It’s been said the hand of God works by way of coincidences, keeping Him invisible as He illuminates our path. That’s how it worked for Bruce and Lauren, and how they get their first sense that something special was afoot.
Lauren, 54-years-old, was recently widowed when she joined the site in early 2013. When Bruce contacted her, he asked her about her first marriage. Lauren had a feeling that the actual date her husband passed away might be significant—so she replied with the date she had become a widow. It turns out it was also Bruce’s birthday. And, as it turns out, her first husband was also named Bruce.
“Bruce felt compelled that we needed to get know each other better,” Lauren recalled. She was living in California at the time. Bruce was a resident of Alaska, but spent significant time in Wisconsin, where he owned a business. Bruce had been married previously, a marriage that would later be annulled by the Church, and like Lauren was ready for a second opportunity.
On July 4, 2013, Lauren made the drive to Alaska. It was to be the first of several meetings where they got to know both each other and the other’s family members. There was enough there that Lauren decided to move to northern Wisconsin, near Bruce’s business.
Her decision to move was difficult for her college age daughter to accept initially. She was attending school in California, and she couldn't bear the thought of being so far away from her 10-year-old brother. It turned out that Lauren's daughter was able to come with her mom and little brother on the road trip to Wisconsin. This time of family bonding eased the transition for the family.
Being in the same town helped Lauren and Bruce realize that their relationship had marriage potential. Another aspect that helped them discern was prayer, “We had been praying Rosary novenas from the inception of our relationship.”
Amusingly, Bruce never formally asked Lauren if she would marry him. They met with the priest a couple of times and talked about possible wedding dates, but whenever Lauren would ask him: "Does this mean your asking me to marry you?" he'd say, “Well, not yet.”
Despite his shyness about officially asking, the couple married on December of 2013.
“Bruce and I are very happy together,” Lauren said. “We share a great deal in common in our beliefs, needs, wants and desires.” What’s more they are good at solving problems together, something Lauren credits to their shared understanding of the Church’s vision for what a marriage should be.
Another beautiful aspect of their marriage is that her youngest son, Max, once again has a father to teach and love him. Shortly before Lauren's first husband died, he had told Max that if he got better he'd be taking him fishing, but that much-wanted fishing trip never happened. Without any prompting from her, Bruce has been taking Max fishing.