Everyone has a story, if one will only sit and listen a spell. I was able to do that extensively when my first husband was ill and I took an extended leave of absence from my job to care for him. While we waited for a transplant, we shared our story and listened to the stories of others. We shared laughter and tears.
*In an ice cream shop, we met the third longest-running rodeo clown in the United States. He was delighted to share his joy in training his nine-year-old son to follow in his steps.
*Our ‘regular’ waitress was comforted by sharing her concerns for her teenage son, in juvenile hall.
I talked with others waiting in sterile hospital rooms—
*the young mother whose fiancée was fighting his last battle with cancer;
*the nurse whose husband was dying; and
*the medical personnel who listened to and cared for us during Jerry’s hospitalization and subsequent death.
Marrying a wonderful man at age 36 and then losing him twenty years later taught me the importance of valuing every moment, about our amazing ability to survive, move ahead and even love again. Most important, it also allowed me to experience God’s faithfulness during the hardest time of my life.
The apostle Paul said “He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.” (II Corinthians 1:3-4, The Message) In sharing my story, I want to encourage others going through difficult times.
Several years after Jerry passed away I met a tall, gracious, handsome widower. After several weeks, he put a hand on my shoulder. “Is there a chance for a relationship between us down the road?” Don and I have now been married four wonderful years.
I look forward to sharing and learning together with you and hope you’ll offer questions and comments along the way.