All my life writing has been a way to think…to figure things out…to deal with my emotions in a logical way when my life had lost all logic. I have always used writing as a type of therapy…as a tool…as something to help me when I struggle…so my writing always tends to happen in tough times…moments of sorrow…moments where I’m looking for hope.
In my world…this could only amount to one thing…Happiness…
In this instant…I am overjoyed…I am fulfilled…I am at peace…I am quite different than the man I was three years ago. So I haven’t been writing…I haven’t been searching…I haven’t been looking to find hope…because I’m optimistic about life.
This blog had been an instrument to help me deal with the pain of loss…and the rebuilding of my life. So eventually as I began to heal…I found no reason to keep writing. As I look back at the blog…it is a road map of my journey from devastation to rejuvenation…from a painful ending to a beautiful new beginning…
But I have left out the best part…the joyous part…the reason I don’t find a need to write this blog anymore…I have left out my new beginning…and the amazing women who fills my life with so much pleasure.
On June 23rd I will be getting married…married to a woman I am fortunate to call a partner, a friend and a soul mate…but maybe I should start from the beginning…perhaps I should tell Our Story…
In the summer of 2011 I was on a road trip to Colorado with the boys. We had spent the day at Omaha Zoo, we had swam in a disgusting Hotel pool…I had put them to bed, I had sat down to write another blog entry…I was searching for some hope…and then I received a message via facebook from a widow who had been reading my blog and identified with my words.
Her name was Kelly and we corresponded a few times that night. I could recognize her pain and wanted to help her, but I knew there was nothing I could do…except understand…which is something that few people could do.
In September I met Kelly face to face for the first time although we had corresponded more over the summer. She became part of the Young Widow/Widowers Group that was formed by my grief counselor Kathy. It turns out that Kelly and I were seeing the same counselor which is how she had found my blog.
I remember walking into that first meeting and feeling a kinship with everyone, but there was something about Kelly that I recognized…I could see myself when I looked at her…not just the grief, but also the desire to pull ourselves out of the grief…the yearning to live…to find joy…and to be happy.
I remember the meeting ending…and quite obviously none of us were ready for it to be over…an hour was just not enough time to even start…so as the group exited the building…we formed small pairs or threesomes with those we felt most connected…and the grief session continued for another hour in the Hospice parking lot.
Once Kelly and I connected…we started getting together to literally help each other through. Conversations started with grief, but over time they moved to teaching and music and kids and anything that might make the other smile. I felt at ease with Kelly…I felt I could laugh and not be worried about someone judging me for stealing a moment of happiness…I felt happy for the first time in a long time.
But when I stopped…and was really honest with myself…I knew something more was happening.
So I wasn’t surprised when my phone rang late one December evening after I was already in bed. The voice on the other end was Kelly…just wanting to know if I would like to hang out one night…maybe grab some dinner and a beer…not a “date” she said…just friends. However, I could tell by her voice…that we might just be friends…but this was certainly going to be a date.
On that date...that wasn’t a date…she told me how she felt…and I also revealed that I couldn’t stop thinking about her. But I don’t think we actually knew what to say or do next…so we just enjoyed the food, the drinks and the conversation and left it at that. We never really called it a date until a month later when it was obvious to us both...we were dating. Since that night...we had talked all the time…we met each other out…we supported each other…and we were both smiling from ear to ear.
But Kelly got me through that too. She was patient…and kind…and understanding…even when I hesitated about sharing our happiness with others. And for my part…I was learning for the first time in my life…to not give a shit about what anybody else thought. I’m sure there were whispers…but were these people really my friends? Obviously not…If they didn’t want me to be happy…if they didn’t want to allow me to make someone else happy…if they didn’t understand loving Kelly had nothing to do with what had happened in my past.
So I chose to move forward…and I fell more and more for this cute little blond with a big heart and a huge smile…and I let more and more people know…and pretty soon I didn’t have to scream out “Look at this girl I found!”…because it was written all over my face…I was happy…I was at ease…I wasn’t searching…I was a blessed man with a stunning, fascinating, incredible woman by my side.
So this is why my blog had become dormant…I had nothing to figure out…no soul searching to do…nothing to fix…because I’m really damn lucky to have found such an amazing partner…friend…and now wife.
So this is me screaming it out…“I love you Kelly! You bring me happiness and joy everyday! I’m so glad we both chose life and we are going to be living that life to the fullest each day together! I’m the most fortunate man alive...to have you by my side!”
When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.
- Helen Keller