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Wow, Keith, thank you so much for your response. you have given me a lot to think about.

So fire away with any questions that you may have about my experiences - you'll find that there's no subject area that's taboo with me (i.e. I'm a nutcase and ain't ashamed of it).

I definitely will. This is completely unexpected and foreign territory for me, although I do feel strangely prepared for it in many ways. More on that later.

there doesn't necessarily have to be a rebound girl for him.

This is good to know, at least for me. As I've thought about it, I've realized that we are in each others lives at this time and place for a reason. I can't pretend I'm not infatuated with him right now, nor can I try to force something to happen or not. I need to accept that we are drawn to each other and not worry so much about what may happen, while proceeding with reason.

One thing you really need to answer for yourself is if you're secure enough with yourself to understand that he will have periods of grieving that has nothing to do with the (potential) relationship you share with him. The two of you need to be communicative enough to convey this to each other, else these will be met as landmine after landmine which will doom your relationship.

Well, yes and no. Interestingly, I am in a very comfortable place in my life right now in terms of accepting who I am and what my inherent value is. I'm still terrifically insecure at times, but I have also worked long and hard at my communication skills. The more I talk to him about her, the more I realize how different she and I are, and the less "competition" I feel. I think dealing with her cancer over the last thirteen years and certainly shaped who he is as a man today, and that man is the one I know and am learning to care about.

I also think that the man he is today is a different man than the one who married her--not that either of us is better or worse for him, just that he is where he is. He's exploring things he was never able to and I think a big part of that is him trying to rediscover who he is; perhaps feeling lost in that he is no longer able to define himself as part of a couple, and trying to do activities that they didn't share as a couple in order not to miss her so much.

Yikes, I do go on. Can you tell I think about this a lot? I'm sure I will be back here often. As I said, we are taking this very slowly. There's a part of me that wants to rush headlong into this, but even as much as I know that he's not ready, I know I'm not ready either. I, too, am in the process of redefining myself and it's interesting and exciting to have a friend like him to explore this with.

Thanks again,

kelly marie

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