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“Sometimes you have to wander around until you find where you really belong. And sometimes it’s right where you started.” ― Rachel Gibson, True Confessions

Webster’s Dictionary definition for belonging: close or intimate relationship (a sense of). Belong, the verb has a broader meaning: to be a member; to be suitable; to be the property of a person or thing, etc.

‘”Hey Mr. Bus driver, wait for me,” I scream, as I hop on the neighborhood bus. I now belong to a group of strangers riding this black and silver bus to somewhere. If a horrific accident happens suddenly my sense of belonging increases dramatically.

Human beings, just because we are human beings, need and want to belong. One of the most profound ‘belongings’ is marriage. It is all about free will, this choice to become a twosome. You embrace each other in a colossal way and then proceed with the minor proclivities of the initiation rites: Friday evening or Saturday afternoon, church or the garden, roses or calla lilies, and the inevitable fairy tale Cinderella gown. The emotion attached to belonging to each other is powerful.

Life starts moving forward rather like being on a roller coaster. There’s laundry to do and floors to mop. An argument erupts over who puts the garbage out on Tuesday night. Automobiles get flat tires. There are jobs, friends, football games, cruises to Bermuda and then a new house for everything that belongs in your world, this world as defined by your very own twosome. The last piece of the puzzle is Children. They come into the world and take ‘belonging’ to a whole new level.

In April 2012 my husband passed away after three weeks of illness. Small cell cancer was the diagnosis. We had thirty years together; it was always complicated, a union full of respect, fire, and passion. We built a life for ourselves as he travelled the world, visiting 137 countries. The story is too long to tell but it is suffice to say I lived a fascinating life with this unconventional retired US Marine Corp Colonel.

Today I move forward into a new stage of my life. I struggle to re-define my purpose. I am keenly aware that I am here and so there must be purpose. William Belcher was integral to the fiber of my life but forward motion is required. I look around at my world and see the every day items that give me strength and a sense of continuity, my own personal belonging. Add the memory of special places and powerful moments; all of this becomes a part of the new unvarnished truth.