1.25.2012

the new guy


So, my closest friends and family know this already, but it's time to let the rest of the world know:

I'm dating.

Yes, you read that right. It sounds weird to me too. I never thought I'd ever say that - people thought I was ridiculous for thinking I'd be single forever, but I truly believed it. Not only because I couldn't imagine loving someone the way I loved Jeremy, but also because I never thought there'd be anyone out there who'd be willing to take me and my baggage and my three very young children on.

Thankfully, I was wrong.

Where do I begin? Before I start to tell you all about this wonderful guy, let me begin by saying this: I'm not here to play games. I'm not dating just anyone for fun and I have a lot of grieving still left to do. Jeremy will ALWAYS be a part of my life, my story, and my children's lives and I would never settle for anyone who wasn't understanding of that. Anyone who is going to love me is also going to love Jeremy. End of story.

Lucky for me, God placed this incredible man in my life and it's undeniable how perfect we are for each other. In fact, I saw God weaving our lives together before I was even ready to accept it, and it scared me cause I didn't think I was ready. But he has been incredibly patient with my fragile heart and the last few weeks have been completely life changing for me, if for nothing else than the fact that he has opened my eyes and heart to possibilities I couldn't see before. He has given me hope for a future I never thought I could have.

Everyone, meet Steve:


And no, that's not his real mustache :)

I've known Steve for almost 2 years now. We share a few mutual friends (in fact, some our best friends, which is quite nice). It helps that I've known him awhile. I know his character. I know he is an incredible dad. I know he loves God. I know and love his daughters and our children are friends. I know what his good friends think about him. I know what he's been through. 

Aside from the fact that I've known him awhile, we have both been through painful experiences. I have been praying for Steve for a long time, and for his daughters, while they struggled through a painful transition in their lives. We both know what it's like to hurt for our children, to grieve a future we'll  never have, and we have both tasted hopelessness in its ripest season. One of my favorite things about him is that we both have perspectives about life that most people don't get to have: We have loved and lost and we no longer take those things for granted. It changes the game.

If that's not enough, Steve is a grief counselor (insert ironic chuckle here) and works in Hospice. In fact, he was the director of Camp Hope where Faith attended this summer. And he is probably one of the most patient and thoughtful people I've ever met. He's romantic and sweet, but shares the crass sense of humor that I miss so much from Jeremy. And speaking of Jeremy, not only did he know Steve, but they were friends - not close friends, as he lives out of state, but I remember Jer really liking him - and I trust Jeremy's judge of character like none other. And our girls seriously look related, it's freaky:



New Years weekend brought us together, along with our mutual friends. And we've had a great time together since. We've spent a lot of time talking on the phone, getting to know each other better and really determining if this would work or not. Our friends, knowing that we were well matched, have spent a lot of time praying with me and helping me open up my heart to the possibility of letting someone in. Steve has managed to calm all of my fears and reservations with his patience, kindness, and understanding.

The more I get to know Steve and his daughters, the more I feel God working in our relationship. But it has not come without bumps. This is scary, it's new, it's different. It's changing some of my other important relationships. It has brought me face to face with pieces of grief I had not yet experienced. I think my biggest fear is that people will see me in a new relationship and think that I'm over my grief.....but it's not something I will EVER 'get over' - it's with me for life. I'm afraid people will stop mentioning Jeremy and stop talking about him around me, and that would just completely break my heart. Steve is so great at asking me question about Jeremy and letting me talk about him, he understands where I've been and he appreciates who it's created me to be. He also knows that Jeremy's family is my family and they mean the entire world to me.

I've spent hours upon hours talking to Jeremy about not just Steve, but also about letting him go enough that I can let someone else in. I prayed God would show me right away if this relationship wasn't something good because I couldn't put my children or my heart through that and I didn't want to waste my time. I spent the first couple weeks trying to find things wrong with Steve, and honestly, nothing stuck. I don't know how to explain it, but I feel such peace from Jeremy about Steve. He treats me so well, he genuinely cares about me and my kids, my kids love him, he cares about my relationship with Jeremy (he has told me that one of his favorite things about me is the way I love Jeremy because it lets him know that I am loyal, which is a love he's never experienced before), and he wants to take on the responsibility to honoring him and remembering him with me - everything else seems secondary.

I have a long way to go. I am still figuring out who I am and who God wants me to be in the midst of all the dust that grief has left me in. But I'm thankful to have found a man that I not only care a lot about, but also a guy I know Jeremy would approve of.


And no, that's not my real mustache either :)


Thank you to those who have encouraged me, who have prayed for me and who have let me express excitement in a new relationship. Happiness these days still comes with a lot of guilt attached to it, cause I don't know how to do it without Jeremy. Luckily, I'm discovering that I don't have to - I get to bring him with me.

It feels good to feel good.


I posted this on my facebook status from another fellow widow blogger, and I've carried it with me since:
“We must be willing to let go of the life we had planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” – Joseph Campbell

45 comments:

Amy said...

That is awesome and i"m happy for you! You deserve to be find happiness with someone!

Moosey Mommy said...

Maybe it's the pregnancy hormones, but I am sitting here bawling my eyes out. With happiness that you have found someone you care about and who is a great guy. With sadness that you can never be with Jeremy again, but glad that you do have him inside of you and all of your memories. I wish you nothing but the very best, and I am glad you are able to go forward with your life. Good for you, and may God be with you during this time!

Renia Flaishans said...

Vee,
I am SO happy for you and the kids! You are young, you have every right to be happy. You have all rights to feel love again and to give love to someone again and if that special man is Steve, then GO FOR IT! He is in no way shape or form replacing Jeremy! Your kids deserve to have a man in their lives that they can look up to and enjoy life with. And again, he is not replacing Jeremy!
From reading your blog since Jeremy passed away I can tell that Jeremy is a huge part of your and the kids daily life and always will be!
I think this is a wonderful thing for all of you. I cant wait to hear more about this wonderful new path in your journey.

Sarah-Life is what you make it said...

I can't be more happier for you! you deserve someone that makes you smile! I know Jer is happy you and wants you to be happy-either with a man or not.

He seems like a great guy, I wish you two many more years of fun and laughter :)

jennybortell@blogspot.com said...

Congratulations Veronica~ That is such wonderful news. Our family has said many prayers for yours. Have to say, I knew you were way too cute to be alone for long. :) God bless your heart, Steve's, and all those beautiful babies.

Abby said...

Hi Vee,
I've been following your blog since the love bomb shortly after Jeremy's death. I pray for you and your family a lot, especially because through your words, your pain seemed so real for us (readers) to feel to. My heart broke for you, for the way I could tell yours was.
It's odd because I really don't know you at all, but I just wanted to send a quick note to say how happy I am for you, and for answered prayers. I hope that things with Steve work out, and it seems like you are really considering the most important things, your children, your family and past, and your faith.
My prayers are still with you- goodluck!

jolanthe said...

I have met you a few times and know you through a mutual friend ( Kelly Mitre). I have wept for you and prayed for you and your beautiful children. My daughter, Claire, and Faith have played together in the Lifetime kids room. I have tears again but this time they are tears of joy!!! I am so happy for you both!! And in no means will Jeremy ever be forgotten. His memory will live forever in the hearts of all those who knew him and his blood runs through your children.. He would what this for you--- to love again. That I am sure of. LIVE VEE!! May GOD indeed bless you and your family and whatever HE may have planned for future. Your Sister in Christ, Jolanthe Bassett

Maureen (Moe) Buck said...

Veronica- I'm so happy for you!!
I don't doubt for a moment that you would "jump" into anything, but instead seek God and His direction. I'm so thankful for Steve in your life.
Words can not express my joy.

Hugs,
Moe B.

PS: You are an AMAZING writer... I enjoy visiting your blog. You don't just say the apple is red... you describe it so well, I want to take a bite! And i know it was a short time we spent together at LTF, and we didn't really get to "know each other" enough... but I'm fortunate to be your sister (in Christ) and am inspired by your ability to reach others. You challenge me and you don't even know it. HUGS!!

Nicole said...

So happy for you, Vee.

Donna said...

So HAPPY for this new path God has opened for you...hang on. I'm sure the ride will be thrilling!

Jess said...

I've been following you for quite a while and I never comment. Mostly because I just didn't know what to say. There just weren't any words I could form to magically heal your heart. But I have consistently prayed for you, your family that one day it would all get better in time and that healing would be a slow somewhat paint process but that eventually all the abundant blessings God has in store for you would begin to surface. I actually was following your blog before your life changed so suddenly. Anyways, in short, I'm so very happy and excited for you and your family that in the end, someone Jeremy would have approved of is around to live and experience life with in an attempt to heal, remember the legacy he left, and live life to the fullest like he would have wanted you to. :-)

Cindy said...

Soooo happy for you, and I know others who have been in similar situations who also found that special someone ..again! ;)

Heather said...

I know we aren't close, Veronica, but I have prayed for months that someone would show up to be a support, shoulder, a friend. Anyone with have an ounce of love for you and Jeremy will never think any ill of your dating someone. I'm sure he knows but Steve is lucky to have a gem such as you. Lots of hugs, prayers, squeals and jumping up and down for you.

Cory said...

I have been following your blog, but have never thought I had the right words to leave a comment before. I truly believe when you start to care for another man, your heart will just grow bigger - You won't have to compromise your love for Jeremy.. Your heart will grow and there will be room for both. And I'm sure he's so happy for you.

erynn said...

Yay! So happy for you! In my experience, everyone may not agree with your timing but it's God's timing. You are young, beautiful and have a lot to give a special man and you deserve happiness! Don't let anyone stop you!

Kristin said...

I've been following since before you lost Jeremy. I remember your post when he died as it was just days before I gave birth to my 3rd baby. My heart ached for you. I've continued to follow you as you've walked through your grief and I am so happy to hear of your exciting news!

mollygirl said...

Hi Vee,

I'm not sure if you remember me or not, but be we bartended together at Marios. I have followed your blog for quite sometime and like others, I've never commented before because I didn't know what to say....there were no words. But I had to comment on this post, I am over the moon for you!! This made my heart smile so big for you :c) I would read your blog every night and cry for you when you were sad, smile with you when you were happy and pray for you and your beautiful babies before I closed my eyes at night that God would bring you and your family some peace. You are such an AMAZING inspiration to so many and for that I want to say thank you!! I can't imagine the pain and suffering you have been through, but following your posts you have overcome so much with such an incredible, positive outlook. I didn't know Jeremy, but I feel like I know him so well though you, what an amazing guy!! I think both God and Jeremy had something to do with bringing you and Steve together :c) I just wanted to let you know, I, along with SO MANY others are so thrilled, excited and ecstatic for you!! Like you said, Steve isn't and won't be a replacement for Jeremy, but you deserve more than anyone to have someone special by your side :c) Continue moving foward, you're doing a fabablous job!! Sending lots of love and prayers to you, your beautiful babies, Steve and his beautiful daughters!!

xoxox~Molly

Anonymous said...

I don't usually comment much on anyone's blog....but I have to say this post isn't one I can let pass by without saying something. Your blog is amazing -- I only started reading it this past Fall after Melanie Feehan (the Coupon Goddess) mentioned it as one of her favorites to read. I got caught up on a couple of posts each night and my heart broke for you and your family. I've been inspired by your faith, your love for your children and for Jeremy. Finding new love for yourself and your family is wonderful...and I wish you much happiness as you continue on this journey.
--Pam A.

Lucy said...

I'm another "Love Bomber" who's been stopping by the blog--and praying for you and your family--ever since. Will continue to do so as you continue your journey of grieving and growing through grace.

Jill said...

Good for you. I have been in Steve's place, dating a widower for eleven years - it is a blessing (a strange one, but a blessing nonetheless).

Amanda @ Heart Tree Home said...

I'm so happy to hear this. You absolutely deserve some more happiness in your life, and in no way does this take away from your love of Jeremy.

m&msmommy said...

I have been following your blog since right after you lost Jeremy and my heart has always ached for you...as I've followed your journey, "experienced" the birth of your son without your husband by your side, etc. my heart genuinely hurt for a complete stranger, because as a mother and wife, I just truly can't imagine ANYTHING you've been through...however, reading this post today, just brought me such joy (again, crazy to think about since we don't know each other AT ALL!!! :) but I am completely overjoyed. You deserve to feel happiness again (in a relationship), you deserve to be loved again, and I have no doubt that Jeremy is completely okay with all of this. For you, for your children, for Steve, for his children...it's all a God thing, that's for sure! :)

Continued love and prayers being sent your way! :)

Brooke Simmons said...

Tears in my eyes right now...pure joy for you because I am in the same exact situation and it is the most wonderful and hopeful feeling! I literally could've written this post myself- everything you said is exactly where I'm at and how I'm feeling with my new relationship. May God continue to bless the two of you!!!!

Roger P Mulligan said...

good one Vee. good luck as you guys grow together. and coming from an irreverent goof - he sorta looks like a goof too - which is a compliment. in your 'stash photo, you remind me of Alison Krauss. aunt Rilla and I look forward to meeting him - does he moose hunt? love uncle Roger.

Allyson & Jere said...

Congrats to you! I'm really happy for you to be at a place where you can even think about this new venture. You are really such an amazing woman, and it's been a privelage to read your journey. I hope that everything works out just how it's s'posed to and that you can really and truly find happiness for this next phase of your life. You DESERVE it!!

The Ramblings of a Thirtysomething Wife said...

So happy for you and the kids. I know Jeremy is, too. Have fun and enjoy all your moments together :)

glenda said...

Congrats! So happy for you, Steve and the 5 kiddos! Wishing you a lifetime of love, health and happiness. Follow your heart! Jeremy will always be a part of your life and you will carry him with you!

You are young and beautiful...you deserve to be happy! Best always!

Karen Peterson said...

Congratulations, Vee! I think it's so wonderful that you have this new relationship and love that it's someone that knew Jeremy, too.

Good luck! I am so happy for you.

Gramma King said...

To our precious Veronica, Grampa and I wish you and Steve all the best. We've been praying for something like this to happen for you. I know God will guide you both in building a good life together. None of us will ever get over the grief of losing our beloved Jeremy. We can't bring Jeremy back but we can go to him someday. We love you and your wee ones very dearly. Take care, Gramma.

Hilary said...

Congrats to you - I was so happy to read this. Steve seems like such a great man, and really has to be to take on your situation. I'm sure Jeremy would want this for you - whatever makes you happy. It's not for anyone else to judge. Best wishes to you and your future!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post! I am so happy for you (and your new Steve:). I don't know you, but, have prayed for you and your family often! Good luck and Congratulations again. God does work in mysterious ways:)

Anonymous said...

As weird as it probably feels now and again... it's amazing to know that your heart has expanded enough to be open to love again... You are so young and have your whole life ahead- - what better thing to do than fill it with happiness and more memories. The heart is a funny thing... it can break into a million pieces but oddly over time resemble a heart again... Good for you, and keep the updates coming... There are a lot of people who are happy for you and think this is the best news you've shared on your journey so far!!

Unsinkable Kristen said...

Consider my mind blown.

I came across your blog because I know Adam & Kelly from Anderson, but I've been reading here for so long and that I had almost forgotten that is how I "knew" you. Then I saw Steve's picture and was totally taken by surprise - I've known him since I was in junior high!

Wow.

Anyway, I am so happy for you. Steve is WONDERFUL and exactly as good of a man as you think he is. You both will be in my prayers as well as all of your lovely children. I pray nothing but the best of blessing on your future!

Emily said...

Loved this post and love this news!!! I am so happy for you. You are so amazing, thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

gorgeous.. is all I have to say. Have ready ever since you lost your husband.

enjoy every moment of this new love- and you will never forget yoru original love.

He is looking down at you from heaven and smiling.

All my best,
Aimee

All.For.ONE.All.For.HANNAH said...

Yippee!!!!! I have been following your blog for quite some time now as well, and I am so ecstatic for you and your precious children, Veronica! Jeremy will ALWAYS be a HUGE part of your lives, even your future because he is the daddy of those beautiful babies of yours. Coming from a girl who has experienced and is now living a beautiful, God sent second chance, my only advice to you is of course to continue to seek God and His perfect plan, and also to embrace "second chances"... because I am living proof that they can be beyond beautiful... Praying for you and BOTH of your families during this time :).

My Husband's Watching TV... said...

So so happy for you Vee! Sounds like God and Jeremy have lead you in the right direction. Prayers for you, your family and your future! *Hugs and prayers, my friend!*

white collar | green soul said...

I am so incredibly happy for you; so happy that you have found someone that let's you open up your heart and who is good for you and your family.

He looks like he has a good sense of humour, too!

- agata.

Anonymous said...

You are an inspiring young woman. Thank you for being so truly honest as always!! I strive to be half the woman you are. You are truly amazing!! All the best on your new adventure, praying for happiness and love for you always.
Lots of love from Canada

Kim said...

Wishing you ALL the best. And sending many prayers you way, always.

BerryMorins Bits & Tips said...

I've love how you have shared with us your journey.

Missy said...

This post screams, "GOD IS FAITHFUL!" to me. Maybe he's not always faithful in the way that I want, but he always comes through.

Love, love love this for you.

Jan said...

Dear Vee, I have kept up with your journey of greif, prayed fervently for you and your beautiful children and as a widow who's husband died suddenly as well, I praise God for allowing you to be able to feel again. You are a great inspiration to me and to others. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being an example to God's calling, not yours. He is blessing you Vee and you are so deserving to find peace and happiness with a Godly man. I am so proud to be a part of your life in such a small way but big way to me. God is good and he blesses us when we allow Him to take the reign. Please know it is my hope someday to meet you face to face. Today, I am praising God for opening up your heart to a Godly man. I love you and am so proud of the woman you are.
Jan

Desi said...

Oh dear God I am so happy for you right now! I am crying at my desk, so happy for you and not totally able to understand why it affects me so much... like I know you but I don't, yet I am cheering your happiness on! You deserve this, Vee. You deserve love and happiness and I'm so utterly ecstatic that you can start to look up and feel happiness again. Jer will always be a part of your heart. Don't worry about what others say or think about it.... YOU have to move on and live your life. You've been alone for a long time now. It's comforting knowing Jer would like him too. I love that he isn't trying to replace Jer and understands that he will forever be a part of your lives. He sounds like a keeper :) Can't wait to keep reading!!!

Anonymous said...

I would love to ask you and Steve for some relationship/spiritual advice in not such a public forum. I have been divorced for 7 years and although it is not the same as a loved one dying in a lot of ways that is how I think of it. The person I thought I knew and married went away. I have two children and although I'm not a ten :) I am losing hope that God has another someone out there for me....any thoughts?

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails