After Keith died I had to face the realization of my situation - I no longer had a husband and Brooks no longer had a father. Deep within me I really hoped that the Lord had someone else out there for me, but of course I was unsure. Whenever I would think about it I automatically thought of this person as my #2 with Keith obviously being my #1. The more that I thought of this the more discouraged I got. I didn't want a #2, I wanted another #1. A #2 to me would be settling and, consequently, not what I wanted.
What Keith and I had was terrific. Top-notch. Solid. We spent significant amounts of time just hugging because we fit together like a puzzle. In fact, I can see the two of us in our kitchen. It's locked in my memory. We would stand there, embracing, and Keith would let out a deep breath before simply saying, "Just like a puzzle," and I would repeat, "Like a puzzle," and there we would remain. He was made for me and I was made for him. Several times we spoke about how we might not have tons of money, but we were rich in love and that's the best way for it to be. He would say, "We may not have a back yard. We don't even have our own mail box. But I have you and that's all I need." He said those types of things and he meant it. And after thinking about these things I made a decision - I was no longer looking for my #2; I wanted a 1B. I didn't want a step down; I wanted a continuation of what I had since time with my 1A was cut short.
I decided that I wanted someone of Keith's caliber and that if it wasn't possible, then I wasn't interested. I had five fantastic years of marriage and was fortunate to have conversations with Keith about how we might have loved each other more in those five years than some people love in a whole lifetime. This formed the basis and foundation of what I was looking for as I thought about what I wanted for the remainder of my life.
I quickly realized that I was not looking for someone to come in and save the day. I wasn't miserable. I was making ends meet and planning for the future. I didn't need someone to swoop in and pull me out of a terrible situation. My situation was far from ideal, but manageable, and I had come to terms that there was a really good possibility that I might've had a lifetime of marriage packed into five short years. There might not be anyone else out there for me. If that was the case then I was okay with it; I would be content knowing that what I had was real.
I also realized that what I was hoping to find was a tall order. I'm sure there is a chunk of the population that doesn't find it once so who am I to think I'll find it twice? Did this person even exist? And if so, would he understand what he's signing up for? Would he understand my situation? Would he be able to love Brooks like his own? Would he feel like he's living in Keith's shadow? Yep, a tall order for this one I was hoping to find.
At the first of this year I decided I wanted to take a trip somewhere this summer. A trip of a lifetime. I didn't know where or with whom, just that I wanted to do something BIG. I stumbled across our friend from San Diego who had recently moved to Australia and thought I might be on to something. He was Keith's friend and I really only knew him in passing. I knew a lot about him, however, because Keith LOVED him. He ended up moving away from San Diego and landed in Dallas...so Keith set him up with all his buddies.
In April of 2009 Keith had his accident. Patrick came to Austin and cried over his buddy who was laying in a hospital bed. He read him scripture and prayed over him. Later that fall, before he moved to Australia, he sat in the nursing home with Keith, Brooks and me just as many of Keith's friends did throughout his time in various hospitals.
As odd and random as it might've seemed for me to plan a trip to Australia, it always seemed completely normal. Although I didn't really know Patrick, I felt like I did because of how much Keith revered him. As my trip began unfolding, Patrick and I began communicating more and more. Suddenly there was a shift in our conversations and we both realized the magnitude of what we were dealing with. It's still very early, but I think I found my 1B.
Not all that long ago I thought that if there was somebody out there for me it would be because I was scraping the bottom of the barrel. From there I became completely content in my situation and trusted the Lord to provide in whatever shape He deemed appropriate. Never would I have imagined that He would blow my mind and knock my socks off at the same time. :)