I have been, probably far too busy these last several months dodging responsibilities and laundry and my feelings. When Jason died, I had never realized that it was going to take losing someone again, to teach me that I could love again. It actually hadn’t occurred to me that I could love again. Most logical thinking people wouldn’t need to be reminded of this. Even after stepping out of a bad relationship/marriage, most people understand that finding happiness is a possibility. I did not feel like it was, because I could not think logically. First, I didn’t think I deserved to be alive. Why should I breathe, Jason can’t? Why should I eat, Jason can’t? Why should I feel joy, Jason can’t? (Of course I take into account that he is in Heaven, but my mind didn’t do this, initially). These emotions played in and out of my head on a daily basis, but my children trumped my psyche, and I knew on this earth was where I belong. I began to go on dates, not many, just a few.

It’s crazy out there! I’m not designed for the single life. I’m a nurturer, I prefer to be devoted to one man. So, one can see how I’m kind of set up for failure in this arena. I began seeing someone that Jason knew. He is someone Jason had worked with for many years, and going into this, that weighed very heavy on my already guilt-ridden mind. I was continuously grotesque to myself because of the guilt I felt. I kind of felt like I didn’t even deserve to be dating this ridiculously great guy. We went out. We did lots of different things, walked at the park, sat around the bonfire, laid in bed and talked about stupid things for hours at a time. I absolutely love his company, and I felt completely free to be myself. He is very good to me. He is kind and sweet and loving, but he doesn’t let me give him any shit and that is a huge turn on. In short, we carried on for, what seems to be over a year now.

At some point, he made it clear that he wanted more than a weekend lover, and it scared the hell out of me! I jetted. I let go. I suddenly felt like I might want more too, and instead of following my heart, I let my head lead and it was incapable of doing so at the time. I had let go and he had to move on. Not long after and to my dismay, I realized how much I care about him and I had made a grave mistake, but it was too late. We’re still close friends, and I want nothing more than his happiness. The most important part of this experience is that through the mistakes and disappointment and heartache, I was able to learn that I can feel again, and I can love again, and I can be happy again. Perhaps the vital point…I deserve to be and that’s where I dropped the ball. I shot myself in the foot when I had him, because I wasn’t convinced that I deserved to be happy.

However, I am so grateful to God for this experience, simply because Josh’s existence and influence in my life taught me that I not only can be happy but I deserve it. I guess I had to learn it the hard way. I sometimes think maybe Jason sent him to me, to cushion the fall that he knew I would eventually suffer in a world unknown to me. He knew that Josh was a good man with integrity, and one of the most beautiful hearts a man could possess. He is the perfect man to teach a harsh lesson about myself. He held my heart in both of his hands, and cradled it, even long after we had parted. It is a very humbling experience to have a broken heart, but feel gracious for it. I was so broken for so long, but I’m beginning to feel enlightened. As though this was all written somewhere, and somehow, Josh and I will be happy, even apart. I finally feel like I have control over how I feel, instead of letting grief control my emotions for me. I was drowning in grief and I could not find anything to grasp, but he put his hand out and saved me. I regret that our time was set at an unstable moment in my life and I know that we’ve both suffered some bumps and bruises along the way, but I do not have any regrets about this relationship. I grew as a person and a woman. I’m stronger and smarter and more aware of who I am and what I want. J.R. Walker, thank you and I’ll always love you!