Saturday, October 27, 2018
Never Say Never
Oh, but I did ... often ... during these past 8 years. Never gonna date. Never gonna love someone else. Never gonna have a new person in my life. Never gonna do 'that'. Never, never, never. And I believed all of that with my whole heart. So many of my friends kept saying 'Never Say Never' but that did not change my mind. I knew beyond a shadow of any doubt that I would be alone til the end of my days.
But I was wrong. And I'm not ashamed to admit it. In fact ... I'm rather excited to admit that I was wrong.
That really nice guy whose messages sneaked into my in-box after I closed up my Match profile? Well, let me just say that this past month has been full of 'Never Say Never' moments.
We both wanted to take things slow. We both felt that we needed to become friends first. We talked on the phone, texted and FaceTimed a lot to get to know one another. He lives an hour away from me, 'over the hump' in Pahrump. I've spent a lot of time with him and I've grown to love that drive over the mountain pass.
His name is Jim and I love his sweet dog, Sheila. He has a beautiful home and an amazing backyard. He's 6'4", I'm barely 5'4". He has a Harley, a couple of them actually. He's a Viet Nam vet; retired military (20 years) and retired civil service (27.5 years) running clubs on Air Force bases around the world. He's funny ("freaking hilarious") and makes me laugh every single day. We talk about anything and everything. I am a totally different person when I'm with him. Oh, I still carry around my bag full of insecurities, but I'm working on leaving those behind. We took a road trip in his RV. We're planning some other RV trips and a really big out of country trip. I've missed hockey games for him (!!) and some of my local widow group meets. I took him to a hockey game. And I've fallen way behind in my volunteer responsibilities because I want to spend time with him.
He is nothing like Vern. And that is ok. Perhaps it's even better than ok, because there is no need for any comparisons. I don't think I'm like his Estelle either. They had 51 years together and he lost her in August 2017. Vern and I had 41 years together and he's been gone 8 years. So neither of us had dated in around 50 years - shocking, huh? I kind of think Vern & Estelle just might have had something to do with us finding one another.
I have many friends who are saying "never" and I totally respect their decision. I've stood with them on that soapbox many, many times speaking out against those who tried to tell us we couldn't possibly say 'never'. But you can. And perhaps it is right for you now and may always be right for you. I will support you because I know those feelings.
But if you start to feel that little nudge to open up your heart and mind just a teeny tiny bit to give whatever might be waiting out there for you a space to explore ... do it. Take a chance. It can be spectacular.
I've written about the ugly side of opening yourself up. But I when I think of what I would have missed out on if I had just deleted Jim's message because I was so done with Match, it scares me. I've lived my life listening to those whispers, those little nudges to do something or say something even if it feels scary. I am so very grateful I responded to that whisper that said "open them up" when Jim's messages arrived. Those of us who have lost our loves know that life can change in an instant. Have we moved quickly? Yes. But at our ages, why not? Tomorrow is not guaranteed, so grab hold of happiness whenever you can, as fast as you can, and just enjoy every single moment.
Our story is just beginning, but it feels pretty darn awesome. I am happy. I am grateful. And I want every one of my widowed friends to experience this ... if they want to.