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Dedicated to My Wonderful New Husband
Submitted by Jewell
Four years ago my husband died suddenly of a heart attack and I thought my life was over.
My friend and her husband were taking a cruise and asked me to come along. I hesitated, not wanting to be a third wheel but they insisted.
At our table of eight in the dining room, I chose the seat next to my friend, Joe. Leisel was sitting between Joe and a man named Ralph. Leisel was in deep conversation with Ralph and she told me later that he was a retired school teacher from New York that had taught with her sister. What a small world! Ralph's wife had died two years before and his daughters had booked him on this cruise because he had grieved long enough.
Leisel kept telling me how nice Ralph was and that I should change places with her at dinner but I declined. The third day we were going to lunch as Ralph was leaving. Joe asked him to join us and Ralph and I struck up a conversation. He was so comfortable to talk with so that night I sat next to him at dinner. After the show we talked on deck until the wee hours. He had not dated since his wife died and admitted he was as nervous as I. Ralph asked me to join him on a shore excursion the next day and we had a wonderful time swimming with the sting rays.
The last night of the cruise Ralph asked me to dance. I felt so comfortable in his arms and as we left the dance floor my heart was poundng!
We exchanged telephone numbers and disembarked. The drive back home gave me hours to think. Ralph was spending a few days with his daughter before returning to New York and I feared we would never see each other again.
When I arrived home I picked up the telephone a dozen times before actually placing the call. Ralph seemed happy to hear from me so I invited him for a visit.
He stayed three days, met my two daughters and we discovered we both liked to walk the beach, swim and play tennis. I was sad when Ralph left but he called each day. Several weeks later he flew back to visit and this continued for months until Ralph sold his house and moved near me.
We made plans to travel to romantic Hawaii some day because Ralph had a stopover there when he was returning from military duty. He vowed to return to the beauty of the islands but teaching school and raising a family had not allowed him to do so.
Ralph and I were married in April of last year and every day is like a new beginning for us. To be given this second chance at happiness at our ages is a miracle for which we are truly grateful.