I was so excited to hear his voice! I had enjoyed my evening, even though it had been so stressful, and I was filled with hope that Saturday morning although I had been up most of the night. As I talked with him, it became apparent to me that the preceding evening had been filled with emotion for Mike. I had no way of knowing that on that particular night, December 15th, would have been his tenth anniversary to Jennifer. When he shared with me that it had been such a blessing to have spent the evening with me, on a night that had been filled with such heartache the past three years, I had no words that would come out of my mouth at first. I was trying to find the words that would be appropriate and that would not sound trivial.
I finally remembered my dear friend at work who was also a single parent but had lost her husband suddenly years before in a car accident. She had given me great advice a few days before. She had told me to be myself, to ask questions, and to not fear talking about Jennifer with Mike. She told me that at times in her life different men she dated would become upset if she mentioned her late husband or his family. She told me to not to feel jealous. She shared that Mike would want to talk to me about Jennifer and it would make all the difference in the world if I could be supportive in this manner. Her wisdom that day gave me the courage to listen to Mike when he shared his story and to have a desire to know more.
We talked a long time on the phone that day and he asked me to join him and his children for lunch after church. I was hesitant at first because I had always said I would never involve my child until I knew it was ‘the one’ but I decided to trust my gut and go.
That first meeting with those three precious children could not have been more perfect. They are very close in age and at the time that I met them Seth had just turned nine; Zachary was getting ready to turn eight, and Hannah was six and a half years old. My son Matthew was twelve and a half. I will never forget that day. I had worn a purple outfit and so had Hannah. She has the most amazing blue eyes and has glossy brown hair and the purple just set off her features. As Mike helped me from the van I felt little fingers grasp my hand and I looked down to see her smiling up at me and hanging on to my hand. She told me she loves purple. I told her, “I do too” and we walked off hand in hand into the restaurant. Inside my heart melted and I knew that no matter what I was going to trust the Lord and that He alone knew what was going to take place. I wanted to let Him guide this budding relationship. To be continued…