It was December 2011 and Joe was walking in darkness. The 63-year-old retired construction worker lost his wife of 41 years. While he was a man of faith, it didn't make dealing with the loss of the mother of his seven children any easier. "To say I was lost, down, dejected, mad, in shock and very, very depressed is an understatement," he said candidly.
One year later, Joe saw the ad for CatholicMatch in his parish bulletin. "I didn't know if I was ready, or even wanted to meet someone," he recalled. "But I figured I would check out this process." As Joe perused the site, it would be a mistake to think everything immediately clicked, or even that he was impressed.
"I was a little disappointed," Joe said. He was getting ready to let his subscription run out when he saw Lynn's profile. The same age as he, living in the same area and also retired, Lynn's picture seemed to Joe as though it were that of an angel.
Joe wondered if Lynn were too good to be true, and had his doubts that she would be interested in him. He was delighted when she responded, and they exchanged emails, phone numbers and talked about getting together for a coffee or tea.
But he still had a practical problemhe didn't have a car that he could trust, and while they both lived in the Cleveland area, there was a still a half-hour distance that couldn't be navigated without a reliable vehicle.
Joe figured Lynn was ready to give up on him, but they put their heads together and were able to figure out a way to meet. "I was very uneasy," Joe said about their first meeting. "(I was) afraid she would take one look at me and run. I was wrong!"
Today, Joe and Lynn are growing in their relationship and seeking to understand if it's God's will that marriage be in the future. What's most important right now though, is that they've found someone to rely on for strength and comfort.
"Although I had my children and grandchildren, something was missing," Joe said. "Now I've found it. I do truly like and love this pretty lady, not to replace my late wife, but to give my love, warmth, respect and devotion to, so together, we will reach for the stars and become closer to our Almighty Father."