I have been a bit absent for awhile and hope you will forgive me. As those of you who have been with me a while know, my husband of 44 years passed away in August of 2014. The last couple of years have been difficult and challenging. I have had many ups and downs, shed many tears, spent many a night going to sleep hugging a teddy bear made of one of his old coats.
I never thought that I could love anyone again, or have anyone love me. I am a very independent person by nature, and after he passed, I had to become even more independent. I think many men don’t find that a necessarily attractive quality in a woman. I wasn’t sure that I could give up the control I had in my own life in order to create a happy marriage with another person.
One source of comfort and solace for me has been the LDS Widow/Widower Facebook group. There are about 2500 of us in this group from all areas and all walks of life. However, what we all have in common is the loss of our mate. We know how to comfort each other. We understand what we are each going through, or at least as best as any one person can understand another’s trials. I have cried on their shoulders and they on mine. They are an amazing group of people.
A few months ago, I had a very distinct communication with my departed hubby. He let me know it was time to open my heart to love again. I was overwhelmed at the thought. I believe it was a Friday night when this happened. I cried, heart wrenching sobs, all weekend. I couldn’t understand my reaction to his counsel. In an effort to understand, I reached out to my Facebook group of fellow travelers on this road of widowhood. They were able to help me understand my emotions and that I felt I was closing a door on a chapter of my life.
As a sign of my willingness to begin opening my heart to the possibility of love again, I switched my wedding ring from my left hand to my right. I also had a conversation with the Lord in which I explained that he was going to have to bring the right man to me because I wasn’t going to go looking for someone, get the wrong person and make a mess of things.
I began the somewhat painful and difficult journey of preparing myself to feel love again. You would think that would be easy, but not so much. I cried a lot. I talked to my husband, a lot. I talked to the Lord, a lot.
In the course of 2 to 3 months, my heart was softened and opened up enough to allow me to desire to meet someone. Then I had another spiritual prompting to remove my wedding ring all together. I obeyed as I had previously obeyed.
Now, I entered a new phase. Okay, let’s take a look at this. I am 64 years old. I haven’t dated since I was 18. Here I was feeling as giddy as a schoolgirl about the prospect of seeing someone. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, I was a mess. I did have a very nice interaction with a gentlemen who was a friend of a friend. But, the timing wasn’t right, or we weren’t right for each other, but it was a very pleasant experience to have someone at least show interest in me and in having a friendship. It helped me to feel alive again.
I had shared with my Facebook group about the ‘date’ I was going on. One of the widowers in the group reached out to me to see how my date had gone. That started a 4 hour discussion on FB. Following that discussion, he got off work at 11:00 p.m, got a couple of hours of rest, then drove the 5 plus hour drive from Houston to my house here on the Lake to join me for a late breakfast. We have pretty much been inseparable since, despite the fact that he was living 5 plus hours away. Let me share our story with you from his perspective:
Our story…Not for the faint of heart.
A wish come true.
In our world of Widows and Widowers there are always these types of questions? “Will I always be alone?” How will I know if a relationship is right? How would I fit in another family? Will someone have me with all my faults and short comings? I have had such questions and many more. Fortunately, I have had these questions answered by a wonderful, beautiful woman, Regina Partain.
It may sound crass, but when I went to meet Regina the first time, it was to make an assessment of her. What kind of woman is she? What kind of testimony does she have? Is there any possibility of having a relationship with her? Could a spark be developed between us? I have always felt that there had to be a face to face meeting to really make an assessment of another person. Even though we have social media as well as modern video communications, nothing can replace the meeting of people face to face.
Unsurprisingly Regina had the same frame of mind, as I. She wanted an assessment of me. How I would treat her? How well could I communicate with her? What positive assets would I possess? One day we met, nearly as strangers, at her front door. After a small hug we proceeded to the kitchen table to get to know each other. The questions initially were about us, who we were, what we wanted, what we liked and like to do. As time went quickly by, we began to get hungry. (I had driven to her home for the anticipated breakfast that she promised…in the middle of the afternoon.) So we both ventured into the kitchen and started to help each other, like we had been doing this for years. During and after the breakfast we asked each other even more questions; about our spouses, how were we coping, what each wanted in a companion, and many others.
Gradually, during the times we were together, we found in each other many of the aspects that could solidify the shaken social and personal foundations that the loss of our spouses had created. We began to see in each other the beginnings of potential relationship.
The whirl wind of questions and answers, prayers and fasting and more prayers created an environment where we were able to see clearly in determining what we wanted, what we needed and when we would want it. So on May 6th 2016 my sweetheart Regina and I will be marching down the aisle…so to speak…and become one.
Special thanks are to our spouses, whom we believe have supported this union. To our family and friends who have supported us, to Bishop Gillespie for marrying us, and to the Lord for his unfailing love.
The End…into a new and wonderful beginning.
Rendel (Douglas) and Regina
So, my friends, after a whirlwind romance and marriage, I am the New Woman In The House. I am now Mrs. Douglas Rendel Bergman. My husband, Rendel, is a sweet, kind, sensitive, romantic, intelligent, talented man who adores me. He respects my independence. He respects and admires my accomplishments. Far from taking away from our relationship, these things strengthen it. We are equally yoked spiritually, which is another plus. I love to listen to him pray as you can truly tell that he is communing with the Lord.
I know my sweet hubby of 44 years is happy for me. That is what he wanted, my happiness. I know my Savior is happy for me as well and wants me to be happy in my remaining years here on the earth.
The giddyness of the high school girl has been replaced with a sense of joy and peace in finding someone to love who loves me. I am thrilled that my grandchildren absolutely adore him. I am looking forward to meeting all of his family and growing to love them. They have been so very welcoming and accepting already.
Rendel is joining me here at the Lake. Together we will run the Bed and Breakfast and Lakehouse. We will travel together speaking to groups around the country. We will write and publish books together. He is a very gifted writer and poet.
I believe the Lord has a plan for our lives. I am so grateful for the plan that he is unfolding in my life today! And, I am grateful that he literally brought this man to my doorstep.
I would love to get your feedback. Please share your comments below.