Tying Another Knot

SOMETIMES YOU JUST NEED TO LAUGH I found myself a widow at age twenty-seven with two small daughters. As dearly as I loved my husband, he was not with us any more. Was I to live the rest of my life raising our children alone and living alone? This can be a very difficult decision for many who find themselves single again after being married. Having been very aware of the joys and challenges of marriage, I wasn't as naive and optimistic as I was at nineteen, when I was married the first time.

At twenty-seven, with children, I was keenly aware of the seriousness of choosing another husband. After some time had passed, a good friend arranged a blind date with a widower she knew. Talk about terrifying! But we actually enjoyed each other's company and had things to talk about because we both were widowed and both had children. We dated for several months, and then spent the holidays separately, to honor the holiday memories we had made previously. We were married in the spring and took a spring break trip, just the eight of us. I'm not sure what we were thinking when we entered into this marriage, but as they say, go into marriage with eyes wide open, and thereafter, have eyes half shut.

Making a second marriage successful can be very fun, but quite challenging. We spent a lot of time on our knees, pleading for direction. While alone, I found myself having many conversations with the "other wife," asking how to best guide and love her children. I know that she helped me, because sometimes I would say something and my husband would say, "That's just what she would have said." We also had our own adjustments to make between the two of us. Sometimes we would slip and call each other the wrong name. It just would happen, and we would have to laugh and know that it was all good.

We had to learn not to compare each other to our first spouses. We were different, and sometimes different was good. I often felt that I was being compared to a perfect person. I think when someone young and vibrant dies, those left behind often venerate that person to an imaginative degree, and I felt, as the new wife, that I simply couldn't compete with perfection.

As I learned that no one is perfect, I gradually have tried to stop being disappointed with myself for being human. I have learned to love someone else's children as my own. I have learned to love and forgive and move on, while remembering good things and sweet times and cherished memories. One of our favorite family activities is to watch old home movies on Sunday evenings. It is vitally important for our children to have these memories and to know that ours is one big family, even though some members have gone on ahead.

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