish you a happy birthday. My mother turned 85 in August, and it gives me hope to see how healthy and active you both are. I was telling a new writing friend (and fellow Substacker) today about what an inspiration you are and how courageous you have been to share the experience of losing Dan and finding your way again.

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Happy 85th birthday, Janice. I really get a lot out of your posts. Thank you for sharing your story.

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