This month marks the second anniversary of my first date with Mr. Right, the dashing widower I met on CatholicMatch.com. As many of you know, I am a widow whose life began again the day I met my handsome man.
Since Mr. Right and I are in our mid-fifties, we are in the “autumn” of our lives. Along with our respective late spouses, we had previously been in established families and friendships.
Now that we have been widowed and are in a committed relationship again, I find this has made for some interesting and sometimes awkward situations with family and friends.
Take this summer for instance: Mr. Right threw a graduation party for his son and at some point during the evening Mr. Right leaned over to give me a little smooch. When he opened his eyes after the kiss, there was one of his younger son’s friends staring at us absolutely speechless. Oh boy! I do believe the young man was stunned and a bit confused to see Mr. Right kissing someone other than the late Mrs. Right. It’s been an adjustment period for everyone.
Later in the summer, Mr. Right and I attended the wedding of one of his friend’s daughters. Now as much as we’ve dated in the past and went out to dinner, we honestly had never been out with anyone besides our own children.
Even though it was a transition for Mr. Right’s friends to meet me, they were very courteous and welcoming. I must say, we had an absolute blast on the dance floor and made some new acquaintances at the table we were seated at. All-in-all it was a simply fabulous and magical evening.
Then during the month of September, my late husband, Steven’s, father passed away. This made for quite the interesting obituary and funeral. You see since Steven had passed away first, by law I am not related to the family any longer. Imagine then, my surprise to see my name listed first under “surviving children” in the obituary printed in the church bulletin. What you need to know is that Steven’s mother, Lucille, has stated that I will always remain part of the larger Tess family and she is true to her word.
The evening before the funeral, at the wake, Lucille insisted that I stand in the line next to her to speak with mourners offering their condolences. This proved to be very confusing for many old friends who didn’t remember me and just assumed that I was one of her many children. Although I was touched by this gesture, about an hour into the wake, I left the line to speak individually with friends and family I knew.
Some distant family members of my late husband stopped me to offer condolences and tell me how different I looked. One of them kept looking at my hands and I finally asked if there was something wrong. She asked if that was an engagement ring from Mr. Right on my left hand. I stated no, it was just my birthstone, but yes I have found love again and hope that someday I can wear a wedding ring from my sweetheart on that very finger.
So there it was, past and present meeting up again. I was at a funeral for the man who taught me to dance when I was sweet sixteen, loved me as a daughter, encouraged me to move on with my life after his son died, and now here I was talking about my future with Mr. Right.
A couple of weeks after the funeral, Mr. Right called me to say that he was going to be visiting my area the next day, so we decided to drive a little bit north of my home to visit some of his former co-workers at their place of business. It was quite interesting to see where Mr. Right used to work and everyone was very friendly to me. At the end, Mr. Right and I were separated for a few minutes and later in the day he indicated to me that a former colleague had stopped him to ask if we were more than just friends and he stated yes, we are dating.
What I found touching was the way Mr. Right told me that this former co-worker was concerned that his family was doing well since she knew that he was widowed and a single parent. It was then that he indicated to her that I had also been widowed and suffered a great loss twice upon the death of not only my husband, but my son, so I understand the transitions in his life as he understands the transitions in mine.
These varied situations during the autumn of our lives need to be interpreted for the kind and loving gestures that they are intended as. Times change, life goes on, and we remember how God loves us and has blessed us with one another.
This wonderful season of growth in our life together, reminds me of a song that Mr. Right picked out just for me a while ago. It’s sung by Elvis Presley and called “And I Love You So.” Here are the first few stanzas that mean the world to me, especially when sung in the rich baritone voice of the handsome Mr. Right while he’s dancing with me. Remember, the best things in life really are free!
And I love you so
The people ask me how
How I’ve lived till now
I tell them I don’t know
I guess they understand
How lonely life has been
But life began again
The day you took my hand
Happy second anniversary to you my dear Mr. Right. And I love you so!