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We're friends, not doctors, financial or legal professionals, and we're not "grief experts." But we are here, and we've been "there."

Unpacking continues. I'm more or less settled in, but there's still random boxes and not everything quite has a home yet, but it's a liveable space, and I'm content. There's pictures on the walls, Hestia is on the mantle, and I've put my new vinyl cutter to good use, and there's a ton of different quotes, sayings, etc. on the walls. My seneschal said that even after under a month, it's clear that I've put down roots. That this is my HOME, and I'm staying here and it feels like me.

Howard's birthday came and went. It was hard. Spent a good portion of the day with my ex. He's not always the most sympathetic person in the world, but it was a good distraction, and we spent a good bit of time working in the wood shop on projects for Estrella War.

War is a good distraction. There's too many memories this time of year.  At the end of January was when I found Howard in respiratory arrest, and we went to the hospital in the beginning of the end.  His birthday.  Valentine's Day.  Our yearly "birthentines" dinner.  And all the memories of the two of us getting ready for War.

It keeps me busy and keeps me from thinking about Valentine's Day. And the logistics of getting the Household ready to go to War and everything associated keeps me from really realizing that I'm really and truly nearly done. The one very last thing, and it's done. I'll have done what I promised and taken care of him. Until the end.

We'll be scattering Howard's ashes on the main battlefield. One of the kids has kindly promised to stay with me and hold my hand the night we scatter Howard's ashes. I'm free from running camp for as long as needed. It's... hmm. It's like it's the one thing that's still left. One last responsibility.

There are eyewitness accounts from the night of the fire of a figure in Roman dress carrying the box from the flames. Since then, there have been no sightings of the Lone Centurion. And many have speculated that if he ever existed, he perished in the fires of that night, performing one last act of devotion to the box he had pledged to protect for nearly two thousand years. 

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