Jess is often put in a tough position of writing reality or smoothing the edges to protect those we love. Though she often produces some very “graceful grit” as I like to call it, our truth is painful to hear sometimes with the grief we’ve endured and the ups and downs of a new marriage and blending two families. God has given her a gift with words and now He has called on her to write about what He puts on her heart. She must face things that the majority of women don’t have to. Women who are not married to a widower have the advantage of looking their spouse in the face and saying “I don’t want to hear another word about your ex-girlfriend or ex-wife” and be understandably angry with the words uttered about them without any guilt. They can even complain to their mother-in-law and often get reinforcement or even arsenal in her defense. It is more than acceptable, it is expected. Jess and all of those women brave enough to marry a widower must hold their tongue, smile and nod even if they are hearing it from their current husband…according to our society. I think these women have endured many hurts being married to former widowers and we had no idea how emotionally painful it can be to them. I can speak only for myself but I am a man and think like most men and unless my wife looks me in the face and tells me something’s bothering her, I probably won’t get it. At first when Jess brought it to my attention I was caught up in the way society viewed it and told her she would have to just get over it. Society has always dealt with death and grief in a particular manner and she was not going to be the exception that society bent over backwards for. So much for the perfect husband you had me pegged for:) I really thought it was her problem and she would have to find a way to just smile and nod her way through. I have come to a new understanding over the last year and it could be labeled as an epiphany. I finally got it after many long conversations about how painful some of the actions that we (former widowers) commit towards women who marry us can be. When I said my vows to Jessica, I made a choice to love her and her alone as my wife. I chose to let go of my past life and move forward with her and our 7 children. That was a conscious choice I made before her, family, friends and before God. My commitment was to honor and cherish her and I would do anything to save her from any more pain. She has suffered enough. We are who we are because of what we have lived through up to this point, we are acutely aware of where we came from. Now we must live in the moments we share together not the past that led us here.
Just keep livin!!