Reader Dennis Moore writes:
Last month you featured a story submitted by reader Jack Buettner. After reading Jack’s story, I wanted to share my own life-changing experience.
In October of 2014, I lost my wife of 47 years. I grieved her a great deal and then I accepted the path ahead was mine to face alone.
One day, my best friend called and encouraged me to attend our 50th class reunion in Oregon. I agreed to fly out and attend but didn’t think I would recognize many with a class of over 700 and this having been the first reunion I attended of the many that were held.
While there, I was invited to a cook out with about eight of us that went through grammar school together and it turned out to be a very special experience. I struck up a conversation with a classmate who I barely remembered and hadn’t seen since the 6th grade. Eventually I shared I was living in Florida and had lost my wife. Barb shared with me her own loss, that of her husband. He died five years ago and she was now spending half the year in Florida also.
Then comes the really uncanny part. I revealed to Barb that I had brought some of my wife’s ashes with me to Oregon and had just released them at her favorite campground on the McKenzie River. Barb couldn’t believe it – she explained she’d just gotten her relatives together to visit their family cabin on McKenzie River. Five years after her husband’s death, they also spread his ashes there.
As the reunion trip came to an end, we all promised to stay in contact with each other, which Barb and I did over the next few months. In November, Barb treated her family out of Bellingham, WA and Raleigh, NC to a Caribbean cruise leaving out of Canaveral. I drove from Jacksonville to Orlando to meet her family and give Barb transportation to Sarasota while her kids flew back home. Then Barb introduced me to her life in Sarasota, a life full of beautiful beaches and great culture. I have now also shared much of my own life in North Florida.
Since November of 2015 to present our relationship has been a blessing to both of us, as we’ve not only learned how to enjoy life together but we’ve also discovered how to have a new view on life. Having someone to share life’s challenges and rewards means everything.
The greatest lesson we’ve learned in our relationship is that we really are so blessed in life, we just don’t always see what’s ahead for us…our blessings may be right around the corner!