My husband's health notably got worse after a stroke about a year ago.  Although his life was spared for a while, it was obvious to both of us - although not discussed much - that he probably would not out-live me.  I had dealt with being a widow before.  He had been a widow and one day we came up with the idea of Huggy.  Near Valentine's day he bought me a huge stuffed Monkey and we named it Huggy.  Frequently he or I would hug the monkey.  The monkey was to collect all hugs and return them to the spouse that was left.

I do hug Huggie, but I switched it to the bear he had as a young man when he traveled on his truck route.  I hug it a lot, and it gives me comfort without making me sneeze as the precious pets do.  I sleep with it,hug it when I talk to my husband, and tell it good night with 3 kisses as we did a few short months ago.  We do what we do to heal, even if those outside won't understand.   

I also greet his picture each morning - and try to do so with cheerfulness.  Beneath his picture are the words "Have a nice day."  He also told me to be nice to the kiddies before I went to work in the classroom.  I want him back, but I can not do that.  I refuse to let this pain destroy me and I will continue to keep him in my mind in a  positive way, as he would have wanted.                      Frankie Younger

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