Throwback Thursday from December 2013. Bill and my love story... appropriate reading for Valentine's Day.
Thicker than Blood
“He’s ten years older than me!” I
said to my friend, Kathy, as she tried talking me into meeting her husband’s
“You don’t have to marry him; just
go out with him. I hate seeing two of my closest friends hurting the way you
are and thought you’d be good company for each other.”
Recently widowed at the age of
thirty-two, I was anxious to be married again. Bill, on the other hand, was
separated, with no plans to ever have another wife. Yet, once I agreed to meet
him, we clicked and started spending all our available time together.
With four daughters between us,
alone time was a precious commodity. We spent hours on the phone, talking late
into the night. With each passing month, we grew closer and closer. Yet, we
still had opposite marriage goals for our lives.
It wasn’t long before I was, as they
say, head over heels in love with Bill. He’d walk into a room and take my breath
away. However, my feelings made him uncomfortable. After all, he was still
in love with his wife, and wanted nothing more than to work things out with
her. While I agreed that would be the best thing for him and for their two
daughters, it was apparent the family was not going to reunite.
He admitted his struggle one night as
we sat listening to The Moody Blues. “I don’t know what to do,” he said. “I
have strong feelings for you and can’t imagine my life without you, but I still
“Of course, you do,” I empathized.
“I’m not asking you to stop loving her. Loving me doesn’t preclude how you feel
“I don’t understand. How could I
possibly love both of you? It just isn’t right.”
“Who says it isn’t? Don’t you think
I still love Jim?”
“That’s different. Your husband is
I paused, trying to put my thoughts
into words. “Do you remember how you felt about April when she was born?”
“I loved her with everything in me.
What does that have to do with anything?”
“Well, when you found out you were
going to have another baby, didn’t you wonder how you could possibly love a
second child the way you loved the first?”
Still confused, he answered me. “I
“So, when Mindy was born, did you
have to take some of your love away from April in order to love her?”
“Of course not. I just loved her...
as much as I loved her sister.”
“Exactly,” I said, confident my
point was made, “you didn’t have to split that love in two to share it. Your
heart simply grew.”
“That’s a good way of putting it.
But I still don’t understand what that has to do with us,” questioned Bill.
“Well, I’m not asking you to stop
loving your first wife. She’s the mother of your children and you were with her
for over twenty years. Love like that doesn’t go away. But that
doesn’t mean you can’t love me, too. You just have to give your heart permission
Over the next few days, he thought
about what I said. And then, it happened. Not only did he allow his heart to
grow, but he also gave himself permission to say the words I desperately wanted
“I love you, Hana,” he said gently,
tears filling his eyes. “I really love you.”
A few months later, sitting across
the table from me at the restaurant where we’d had our first date, he asked me
to marry him. Naturally, I said yes.
We’ve been married for over twenty
years now. My children, who were only nine and seven when we wed, were blessed
with the best daddy they could have hoped for. Now, with children of their own,
Grandpap is the heart of the family.
“You’ll never find anyone who will
love Bethany and Jessica as much as Jim did,” a relative told me the week after
my husband’s death.
She was wrong. Bill loves my girls,
our girls, as much as he ever loved his own two daughters. Blood is thicker
than water? Maybe. But love is much thicker than blood.
SOUP FOR THE SOUL: THE DATING GAME