5th Day Of Christmas: Linda Moves Forward Courageously


On the fifth day of Christmas, we’re honored to feature Linda.


What were the greatest blessings of 2010?

The greatest blessings of this year were granted during my darkest days. I had always been insular, quiet, and shy. When my husband, Phil, deployed to Afghanistan, I was waiting, always waiting for him to come home to me.

On April 27, 2011, Phil was assassinated by somebody he trusted.

God provided so many blessings. People reached me even at my most unlovable state. Acquaintences and people I have never met have become my lifelines and best friends.

For instance, the amazing women of Colorado Springs who decided that I needed a wonderful 50th birthday party in July. They rented a house, took me zip lining and surprised me with my daughter flying in.

A second example is the man who noticed I was always online all night long. He was the photojournalist stationed with Phil in Afghanistan. He carried me through the darkest hours by praying, listening online, making me laugh, and just being there. He is home to his family, but he always remembers the 27th of each month and he still checks in on me all of the time.


How has your approach to finding a mate evolved?

At first I couldn’t imagine dating or being with another man. Two hours before Phil deployed, we had the what-if talk. I laughed at him. I told him that if I was going to date, he would have to shove somebody into my arms and make it abundantly clear. I wanted my Phil to be happy should something happen to me and he wanted the same for me.

In June I was cowering under the sheets of my bed crying. I had just seen the pictures of my husband’s broken body. I cried my soul to God. I didn’t want to live, but I wasn’t doing anything about it.

Across my mind and in my heart, a picture flashed of me standing with a tall man at the altar. I couldn’t see his face, but I knew. When I got to Germany for a teaching position, I was lonely, really lonely. I didn’t have access to grief support, so I went looking online.

CatholicMatch had the widow/widower support forum. I joined for that reason – not to date. I made many friends, but I effectively shut every man down until one man touched me with so many coincidences that I knew he was getting pushed into my arms. I have started the slow walk forward. We live 8,000 miles away from each other.


What’s your CatholicMatch strategy?

I have no strategy. I was looking for friendship. I responded to everyone with friendship chats.


Why do you stay on CatholicMatch?

I stay because CatholicMatch feeds me spiritually. I have made so many friends who still think of me and walk with me. While I may have my one special CatholicMatch man, I need the spiritual questions, thoughts, and friends I have made.  


What’s your favorite Christmas tradition?

My favorite Christmas tradition is playing family bingo for small gift cards on Christmas Eve before midnight Mass. My children are all grown up, so the traditions of their youth evolved into bingo, complete with booby prizes and a cut-out of my daughter Emily the year she was deployed to Afghanistan over the holidays.

I love Christmas. My traditions are going to have to change again, but I love the spirit of hope.


What is your hope for 2011?

My hope for this year is to continue to step forward with my special CatholicMatch man and to be more aware of other people’s pain. My other goal is to start another master’s degree in creative writing and get my blog published as a book.


Make a prediction for 2012.

2012 will probably mean lots of frequent flyer miles and Skype conversations. I predict it will be a year of new beginnings.



  1. Laurie-465055 January 7, 2012 Reply


    I love that you joined “not to date”. I have been a widow for 3 1/2 years. I joined “to date” but did not know of the forums and widows/widowers category this site offers and will probably be up half the night reading through them. I did post a question on a forum board and got some good advice.

  2. Katherine-480844 January 1, 2012 Reply

    from the moment i read your story i was touched. i cried. i was in awe of your strength, courage & love for your husband, phil & for our country, usa. i have enjoyed chats with you…laughing & sharing. i wish you a blessed & magical 2012.

  3. Cindy-534370 December 31, 2011 Reply

    Congratulations! Glad to see you here. You are an inspiration of faith, hope and love.
    Merry Christmas,

  4. Bernie-645443 December 31, 2011 Reply

    Hi Linda, good to see you here ! May Gabriel guide and lighten your steps in ZMM. Best wishes for a wonderful new year !

  5. Melissa-407647 December 30, 2011 Reply

    Congratulations on being nominated, Linda. Thank you for sharing. I believe that you are a strong woman. God bless you in many ways. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2012.

  6. Leon-593843 December 29, 2011 Reply


    During 2011, I have read many of your posts. You have undergone much pain, suffering, loss and mental anguish. You are however a postiive person and I feel that will serve you well in your future.

    Congratulations on being selected as one of the 12 for 2011. Greatly deserved.

    I wish you a Happy New Year with much love, joy, happiness, peace and prosperity.

    Blessings always,


  7. Ithro-543226 December 29, 2011 Reply

    I am so very glad that you are moving forward, Linda…MAY GOD CONTINUE TO BLESS YOU ON YOUR WAY!! Amen!!

  8. Marian-83994 December 29, 2011 Reply

    This is a beautiful reflection Linda. I am so glad Catholic Match has been a part of your healing and re-building. I am so sorry about what happened to your beloved Phil. God will bless you I am certian. Happy New Year and Thank you for sharing yourself with us!

  9. Cheryl-409772 December 29, 2011 Reply

    I’m glad you are our number five LInda! God bless you!

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