November 11, 2020

chapter two

"I'm a little bit scared," he said quietly in the dark of my bedroom.

I looked over and from the moonlight shining in the window I saw his curly head poking out of my blankets he had burrowed under. 

“What are you scared of?” I asked softly.

There was a pause. 

In that moment, I wondered what was about to come out of my little boy’s mouth. He was weeks away from his world changing yet again. How was he processing this?

“I’m scared that you will want to spend all of your time with Joe and not with me.” He paused thoughtfully, “I still want you to spend all of your time with me.”


It’s true, I spend all of my time with my kids. 

Every. Waking. Moment.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids. It’s just… Every. Waking. Moment.

My littlest is pretty attached to me. My biggest has been learning to spread her wings and I can venture to say that she can survive without me. For a while. She’s gone to camp. Sleepovers. Camping. She’s learned that she can go and come back, and everything is ok. 

Little man, on the other hand, still worries that if I go to the store without him, I might get into a crash and die.  

It’s not an unreasonable fear when you learn at a young age that we are mortal.

It’s been four and a half very, very long and very short years since we said goodbye to their Papa. It’s taken that long for me to remember to refer to him as my late husband. Sometimes I still forget to use that verbiage. Which can be confusing.

Especially when I talk about my soon-to-be husband. 

Which is the change my little was worrying over one night after I had tucked everyone, myself included, into bed. 

“Oh buddy,” I say knowingly, “you get to spend a lot of time with me, don’t you?”

I see his little head shake in agreement.

“And it’s going to be a change for us. For all of us. No doubt about that.”

More nodding.

“But you know what? I think our lives are going to be so much better after Mama and Joe get married.” 

“Yeah. Like, I’m really excited to finally have a dad again, but then I have to share you.” 

“Change is hard. For all of us. But think about what you can do with a dad that you can’t with me.”

He thinks a minute, “Fishing. And RC cars. And I don’t think you want to watch Jurassic Park all the time.” 

I smile, “Yep. There are a lot of things you and Joe will do together. Even if you do see me less, you’ll see him more.” 

That thought sinks in for a quiet minute.

“Mama,” he finally says, “I’m glad you’re marrying Joe.”

“Me too, sweetie.”

“I think I can go to sleep now.”

“Ok. Run on and get to bed. Goodnight.”

“Night Mama!”

As my youngest scampers out of my bed and off to find his own, I’m left alone with my thoughts. 

I’m getting married.

To someone who isn’t my husband. 

But who will be my husband.

Life is such a bumpy thing. Like a gnarly tree with knots forming every which way, life has so many twists and turns. 

I never would have imagined the night I met Todd that I would marry him almost two years later. 

I never would have imagined that I would become a missionary and travel the world. 

I never would have imagined that I would have two love stories in my life. 

I sit here tonight, a week and a half before what we widowed folk lovingly call our “Chapter Two” officially begins. The prologue began this spring and we’re about to turn the page and start a new chapter. 

It’s kind of a lovely idea, actually. 

Chapter one was a great chapter with interesting characters, surprising plot twists, and an unexpected ending. 

Chapter two? I’m sure that I can’t even imagine all that is in store for us. But I can’t wait to find out. 

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