Who I get to be is because of who they were.

I breathe in. I breathe out.

Air. Oxygen.

Life.

A gift.

I look over and see a man. A strong man. A sexy man. A broken man. A recovering man. His chest rises, then falls. His nose flares. I notice the stuble on his cheek. (I imagine when he wakes up, asking him to pluck the good ones. He tells me no. I pucker up. He allows me a few in exchange for my happiness.)

God has shown me in ways I don’t have time to tell, how to love better; how to manage my anger; how to show true love and kindness. I’m able to work this out with him. I fail but I give it my all. I love because God loves me.

God is allowing me to love this man through the hardest time of his life. I am showing him love that isn’t always reciprocated right now because I believe in God’s promises and I believe in this man.

I am grateful to his late wife. I appreciate her giving me the gift of raising her son in her honor. I did not know her but I have learned from her son and husband and other family members, who she was. I make sure to talk with his son about his mother often. I listen to stories of her life before Heaven.

Loving a widower can be confusing and painful. There are feelings of never being able to fill the shoes of a Saint, knowing if the wife didn’t die, your relationship wouldn’t exist. The contradiction your heart feels between jealous moments and heartbreak for the survivors can be a lonely place at times. I could live in those moments and be unhappy but I choose to focus on the gift of knowing my man does not know the bitterness of divorce and the complicated ongoing frustrations of raising children in separate homes. He had an in tact marriage that wasn’t perfect but that ended as God intended, till death do us part. It was way too early and painful beyond my imagination but she and he were blessed to have had the marriage they did.

I am where I am today because of their life together. Thank you, B.

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