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.


Unknown said...

I am so happy for you... you deserve so much love❤️

Suz said...

Such special news. So happy for you!

Liz said...

So so so happy for you!!!

Unknown said...

That leap of faith to letting go with no comparisons of the one in the past. Waiting for the right time, and the right moment. Being present when you were ready. Who knew? When we met at that Widows convention, we talked about it. I was just into that relationship...which has had its moments. Now married nearly 3 years to the "new guy", the one I called "roomie" for nearly 7 years... it all boils down to the humor. Really. It the comfort of being able to bring that joy within you back to your original self. Excellent...and keep being present with each other. <3 <3

Unknown said...

Love reading about your adventure! You and I have a lot in common...anniversary dates...Greg is 6'4" and I am not quite 5"4"!

Donna B. said...

Oh Dianne....I am doing back flips I am so excited and happy for you! And you know with my back, that is not easy!! LOL. I can almost feel your smile when reading this post....I am thrilled for you. So glad you are a woman who always listens to her gut and intuition. It pays off big time. This is for YOU....and believe me you have spent the last 8 years doing so much for other people....and I know your heart was entirely in it....I'm just glad to hear you are taking some time just for you....because you DESERVE IT. Love you!!

Unknown said...

Oh, Dianne......I am so happy for you! I see happiness in your future. You deserve it. Enjoy the journey and adventure. Love you!!

Pilgrim said...

Very Happy for you.

Sandra said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. My husband died 4 1/2 years ago and I’m just starting to think...maybe...Your story is beautiful. Life is indeed full of surprises and often way too short. We all deserve to be happy.

Sandi said...

Amazing how things can change, isn't it? And we deserve the good.

PAUL said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sarah Walker Gorrell said...

Boy, do I ever understand this!! My Bob passed away from MM, like your Vern, in September 2014...and I said...."NEVER" ....there would NEVER be anyone else but Bob. And then, a friend's wife passed away almost one year later....but I was still in what I call "the Never mode" and so was he.

He and I had been friends on FB, but weren't in contact. However, he was going through the terrible grieving process and had written about it...on FB. I suggested he join a FB Grief Group to which I belonged. We began to message...about our grief.

Finally, he came south on a trip and we met. God circumvented our "never plans," and we're both so glad he did. We've been together just a little over 2 years and are very happy. We're engaged and committed....will we ever marry? Who know? Doesn't matter as long as we're together and happy and we are no longer alone.

Our lives parallel yours. Mike has an RV and we both love to travel and are planning on a trip abroad sometime within the next year. In the meantime, we enjoy dancing to either the Blues or Country music!

So much for "never saying never!"

Anonymous said...

I am so happy for you. I am a senior senior who was widowed 5 years ago. Four years ago I joined a Widowed Friends group. A year later after chats at our meetings, Ray and I were dating. We got serious quite fast, both wondering hiw this could be possible at our ages, Both over 75.:Three happy lovely years together, he died, unexpectedly, two weeks ago. I am crushed. But would,not,have missed the last three years for anything. But I have to say something to you and others. I was the recipient of his life insurance, some funds etc, but he did not have a Will updated . Since we were not legally married, I have no claim. And he has no family. He was actually in the process of doing updates. Please, if you are living together, find out what rights you have or don’t,have. It varies widely.