I didn’t get first place in our local Valentine Story contest, but I did get my story published in the local paper. The contest was to write your Valentine Story so this is what I wrote!!
Yes, I’m In Love With Two Men
I know it sounds strange, but I’m in love with two men.
Although my story really starts when I was in high school, I will fast forward to a beautiful Sunday night, April 29, 2012, when my husband collapsed right in front of me while we were getting ready for the start of a new week. We had just celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary on the San Antonio Riverwalk. We had both been traveling for work the week before so one night on the Riverwalk was all we could fit into our busy schedules that year. Before I knew it, the ER physician was telling me that they had done all they could, but they couldn’t save R’s life.
I was devastated. There were no signs of trouble with his health. He hadn’t complained about not feeling well or pains in his chest. He was simply there with me one minute and gone the next. My life would never be the same because the man I loved the most whom I depended on for everything was suddenly gone from my life.
Our children who were in college at Texas A&M at the time both came home to help me deal with arrangements. Family and friends filled our home, and I wanted for nothing except to have my wonderful husband back with me.
The church was full with family and friends for his memorial service. While greeting a co-worker of R’s, I noticed someone waiting to speak to me. I looked up to see Dr T, one of my best friends from high school. It was so wonderful to see him standing there. I grabbed him, hugged him, and told him how much I had thought of him that week. I had thought so much of him that week because he had lost his wife a few years before. While talking to high school friends who had come to support us, I made sure to tell him that I wanted to be in touch with him. I knew that if anyone could understand what I was facing it would be him. I knew from past experience that if someone could help me process all this and deal with my new reality, it would be him.
Time passed and my daughter, M, was about to leave for her study abroad in Europe. I was dealing with all the “business” that goes along with losing someone- probating the will, dealing with insurance, dealing with bankers, dealing with lawyers, dealing with all the well-meaning people- the list goes on and on. My son, C, was making plans to return to college. I felt my life spinning out of control, and I decided to reach out to Dr T to find out how he dealt with all of it.
I emailed him one night and verbally vomited onto the page all the emotions, thoughts, and feelings I was having. He emailed me back soon and dealt with each issue honestly and practically and helped me so much. Thus began our email counseling sessions that would become a lifeline for me. Eventually, the emails became phone calls. Those late night phone calls helped ease my mind at the end of long days. Phone calls became visits with each other. He came to see me in Texas, but it was the first trip I made to these beautiful mountains of New Mexico that began the soul healing for me. I usually slept most of my visits as exhaustion was my “drug of choice” while dealing with my grief. Being with someone who had been so special to me and who truly understood what I was going through was just what I needed.
Our relationship picked up right where we had left off all those years ago in our early 20’s. I hadn’t seen Dr T in many years, but I knew the special relationship that we had. That special bond that we had always had with each other was still there. I felt comfortable and calm in his presence. I knew I could trust what he was telling me. I knew that God had planted a very special seed in our relationship all those years ago, and now in this difficult time in both of our lives, that seed was beginning to grow.
And then, one night during a late night phone call, my mind had a big “wait a minute” moment. I was telling Dr T about an idea I had for my school where I was a librarian. I was telling him the quotes that I was going to use with this project, and before I knew it, he was reciting a poem that I had never heard before. If you are a lover of words as I am, then you know how powerful words can be in our lives. These words Dr T was speaking were more than words, they were feeding my soul, and I knew that our relationship was moving into a new dimension.
The next time we saw each other, things were different between us. He still made me laugh. We still talked about R and V and our losses, but we also knew that things were moving in a direction away from great friends and into a romantic love that was very scary for both of us.
The next step was dealing with the emotions that come with finding new love after losing a spouse. Dealing with guilt, anxiety, fear, doubts and all the other emotions that came our way became our new normal. We worked through things and decided that the distance between us was too far. We didn’t want to be away from each other any longer so we decided to get married. I quit my wonderful job, left the greatest friends in the world, and moved to New Mexico to start a new life.
Being married to someone who was such a close friend has been fun. We still talk about R and V and the lives that we had. But luckily for us, we also get to dream of a bright future with each other.
So, yes, I’m in love with two men. I’m in love with the man of my past, the father of my children, the man with whom I grew up and with whom I created a beautiful life that was lost way too soon. I’m also in love with the man of my present and my future- the man who still lets me cry when I need to, who always makes me laugh, who has given me my life back.
I’m so thankful for second chances at love on this Valentine’s Day.