To many.....18 is just a number. To me it embodies so much more than that. It is the age when you become an adult. So many kids look forward to this age with such envy. We were always in such a hurry to be 18. We could do what we wanted because we were adults and we could vote. I guess we could choose to buy tobacco if we wanted and purchase lotto tickets. We could even sign our own permission slips! I remember this being one of my favorite things. I always signed my Mom's name anyway - she would never remember to sign my stuff and I was a good kid - so she allowed me to do this. I always told her any time I had to sign it.
To me and my family, however, 18 has a much different meaning. 18 was always Malea's lucky number. I don't know why it was - just every time a number was involved for her - it was 18. Dave asked me to marry him on the 18th of February. It was a special day for me for a long time. We got married on the 8th so I guess the number 8 is likely more significant than the 1.
In 2014 the number 18 became the worst number I could ever imagine. The date that Dave died. It was no longer Malea's favorite number. For quite a few months - probably close to 2 years - that date on the calendar I was just in a bad mood. Sometimes I wouldn't know why I was just in blah - but then I'd realize it was the 18th. My body just knew it was a bad day.
It just occurred to me though that I'm getting married in 2018. I don't know that May will ever be a good month for us (Malea told me she refused to come to the wedding if I got married in May) - but maybe we can turn this 18 around. I have to believe that because it once was such a good day - it can be an awesome year!!! 1998 was a really really bad year for me. 2008 was pretty good though - as that is when Keagan was born. 1988 was pretty good - Selena was born then and then 1978 of course was an awesome year - because I was born then :) I did turn 1998 around though as that is when I actually met Dave - so maybe the 8's are good to me. Please be good to me 2018!!!!
When Dave died, I was determined that I would be alone for the rest of my life. I was only 36, but who would want a widowed single mom of 2 kids? I pretty much put it out of my mind. I longed so much for the warmth of someone to be there for me. Someone to love me and someone to talk to and that would always be on my side.
My marriage to Dave wasn't perfect.....but it was pretty close. I can't imagine many better marriages than ours. I never thought I could have what we had again. I had told Dave probably about a year before he died that if he ever died - I would want to marry again. I had read an article that said if you had a happy marriage you were more likely to want to marry again. For a while I just wanted someone to help me around the house. I wanted to have a partner, but since I didn't think anyone would be intersted in me - I just wanted a friend.
It took me 2 years to even think about dating. Then nobody was really good enough. I just was testing the waters to see what kind of people were out there. The pool wasn't that great. I think I went through nearly every online dating site and found some real I hate to say losers - but they definitely weren't winners. I didn't tell anyone that I was doing this. I didn't even tell my kids. After a while I had a friend that I actually did tell - and she was really supportive. She cautioned me to be careful.
I was ready to give up when I met James. I had gone on a few dates and they just didn't go anywhere. It was mostly me - but a couple were them that didn't want to continue. James was a breath of fresh air. He had a job, a decent car and just seemed really down to Earth. I didn't feel like he had an agenda. He had 2 girls around my daughter's age . One big negative - he lived in Ohio!!! I can't date someone from Ohio. He was really close to my Grandpa though - so I figured - hey - that isn't too far. He worked 3rd shift and in order to meet him soon enough I had to go to him. I was able to watch his softball game that he played in with his church. It was pretty lonely sitting there talking to nobody - but I really enjoyed watching him. He was shy and cute and just adorable with his kids. I didn't meet his kids - they happened to show up at the game to see him.
James and I haven't known each other long but it has been a wonderful time. We are so in love and can't wait to start our lives together. I can't wait for him to find a job here and be able to see each other every day. Now it is pretty much weekends only and that seems forever away.
We have had some bumps in the road. I'm not sure how I will do as a step Mom. Navigating life with an ex wife has not be easy or glamorous and has really pushed me to my limit at times. James and I are a great team and we believe in the power of prayer. We know that God can help us through this and I believe it will bring us even closer in the long run.
Please pray that James will find a great job - on first shift fairly close to my house. He is a great worker and is leaving a job that he's comfortable with in order to be with me. I love him so much for moving his life rather than me uprooting everything we have here. Pray also for me that I can have the patience I need and tolerance to work through this whole 2nd wife/step-Mom thing. I know I let my emotions get in the way at times and I really am trying to be calm and level headed.
Thank you so much for all of the support. I never thought I would ever find someone to love me let alone be perfect for me. I'm truly blessed twice in my life. I only hope that I can bring as much joy to his life as he is bringing to mine!!
I am a wife and mother of 2. I have many different interests - baking, home renovations, music, education ;)