It’s been 3 ½ years since my husband’s death. Over the years there have been men who have stirred little flutters in my heart here and there, and they helped remind me that love would grace my life again. But with all the grieving, the mothering, and the finding my own way again, it just wasn’t the right time, and there just wasn’t the right person yet. I stayed positive and hopeful that the great love I was seeking would arrive at a time when I was most ready, healed, and whole. After marking the three year anniversary of my husband’s death, I felt a shift. I had undergone a great deal of healing, my kids were getting more independent, I began gathering a foothold in my business, and I was ready to look and feel radiant again. I began the journey of falling in love with myself.
I made it a daily priority to offer myself an act or offering of self-love, and I journaled about the ways I could love myself through the everyday challenges of life. I quit smoking and I began writing letters to my future soul mate; I knew he was somewhere out there! Three months after I began the journey of falling in love with myself, I fell in love with the man who was everything I had been dreaming up! He was like an answered prayer, and the beautiful part was that he arrived in my life at a time when I felt whole, healed, and radiant all on my own!
We found each other at Whole Foods! I first noticed his handsome face, his cool tattoos, and then his legs- he had two prosthetic legs from the knee down. We noticed each other a few times in the store while we shopped. I ended up behind him in line. We made eye contact and shared a few polite words. I walked out of Whole Foods, and there he was again at his bike. I walked past him, we smiled at one another, and then something told me to go back and talk to him. I turned around and he was already looking in my direction. He would tell me later that he had been struggling to come up with the perfect words to start a conversation with me… I walked up to him, I looked at his prosthetic legs, and asked him what had happened. I was instantly drawn into his openness, to the depth I saw in his eyes, and to the inspiring story of how he had survived and found a way to thrive through an 80 foot ziplining fall he’d had six years ago, while giving a tour. I told him the story of my husband’s death, and of the kids I had to get home to- He was so tender-hearted, and I felt so comfortable with him. I gave him my business card, and I couldn’t wait to talk to him again.
That was nearly four months ago. And here I am on an airplane, on my way back home after a weekend getaway together in Seattle. My heart is so full. My kids love him, I love him, and he honors the love I shared with my husband, and welcomes my memories from the past. I cried when I left Seattle as he stayed behind to finish his business trip, as I was just so overwhelmed with the gratefulness that I felt for the love we were creating together!
My grief still comes in waves, as I’m sure it always will, but I know now that there’s enough space for all of it- for the new love that’s here now, and for the love and pain from my past. My new love embraces my kids with his heart wide open, and sends love out to my husband. I’m so inspired by this man who thrives as a double amputee, who is an incredible athlete, a meditator, a motivational speaker, and who radiates love and resilience. This is a man who inspires me to be the best version of myself!
Never lose faith in the possibility of great love, great love is always possible when you believe!