Moving forward, not moving on. . .

I know some of my late husband's friends were surprised I found someone else and got married so "fast." It was just one of those things that happened. And after losing two men in two days who I loved and cherished, I realized that life is too short to not be happy.

I remember when I met my current husband, Chris, online. We exchanged emails and phone calls in July of last year and from the beginning it was strictly a friendship. He needed someone to talk to, as did I - at least someone who wasn't closely associated with us or family. It was kind of like psychotherapy for us both. I encouraged him and he encouraged me. I cried over the phone and he did, too. We had a lot of things happening personally to us both that we couldn't share with anyone but us. He helped me. . .a lot. I helped him. . .a lot.

I was dating some people I'd met online and my construction guy, which Chris knew. He still wanted to meet in person for lunch, mainly to put a face with the voice and emails and to thank me for being such a good friend.

That was a year ago today, at Hampton Beach. I remember driving there, on my cell phone with him, trying to find him. When I did, it was one of those "uh-oh" moments. But a good "uh-oh." He was much better looking than the photos he'd sent me, he was very tall, and his eyes just blew me away.

We had lunch and were shy at first, but soon began talking like we did over the phone. We just clicked. But because he wanted to be just friends, we kept it neutral. We did walk along the boardwalk for a bit, then when I left he gave me a big hug. It felt good and on the way home, I had mixed feelings about the whole thing.

When we talked that night, he admitted he was blown away when he met me. But we agreed that being friends was better, because he lived three hours away.

Well, that went down the tubes the next week when he was supposed to get a newer used car to meet me for lunch in Marlborough, Mass (a halfway point for us both). He was frustrated and said he had a couple of presents for me. The next thing I knew, he called and was driving his beat up truck to Maine. . .at 2 in the morning.

We talked and things went from there. I don't even remember what the presents were.

He is a patient man. He told me he was going to steal me away from the others I was dating. And he did. Geez, I ended up marrying him, didn't I?

Sometimes you find love when you least expect it.

Which leads to what I started to write at the beginning, I have not moved on. I was with my late husband for almost 20 years. You can't just forget that or sweep it under the rug. But I have moved "forward." I'm not sitting at home alone, crying every night and not living. I'm working, I'm writing, I have a wonderful man in my life again, and I am *happy.*

I could live another 40 years, or 4 days. Life is way too short. Whatever it is, I plan on being happy each and every day, even with all the stress that comes with life.

I think the biggest shock for everyone has been that now I have an instant family - three stepkids, two of which spend a week a month here. I actually like having the kids around, but believe me, when they go, it's a relief to have the house back in order. The dogs like them, too, but at their old age, they get worn out, so once a month is more than enough for all of us.

Today we're going back to Hampton Beach to have a late lunch at the same restaurant. Except this time we'll eat all of our lunch (last year we were too nervous to eat it all, ha ha). And we'll walk along the boardwalk again.

He's such a romantic. He makes me so happy.


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