Wait for it.....
Rods Dad died when he was 7. He often shared with me the frustration he felt that his mom never remarried. "There arent any men as good of a man as your Dad" She would say.
Rod wondered; 'wouldn't a good dad be better then no dad?' Even if he isn't as good as my own Dad'? Luckily Rod was surrounded by wonderful men at church and through scouting that gave him the influence he needed to become a great man. My boys have the same influence and I'm so grateful.
Later in life Rod worried about who his Mom had become; lonely , bitter, selfish. Not a bad selfish; just not used to living with someone else.
Rod would tell me if I died he'd remarry.
NO! That hurt my feelings, wasn't I his one and only ?
And then i dreamed he'd live all his days missing me and waiting for us to be together for eternity?!
His response; "I love being married too much. I'd be miserable single. And I don't want you to change and become lonely and bitter. I'd want you to remarry too."
At this point Id get nasty; 'what if I don't want to?'
At one point I even said to him; "Well atleast wait two years to pretend like you missed me" His reply; "For the record, I give you no such rules, stipulations or timeline.
These were fun conversations to test him to prove his love for me. Never, never, never! did I ever think I would think back on these conversations so much looking for guidance.
Once I hit the year mark of widowhood, Dating opportunites started;
I wasn't ready for that. But they were fun! They combatted the 'friday night funk'; the worst night, the night when usually Rod and I would go on a date. A night just about us. And now that night was lonely and quiet. Except during HS basketball season, then its fun and exciting and keeps the boys and I busy.
Enter Rick Davies; a fellow widower that used to live in our area until they moved away two+ years ago to Mesa for better cancer treatment for Anna his beloved wife and to be closer to her family.
I knew Anna, but not well. I heard her speak once and she was great! Such a positive attitude despite having lost a leg to this awful cancer that would eventually take her life.
Rod knew Anna; they worked together a little at church. I remember speaking to Rod about her after hearing her speak. I wondered aloud why our life was so easy while others had to suffer so. ( a little premature comment)
Sadly Anna passed away last year. Leaving Rick and kids Caleb 13 and Emma 10 alone and going through what my children and I had just gone through.
As I normally do when I hear about this awful thing happening; I send a sympathetic email. I share what has helped my family and myself; specifically a book entitled "The Message' by Lance Richardson and the lds widow and widowers facebook page. A closed private group that truly has been better then any therapy I've attended.
I was SO careful in that email; I wasn't reaching out in any way other then wanting to be of help to another parent having lost their beloved spouse and partner in parenting. (Rick received other email from women who WERE interested. He says you can tell the difference in my very safe email and the others) My intentions were pure, not romantic, no way!
Time passed and Rick emailed me back thanking me for the info. The widows website was proving to be helpful to get him through the lonely nights. An email correspondence began; we grew up in the same stake in San Diego, we attended the same high school. His family lived in the same military housing in San Diego that Rod and his family had lived in.
His wife Anna lived in Spokane at the same time Rod and I did in our early married years.
Then there was the Austin connections; SO many mutual friends.
SO many ways our lives had intersected through the years; is it true that coincidence is Gods way of staying anonymous?
After a while Rick asked if he could come to Texas and take me on a date. Well I said yes and then I hurried and started asking people who knew him, 'Is he a good guy? Is he weird? Please please please tell me, any red flags?'
Nope none, just all good things to say about him. Darn , ok, I'll let him come to Texas and take me out.
In the meantime; we became such good friends over the phone, logging 121 hours before our first date. (Yep, I counted up the hours) Crazy! The whole time I thought, "well he will make some woman really happy. And I've made a lifelong friend" I also thought it was too bad I wasn't ready for a great guy like him.
First weekend went really, really, really well, and so it began. Months of weekends would follow. Then combined family trips, they all went well. And kept getting better and better.
I was pretty sneaky traveling and dating; very few people knew what I was up to. I had my reasons. Most of them proved unfounded.
Mainly I didn't want anyone to feel that I was forgetting Rod, or Rick was forgetting Anna.
Quite the contrary, being with a fellow widow allows you the opportunity to always feel free to talk about your spouse. They get it. They know the love that you've lost and miss.
If I did fall in love and remarry I wanted it to be someone my kids loved.
And he had to be a good Dad.
I found that someone.
I feel like some of my kids fell for Rick before I did, but they'd disagree. They do love him though. You know how the Dial kids feel about you based on whether or not they've nicknamed you.
He has nicknames.
Luke and I: Davies
I love watching my youngest Luke interact with Rick. Luke believes, as do I that Dad brought Rick to us.
There is a favorite quote among my widow and widower brother and sisters:
SOMETIMES THE DEEPEST HEALING COMES FROM THE NATURAL FIT BETWEEN TWO WOUNDED PEOPLE'S LIVES.
So here's my simple announcement:
The Dial Family and Davies Family are coming together. Rick and I will be married soon in the San Diego LDS Temple. A small family affair.
The Dial Davies will live in Texas at Martins Cove , in front of the big red barn.
I'm happy. I'm grateful. I think Rod is proud of me. I think Anna is proud of Rick.