Gary and Barb came to CatholicMatch from similar backgrounds and having gone through similar struggles. Each had been in strong first marriages that lasted 30-plus years before their spouse passed on, and neither felt like they would ever meet anyone else they would mesh with quite as well.
Both still came to CatholicMatch with hope, albeit a little trepidation. “I was nervous, but thought why not give it a try,” Barb recalled. Gary, age 61, had one face-to-face date through CatholicMatch and contact with others, but neither seemed to be a good match. In truth, he was at peace with the notion that perhaps God had given him his one chance at love and it was time to focus exclusively on his grandchildren.
Barb had doubts about finding single men in her age range, at 58, who shared her Catholic values. She’d started a singles group through her parish church in Michigan and enjoyed the activities, while making a lot of new friends. One of those friends had met a man through CatholicMatch and suggested Barb give it a shot.
New Year’s Day 2011 was the first time Gary and Barbet met face-to-face. Over a glass of wine they found they had more in common than their previous marriages. “Both from large Catholic middle class families,” Barb said. “And we both enjoyed nature, camping, hiking, boating, swimming.. Neither of us were materialistic and both more interested in someone that put their faith and family above all else.”
Barb gladly accepted Gary’s invitation to see a movie together, and with both of them semi-retired they were able to invest a lot of time into their new relationship, and part of that was meeting each other’s families. “Gary brought his grandkids to my mother’s 88th birthday party to meet my family,” Barb recalled. He hit it off with her family, and she met his, helping to overcome struggles his sons were having in adjusting to their father remarrying.
On Valentine’s Day 2011, Barb was home sick with the flu. Gary came by. To Barb’s immense surprise, her room began to light up with flashing red lights, with Gary holding flowers, candy and gifts, one of which was an engagement ring.
Flu or no flu, Barb was able to say yes.
They were married this past August, and moved into a small ranch home on a lake in Michigan. “Neither of us expected to be blessed a second time with someone that would feel so right,” Barb told CatholicMatch. “I hope it will be an encouragement to other widows that love can happen more than once in a lifetime.”