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Have you ever wondered “what if I’d been a few minutes earlier or later” how would that have changed circumstances, the results, what if someone you read about in the news had been a few minutes earlier or later.  Are blessings or tragedies really just random, the wrong place at the wrong time?  Do we have something to learn from those we encounter or situations we’re forced to experience?

A few months ago I was contacted by a person from an online match site.  I thought he was too good to be true, tall, liked the same things I did, expressed the same values as mine, like the importance of family the sanctity of life, the importance of sharing and giving back, good looking, never married, had one adopted son, good job that he loved and was proud of.  Just like the pundits say, ” if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” and they were right.

I spent the next six months in a rosy pink bubble of romantic IM’s and lovely you tube music, plans for the future and sharing our families.  He was due to complete a project he was working on out of the country in the first week of December.  We went through a lot together during those months with family crisis, his son was hospitalized for awhile and mine had a relapse, There was a huge wind storm that blew the neighbors tree onto  the roof of my house and did about $10K worth of damage and it was so good to have someone in my life for a change.  As the days got closer and closer to the time they would be here I got really busy planning and thinking about where they would stay and sharing the holidays with them, my place wouldn’t work with my mom, son and grandson here, no room and no privacy…I longed to felt his arms around me and the close warms of him, we even had a post Christmas trip planned to the Olympic Peninsula and Seattle area for New Years and some outdoor exploring of the Forks area (my granddaughter and her mom are big Twilight fans) He had talked of rings and proposing in front of my family, it was going to be like a honeymoon.

The job was completed on December 5th and that’s when the bottom fell out of my fantasy world.  The government there wanted him to pay taxes on his wages before they would release the funds out of the country.  He wanted to “borrow” the money from me!  After many years raising my family alone after my husband was killed and being scammed by everyone from car repair people to salesmen of every variety, money issues set off sirens and red lights with me.  I immediately went into hyper vigilant mode and began thinking of ways he could solve his problem himself, friends there, his employer, the US Embassy, you name it I thought of it and suggested it.  I’m sure he was  sorely disappointed and frustrated with me and thought he had a sure thing on the line, a lonely, foolish, older woman hungry for love…but not STUPID! When I refused to give him access to my bank account he was hurt that i “didn’t trust me”, I said ” I guess not”  and that was the end of it until January 2 when I got an IM message, “Wow, you ignore me for New Years”

I learned a lot from this experience about who I am, what’s important in life, I’m actually glad it happened because I’ve realized that I can feel deeply about someone again but not lose myself.  I’ve had  several relationships since Paul died and even remarried briefly but never felt loved or loved someone from the heart, only from the head.  I’ve realize that I was shutdown inside, not letting anything or anyone really touch that soft spot in my heart reserved for him and my children.  It’s been liberating to finally open the window of my heart and let the sun shine in and warm me…there are no random events or coincidences if we’re paying attention and living in the moment and I’m thankful to God and my guardian angel for this experience and what I’ve learned.

A Winter Rose