In 2004, my world was turned upside down when my 40 year old first husband died very suddenly. We were blessed with three beautiful sons. The youngest was only two when John passed. The first year after his death was just a blurr. All of those "firsts" were difficult, needless to say. He passed in November with his funeral being the day before Thanksgiving. I had always cooked a big Thanksgiving dinner and had the family at my house and that year was no different. I wanted to keep everything as normal as possible for my boys. The generosity of our community truly cannot be put into words. They wrapped their arms around us in the most incredible of ways. There was not a day that went by that I didn't have something left on my doorstep in the form of food, cards, monetary gifts, etc. It still makes me cry just typing this.
Just as I felt like my feet were starting to come back down to the ground and we were starting to adjust and accept our new life without a husband or father, my world was turned upside down again. The following November, almost a year to the day of my husband's death, my 59 year old father collapsed while in a deli. The police were able to get his heart going again but his brain had been without oxygen for too long and he was severely brain damaged. We sat in his hospital room for ten days knowing that it was just a matter of time before he passed. We buried him on the one year anniversary of my husband's death.
During the time that my Dad was in the hospital, I spent some time alone with him and got to talk to him. He wasn't conscious but I know he was listening. The gift of humor is something that our family has been blessed with. I honestly don't know how people can get thru life without it. I stood at the foot of my Dad's hospital bed and said to him, "after losing John and now you, I had better get a good man out of the deal!!"
From my mouth to God's ears . . .
Two years after John's death, I decided I was ready to be open to possibly meeting someone and start dating again. I was widowed at the age of 37 and I knew I didn't want to be without a partner the rest of my life. I joined an on-line dating site and dated a little bit but never met anyone that I'd introduce to the boys so it never went past a first date. Just as my membership was about to expire (and I had decided I wasn't going to renew it) I received a message from a man who was interested in my profile. We wrote back and forth for a couple of weeks and the more I learned about him the more I wanted to meet him. He had never been married and never had any children. He had never found the right person to spend the rest of his life with.
As I drove to a local diner to meet him for the first time, I prayed out loud in the car. I said, "Please let him be as wonderful in person as he is on the phone." I had already been attracted to his mind but, as shallow as it might sound, there has to be that physical attraction as well. That is something that I cannot fake. When I pulled up to the diner, he was already there waiting in his car. When he came around the car and I saw his beautiful smile I instantly knew my prayer had been answered. We sat across from each other in the diner and something felt so familiar about him. Like I had been sitting across from him for years.
Today is our six year wedding anniversary. Our daughter, Megan, will be four in a couple of weeks. From the beginning, the boys have welcomed Jim with open arms. He really is the only father that our son Brendan remembers.
I found this little saying recently and I wanted to share it. It ties in with the reason why I shared my own story with you.
I believe that things happen for a reason. Sometimes we may not find out what that reason is and sometimes it takes a while for it to reveal itself. If someone had told me that my life would unfold in such a magical way after two tragic losses in less than a year, I don't know if I would've believed them. Life is not perfect and things don't always go the way we'd like it to but it goes the way it's supposed to. We just have to trust and allow the process. Amazing Grace.
Many blessings ~ Wendy