July 6th, San Clemente, Ca It was a very fun weekend watching fireworks sitting on the beach. I smiled at every beautiful burst in the black sky, illuminating over the water, shedding light on the hundreds of kayakers, paddle boarders, and surfers watching from a better front row seat than us (not much better because we were dry). With my arm around Julie, I quietly shed a few tears that Lindy wasn’t here in person to see this beauty. She absolutely loved beach life! Julie loves the 4th celebrations (I do too) and wanted me to experience her vibrant beach town, as well as, her friends and their private access to the breathtaking, Cypress Cove. We started out in San Clemente watching the Office Chair Race, where people with their own rolling office chair carts raced down a winding hill, often cheersing the crowd with their beer, and fighting to stay upright, occasionally wiping out in the crowd (yes I laughed! Sadistic. I know)! Then it was off to sit on the beach, lather up with sunscreen, wade into the tide and find baby octopuses in the seaweed, and meet her wonder friends that were sprinkled up and down the beach. She knows everyone! Her friends that we went with that had the beach access, and their kids, are amazing! I felt like I had known them for years. After the beach and dinner with them, we went back to San Clemente to watch the fireworks on the pier. After the show, we were walking back through the town to our car, often dodging the amateur pyro’s feeble attempt at an illegal fireworks show, I had another surreal moment. With the background of this small towns celebrations, I saw myself holding hands with the second most amazing woman I have ever known. She is so kind and pretty. She pays attention to me when I talk and rengages with fasccinating, thought provocative conversations. She genuinely cares about me. She is strong, yet gentle. We can disagree, get upset, and be made up in a matter of minutes. When we don’t agree with each other, at a not-too-much-later time, out-of-the-blue, we are both good at, especially her, apologizing when we know one of us was wrong. She speaks her mind in the most sensitive way. She is always graceful and loving with me when I get emotional about or mention Lindy. She is vey affectionate. She is super smart and doesn’t take any smack! (I have no doubt, Lindy and her would have been good friends had they met at another place in time). Most importantly, she has a heart for The Lord. She really was meant to be in my life. Getting to be the godfather to one of Lindy’s best friends son, Billy, and having a friendship with her and her husband Paul, and getting to see them every time I am out here, has been an honor and a joy. Being apart of their life has been a great, and a great way to keep Lindy’s spirit alive too. I am so looking forward to seeing Billy grow, and I am hoping to be a good role model and significant man in his life. Seeing with a new eye, to what equates to my new path in life, is both surreal, emotional and healing, as I embrace all the new joys God has placed in my life. I want to believe Lindy has Gods ear in all of this. It’s all very healing the more I accept, every day, this new, exciting life as it gives way to me understanding that her memory doesn’t ever have to die, or become second. She lives on in all I am becoming in her physically absence. My involvement in my grief group(s) has continual taught me that we all grieve differently. It has also taught me that those that have lost spouses move on differently. No two people grieve the same. After having your partner in life ripped away, there comes a time that you have to push to move forward or we risk becoming dead while we are alive. Living is what they would want, expect and cheer on for us. For everyone I have met that has lost a spouse, and has managed to forge a new life, I thank you for inspiring me. I realized at a point in my grief, I had to also consciously force myself to engage in the process of building that new life. I know it’s all in God’s time, but you also have to look for the doors he opens, and be willing to walk through them. It’s been a perfect process for me in retrospect. It was two years in February, this year. I was still in deep grief, but telling myself it was time to try and meet someone else. I read one of my post two days ago, that one of Julie’s friends found on my blog and reposted. Her friend lost her significant other, Kenny, a year ago. After reading her post that she inserted my post in, I remembered that I had met Julie (in an unexpectedly, wildly, crazy way) 8 days after I wrote and commemorated the two-year mark of Lindy’s death. I remembered that Julie and I talked and emailed for a month before actually seeing each other. It was the perfect courtship, for where I was in my grief. It made me feel 16 again, as we got to know each other through all day text, late night text, asking hard hitting questions to each other and basically not being inhibited with our questions. I remember the first time we saw each other. She picked me up at John Wayne airport. As I could see her getting closer, I took my wedding ring off (that I have been wearing on my right hand in memory of Lindy) for the first time since buying a replacement, shortly after I locked my old one on the bridge in Paris. This may not sound like a big deal, but in my mind it was a huge deal! My point is, God truly does allow joy back in your life at the right time. The beautiful thing is, his timing is always the perfect timing. He has slowly allowed me to let go of enough grief, at the right time, to find a place for this kind of joy in my life again. If I look down from a birds eye view of my life since her passing, I can’t deny the hands of Jesus at work. He has guided my life perfectly since her death. Every time I prayed for something I needed, God provided. I’ve learned to live simply. I’ve learned to appreciate everything and everyone that God has placed in my life. When opportunities arise, as long as I pray about it, and listen and act on the answers, it works out for my good. I have pledged my life, and time to helping others find the joy found in desperate dependance on God. I get great pleasure in helping people in need too. It seems that when I surrender my wants and ambitions to Him, I get abundance in my life. To have potentially found a second love, is amazing to me and something I never thought possible. To have met new amazing people who care for me, is a great, priceless feeling. For me to pour myself into others that I can relate to in grief, gives me hope that my life will not be lived in vain. I still miss Lindy every second of every day. She was my everything and I will never forget what we had. I have dreams often, that she is in, where we have current, relevant conversations to my life. It’s as if she is really there helping me make decisions. I can’t explain why this happens, but I wake up the mornings after feeling happy that I connected with her. I feel she will always be with me beyond just memories. I don’t know the mysteries of the world, but I’m encouraged and happy that one day I will know those answers and get to see her again. Until then “Death becomes beauty, and love transcends that line”. It’s funny how words I put to music in grief have evolved beyond what I intended them to mean originally.