10,700 Miles

Last week, my new husband and I traveled approximately 10,700 miles together. We said our lifelong vows on the 9th and the next day boarded a plane that took us to Paris to enjoy our honeymoon. After three days in Paris, we headed to Rome and spent another three days there.

The sights. The experiences. The food.

It was all incredible. And the best part was that I got to share it all with my love. Then we came home where we were greeted by hugs and kisses from my three children. Now I'm counting down the days until I get hugs from my two adorable stepsons.  

10,700 miles. If I could measure the life journey between 2011 and now, how many miles would that be? One million? Two? It's nearly impossible to say. But the journey has been a whirlwind. And I wouldn't have had it any other way. 

I must admit, I’ve missed being a wife. Being a girlfriend was nice, being a fiancee was fun, but being a wife… this is what my soul craves. 

I never had career aspirations or something that totally drove my every decision like being a wife and a mother has. And now as I sit here, typing these words, my eyes keep glancing down to my left hand and looking at the rings that symbolize my latest life adventure. They make me smile every time I see them. They make me take a deep breath and realize how fortunate I am. They make me feel happier than I dreamt possible just a few years ago.

Yesterday, I was on the phone with someone and we were talking about the honeymoon and wedding. He jokingly said, “But nothing has changed, right?”

Nothing has changed. But everything has changed.

We are still doing our regular routine, sharing our lives as we had been before, taking care of the kids and the house and, in general, adulting. 

But yet everything is different. It’s more than a piece of paper that says I’m married. It’s more than a new ring. It’s a complete shift in mindset. And I love it.

Here I am, a remarried widow. I have taken what is for me a very brave step. I recently wrote about how getting remarried terrified the hell out of me because it opened me up to the possibility of becoming a widow again. And yet, I’ve done it anyway.

A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships were built for. (John A. Shedd.) 

I have boarded a new ship and I am embarking on new journeys. I’m sure there will be safe harbors along the way, but there will also be rough weather, a churning sea and glorious sunsets to witness.

Once again, I have a partner in life. He has been since I met him and I am forever grateful for his patience. Dating and building a life with a widow is not for the faint of heart. A widow who is willing to move on with her life and build a new one is a strong, strong woman. 

The dust from the wedding is settling. The memories of the honeymoon are still fresh and magical. And I keep taking moments, every day, to look at my left hand and smile. To appreciate where I am and where I have come from. To honor the fear that worked so hard to keep me safe and to revel in the courage that took the fear by the hand and said, “No worries. I got this. We can do this together.”

I am one incredibly lucky woman. And I am so blessed that I can share this with others who are on their own journey.

And now, on to the next great adventure, whatever that might be.