I know people feel differently about how long you should wait to begin dating after you lose a spouse and I have no judgement about it. My mom remarried two years after my dad died (and only six months after he lost his wife to cancer) and they have been happily married since.
After dinner with friends on what would have been our 17th wedding anniversary, I decided to check out the online dating scene undercover. I knew I was not ready but I was bored, curious and six months into this, I felt maybe it was OK to see what this mysterious world was like. If you gives you any idea how it felt, I did some serious soul searching after to see if there might be an inner lesbian in me somewhere. But there is not.
I am sure there are some good guys on there but they all looked scary to me and made me sad because I really just wanted to go on a date with Jay.. or "Jorge Clooney" which is what I liked to call him when we went on dates because of his George Clooney resemblance. A few months ago, I found my journal dated January 4, 1998 from when Jay and I started dating and I wrote "I had a great time tonight with Jay. i just love talking to him and I feel like I could talk for hours and never get bored." I would say that is one aspect of our relationship that never changed in the almost twenty years since my first date with Jorge Clooney.
As I deleted my online dating accounts later that night, I noticed I had a Facebook message that was sent on January 30th and for some reason, I had not yet seen it until this night. I opened it up and it was from a friend who Jay knew very well. As I read the below words, I realized this was the tender on our anniversary I was wanting.
"Jay really did love you and the kids with all of his heart. I promise you that is true. More than you will ever know."
I think what is so tender about love is not the happily ever afters or the holiday cards. I think tender happens at night when the lights are out and the world is sleeping. It's the part of our love that the world does not see. It is not perfect. It may yell or be sick at times. It might be scared. Or tired. It may want out in moments. And it may seem crazy to anyone else. But in the end, it knows it is home.
The below song is Van Morrison's Crazy Love with Ray Charles.