The time apart has probably helped you guys a lot. Space gives both parties time to clear their head, and maybe miss each other. Just take it slow, and don't jump all over him. If he sees you are doing well, he will be curious about you. Try to just let him be curious and keep moving forward towards you.
Does he love you? I'm sure he does, because you've been together for a long time. I wish you all the best. Even if everyone tells you to forget him, don't make yourself forget him, if it's not natural for you. You have kids, you have a history together, and it would be great if it worked out for you. Take care, and don't be afraid to find a good counsellor to talk to about your situation. It can really help to talk to someone, other than friends and family.