{Divorced Life Dating} Fish and Valentines


Friends are quick to offer hugs, Kleenex lay hidden in their pockets just in case I burst, and people tread lightly around the name Charlie. Part of me wonders where the past three years have gone and part of my wonders “How did you find the strength to move on?” Three years is just a fraction in time, but time it stopped on Valentine’s Day. It stopped the moment Charlie became the fifth car in a nine car pile up, it stopped the moment he became the fourth person to die from their injuries. That day was the worst day and the days leading up to February 16, 2012 were the slowest days of my life.

I hung on to every second, every minute, and prayed with all of my heart. That day God failed me and I had to face a life without love. The moment Charlie died, my heart it broke in more ways than I can possibly describe and I lost my faith in the world. My hopes of a country chic wedding with a twist of elegance and a beautiful life were dashed. One person, one person’s decision took the wind out of my sails.I only got to love Charlie for a fraction of my life and he, he loved me until the last breath he took.

A part of me believes that he knew that he would only be a dot on my time line. He Gave me his heart, he peeled back the layers, calmed my fears, and with his love he mended the scars. One man took the time to heal my heart and with that he restored my ability to love. Without Charlie I would still be a semi bitter divorcee. A small piece of my heart will always be for that man. Charlie taught me what love was truly like, he loved every inch of my gloriously flawed self. My heart it needed to heal and in my heart of heart’s I know Charlie would want me to fall, to fall the way I fell for him.

I have fallen, fallen for someone who truly gets my cup of tea. Yes me, little old curly haired me has found love. Honestly, it kind of just jumped out of no where and bit me in the ass. I have no doubt that someone above pushed and pushed until I stepped out of my comfort zone and took a chance. Tomorrow is about spending the day with an amazing man. A man whose eyes light up when I walk into a room, who calls me beautiful when I’m a mess, and who tells me “you are the best woman ever.” Jay makes me smile until my cheeks hurt, a feeling that I haven’t felt in years, he makes me laugh until I am in tears, and his loving eyes never leave mine. This, this thing that I have is something I dreamed of and waited for. Something I lost three Valentines ago and now I finally have it back.


I have this intense desire to make this the best Valentine’s Day ever and I cannot wait to spend the evening with Jay. I bought what I hope is the perfect gift and I have decided to indulge our inner toddler by buying tickets to the MOA’s Sea Life Adventure. Ya know, because in my mind there is nothing better on Valentine’s day than Love, Fish, and watching movies with the muppet like dog.

{Divorced Life Dating} Light Up The Room


There are moments where I have thought to myself “maybe your relationships fail because you are incapable of deeply loving someone.” That thought is clearly irrational, yet my track record is not. I was married at 25, divorced by 27, engaged again at 29 and lost my fiancé at 30.

Over the past four years dates have been a plenty and relationships are short lived. I never gave anyone a chance to get past my mote and I rarely took off my armor. Emotions make things messy. I wanted the benefits of a relationship, just not the emotional side of things. In my mind if they didn’t get into the deep then they couldn’t hurt me.

Divorce hurts, burying your fiancé hurts, and letting go hurts. Charlie’s death was easier to deal with than my divorce. Divorce in its own right is like a death, the death of a dream. Yet with death there are no awkward run ins with your ex or “I wonder what there doing” moments. It ends at the grave. You bury your heart in the ground and walk away to fight another day. You walk away to rebuild your heart piece by broken piece.

Repairing ones heart is easer said than done. Your heart never truly heals, you you just learn how to live with the void. Charlie will always be apart of me. He showed me what love was and what a relationship could be. He used to tell me “AJ, you light up the room!” His eyes would sparkle and I knew in that moment that I was his everything.
Charlie’s eyes could not hide his love for me and I soaked it all in. Death does not stop love, love never dies. It is the reminder that we need to heal our hearts and to move on. It is the dream that we build our lives upon and that dream deserves to be lived.

Living is what I am doing. Unexpected moments are my crack. On Veterans Day fate took over and a marine walked into my life. (Yes another one) His heart, smile, wit, and charm caught me off guard and I slipped my armor off. I opened up and let him into the deep. He didn’t run nor flinch, instead he fell for me.

Happy?! Heck yes I am. For once I am happy, I am letting myself fall, be swept away, but mostly I am allowing myself to enjoy the process. I have laughed more in the past month than I have in two years and my cheeks hurt from smiling. In this marine I see a sparkle, his face lights up when I walk into a room and that says it all. I have someone who lights up and wants me simply for me. And that is fucking awesome!

{Brave} Let Thy Sea Glass Heal My Heart

Let each piece collected heal my heart

Let each piece collected heal my heart

At the close of summer I found myself with a full hand of sea glass. My excitement grew as I held my treasure up to the sun and when I got home I placed it safely into Charlie’s jar. That day would be the day Charlie’s jar would no longer hold anymore glass. It was officially full. I laid the last tiny piece on the top, I felt a weight lift off of my shoulders and I was over come by a warmth I cannot explain. In that moment with that one tiny shred of sea glass I let go of my fiancé. My mission was complete, with teary eyes I whispered “Goodbye my love, I will see you again one day.”

That one tiny piece of glass allowed me to open my heart, it gave me the strength I needed to put myself out there and to look for someone new. My friends helped me compose a profile and soon I received responses. Most were lackluster or endless email chains. I am to old for games so endless emails are not my style. In essence I am wise beyond my years, my heart is sacred and I deserve the cream of the crop. Except the cream didn’t respond to my profile. Online sites were getting old, duds filled up my inbox, and speed dating was fun, but I never came up with a winner. Hope, I was losing it and slowly retreated back into my solitude.

That is until one day a Marine emailed me in actual sentences and paragraphs. I wrote back, my two sentence responses led to paragraphs, the paragraphs led to text messages, and soon he would be sitting across from me at Burger Jones. That first date was only the beginning. To his surprise I asked to see him again and then again. Soon my birthday was upon us and he met my family for the first time.

My parents eagerly awaited his arrival and welcomed him into the fold. We had lunch at The Bronks in Lake City, picked out a pumpkin at Pepin Heights, and like always found ourselves drawn to the water. This was to be the last nice day of the year and I wanted to go for a walk on the beach. I found a few pieces of glass, my Mom she brought me a few more and so did my sister. The Marine quickly noticed that everyone was helping me and he to took up the search while skipping rocks. As my hands grew full I explained that when Charlie was alive we would search the beach for his precious sea glass. Of how I spent my summer looking for glass to fill the half empty jar Charlie left behind.

That night when I arrived home I put my spoils into a new jar, to my surprise it was filled to the brim. I snapped a photo and fired of a text proclaiming a success. The Marine’s response caught me off guard “Next summer we’ll have to fill an even bigger jar!” He doesn’t know it, but with those words read I became a teary eyed mess and in that moment I knew I was finally brave enough to let someone new into my life.