Well, I know I need an updated picture for my avatar. The current on is ten years old. But i am not ready yet to get pictures taken. It has been a brutal two years and particularly the last few months, going through really invasive and altering back surgery. But to see old familiar faces responding to my resurrecting today a very old thread of mine -- was heart-warming. So maybe this time -- I will really be back. I got started on JSF after a heart-breaking break-up with a man I was living with in Belgium in 2004. Coming here really healed me. Now I am dealing with the grief of the passing of the man I had an incredible 10 year relationship with (PGC). It's been two years (or will be this May 17th) since he died with me right there with him as he took his last breathes. And I've been through a roller coaster of emotions as well as physical medical problems. This time I am facing a major recovery challenge. Not because of my age -- I still am incredibly strong - from a standing position, I can instantly squat down to my heels, feet are flat on the floor, and then pop right back up to a full standing position with zero assistance. And I can do that multiple times in rapid succession. I am still quite strong. still high energy but it has pulled back slightly from my full capacity. I am more scared about being out of aesthetic and physical shape. This last sojourn of back surgery has really taken it out of me; the stress and agonizing pain for 3 mos has caused my face to finally droop in places with folds from the bottom of my nose out to the jawline, passing the corners of my mouth. I have always viewed that staying young was largely matters of willpower. All my willpower went to caring fo rPGC in his final years and then two years of intense malady stricken mourning So this is different --- the question now is can i reverse the aging process to any extent. I've called up my willpower and we'll see. But what better place to start.... with friends who are like family to me. So see you... I am off to bed.