Thursday, December 5, 2013

When Aimee's mother met my new girlfriend

This is one of those posts I wrote months ago (last spring, actually), but didn't feel like it was a good time to post it. Obviously, some things have changed since then.

Donna has been aware of my dating Sarah since basically the beginning. While she'd been very supportive of the idea of me getting out and dating again, once I was actually dating someone, it became a little harder for her, at least initially. There was no way around it - in a way, I was on my way to replacing her daughter. Donna saw that eventually someone else was going to fill some of the roles that Aimee had filled, particularly Aimee's roles as my companion and as Rowan's mother. And I realized that if I did in fact get remarried someday, that would also potentially bring in new grandparents, aunts, uncles, and more. More relatives to share attention with. More people 'competing' for Rowan's time, attention, and possibly affection. (Donna doesn't care a whit about getting my attention.) :)

But I give Donna a huge amount of credit. She also remembered what it was like to lose a spouse, and she completely understood my desire to find companionship again. I also assured her that seeing someone for more than a few months did not automatically indicate wedding bells in our future. This would take time.

So she continued to be supportive and understanding, and she trusted how I handled things with Rowan. It also continued to be hard for her, but she bucked up and bore it.

And then Donna and Sarah met.

I was preparing to go out of town for work for a few days, and Donna came by the house to pick up Rowan. Sarah was there spending a few hours with me before I left, and I let Donna know that Sarah was there so it wouldn't catch her off guard. Donna said that was fine.

When she arrived, the three of us (Sarah, Rowan, and I) were out in front of my house enjoying the last bit of sunshine of the day. As Donna got out of her car, she immediately walked over to Sarah and hugged her. I was amazed. In that one brief moment, Donna put Sarah at ease and her own discomfort aside, and welcomed her.

I honestly didn't know what to expect, but that wasn't it. Seeing Donna's reaction was so heartwarming to me, knowing that she'd do whatever she had to to support me - I just appreciated it so much. And it reminded me once again how lucky I am to have the people in my life that I do.

Everyone else has also been extremely supportive, both of me dating again, and of Sarah specifically. Although Donna is the only person from Aimee's family to meet Sandra, Justin and Caroline have expressed a desire to do so, and support us being together (as of when this was originally written last spring). The same for Aimee's closest friends.

As I said, I am truly a blessed man.


  1. HI Pat,
    I just happened on your blog when I was reading comments left on Teryn O'Brien's Blog, Identity Renewed. I have been inspired as I have read some of your posts here and watched the "mermaid / swimming video of Rowan and her Mommy. I just wanted to say God Bless you and Sarah in this blossoming, human connection , and even tho we've never met, I will be praying for a strong, loving and growing relationship. Joan Walker Page Georgia, USA

  2. Hi Joan,
    Thanks so much for your kind and encouraging words. This has certainly been a whole new arena for me, but by God's grace I seem to be doing things as well as could be expected, and it's been great having so much support .

    Thanks again for stopping by my blog. In particular, if you know any men going through grief and loss, please consider pointing them here.


  3. Pat, I am completely supportive of you dating again. Not only as a person who knew Aimee personally, but as a person in general. I honestly do not think Aimee would want you to go on in life alone. I am sure she knew there would times that Rowan would need a mommy figure, even though Donna is a grandmother, supporter family member, and a friend. I know Aimee would want you to be happy, and if Sarah makes you happy, I am happy for you both.

    1. Pat, I remember when i read the news of Aimee and the tragedy you were experiencing so suddenly and how it impacted you but many others and especially Rowan,,,I just weeped ..I didn't really "know" you but I knew of you from work at World Vision. But now to read this very heart warming story of what is unfolding for "you all"...i am thrilled beyond and shedding tears of joy. God Bless you and all involved in your life and same for Sarah. Wonderful tesitimony of God's love for you and all. Merry Christmas and Congratulations!!

    2. Thanks Hollie. I've certainly been blessed to have so much support from so many people, including you.

  4. Hi Pat,
    I am so very happy for you!! Congratulations to you, Sarah and Rowan! I'm sure that Aimee is dancing in heaven with the news as I know that above all else...she would want your happiness.
    I have watched your blog and was so sadden by the sudden death of Aimee. As a trauma nurse I have been involved in giving bad news to family's so very difficult to be the bearer of such news. It effects those of us involved in trying to save a life...especially one so young.
    I applaud you for having the courage to find love again. And to Sarah...she must be a very special woman as I'm sure her journey has not been easy.
    I met a man a in 2012 who lost his wife to cancer shortly before Aimee's death. We dated for a bit and were very happy. His adult children, however, had a hard time with it. He ended the relationship in order to help his children through their grief. Although I understood...I was devastated.
    I'm so glad that you have the support of her family to start life anew. What a gift. Good luck to you. Merry Christmas Pat. Be happy!


    1. It has been my experience that, like many other things in life, those who've never lost a spouse can not fully understand what it's like. So it's no surprise to me that his adult children struggled. Heck, when Aimee's father died, she struggled with the idea of her mother dating again. It's normal, but I'm sorry that it came between the two of you.