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COLUMBUS, Ohio — John Glenn’s widow says she misses her husband “terribly” and was touched by the outpouring of love and support when he died two months ago.

Annie Glenn turns 97 on Friday. On Thursday, she made her first public appearance since her husband’s memorial service, a reception at Ohio State University’s John Glenn College of Public Affairs.

John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth, died Dec. 8 at the age of 95.

Annie Glenn told The Associated Press that losing her husband of 73 years has been difficult.

“Oh, gosh. It’s just awful, because we’ve known each other since we were 2 years old, and he and I, we were both on the same side, he was always helping me, with the kids and everything,” she said. “I really miss him terribly. There’s nothing I can do about it.”

John Glenn’s body lay in repose at the Ohio Statehouse before a public service attended by hundreds, including the U.S. vice president, current and former Ohio governors and other dignitaries.

“Wasn’t that special? I didn’t expect that at all,” she said. “It was very touching.”

Annie Glenn couldn’t quite say how her public pace may change now that John is gone and she has recovered after a recent fall.

“We always went to things together, and so it’s simply …,” she said, reflecting. “I just can’t explain to you what I have to go through.”

Glenn said she fell about a month ago and has been recovering from the pain of three broken ribs and compressed vertebrae. She said she was “out and about” and hurrying when she slipped.

On Thursday, she moved slowly, but on her own, using a walker.

Accompanied by her daughter, Lyn, Glenn kissed hands and chatted cheerfully as several dozen faculty, staff and students celebrated her birthday over cake and coffee. Glenn apologized for being unable to recognize people because of her failing eyesight.

Lyn Glenn said she and her brother, David, have been taking turns visiting their mother at her high-rise condo in Columbus about once a month since their father died, traveling from their respective homes in Minnesota and California.

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