I believed that 20 years of the mark in a marriage is once achieved then only death can do you apart. As a young adult, I had a strong belief that after marriage, couples do not separate. But I was wrong, after three children and 22 years of marriage, I found myself in a divorce court, and it was against my will and not what I plan for my life.
My life was going in the opposite direction. I was 22 years older, and my faith in relationships and marriage was shattered by divorce. It destroyed my self-confidence, and I didn’t know if any other man would find me attractive or would I able to start a new relationship.
I spent most of my life being mother and wife and never looked outside the bubble. I have been married for more than half of my life. The experience as a single mother would shatter me, and I would think that how I ever adjust as a single mother. The divorce made me depressed. I spent my whole time mourning my death of the marriage. I would never leave the bed with the cover pulled over my head for days and only got up for necessary things.
It was sunny Sunday morning on June 15; I woke up and said to myself “today is the first day of my new life. I have started a new life and start living. So I did that. I put on my favourite clothes and fix my hairs and done makeup and headed out the door to do some necessary errands. There was a specific type of shelf liner on my shopping list. When I walk into K-mart, my life would be forever changed.
I continue my shopping with the exact shelf liners on my list. After that, I navigated the K-marts floor plan of clothing racks and looked for something interesting. There I noticed a man standing up ahead in my path, busy on his mobile phone. I want him to gets out of my way. I walked towards him and hoped he would look up and move.
Well, he didn’t move and looked up from his phone straight at me and gave an excellent complement. I honestly don’t remember his exact words because his complement shunned me. I said thank you and moved on. He walked away, and I walked away, looking back at each other. I shrugged my shoulders and headed to the sunglasses rack.
“So you are checking out some Shades?”I heard someone say when I began to try some sunglasses. I looked back towards him and nodded my head, saying “Yes I am”. Then he says “I would ask out you out for a date if you weren’t wearing that wedding ring. I replied with “That’s nice.”I smiled, he smiled back, and he walks away.
I stood there, thinking about what was just happened. I never took off my wedding ring yet because I wasn’t ready to appear single yet. But, he looks like a different man from any other man that I have dated in the past. His sincere approach towards me, along with acknowledgement and respect for marriage attracted me towards him. I remember my words from earlier. It was the first day of my life, and I have to act swiftly.
I looked around for him. He was heading towards the exit after paying the bill for his items. I grabbed a pen from an empty register and wrote down my name and number on the price tag which I ripped from a piece of clothing. “Here is my number. You can call me sometime.”I walked straight towards him and said. Then I walk away. He asked, “Aren’t you married?” I turned my head, “not for long” I said a smirk on my face.
He called me the next day and told me his name was Sam. He shared that he had two adult children, one grandson, and went through a divorce several years prior after 20 years of marriage. He often tells people” I want to call her the same day, but I had to play it cool.
After that day, the beautiful journey between two imperfect people started. Our story of love took a new turn after that conversation. On Sunday, June 15 2018, we got married exactly five years after the day we met and almost the exact time of our chance meeting.
I could never have imagined that my choice that day would lead to the first day of the rest of my life. A life with a wonderful, loving man.
I was newly separated with three kids and haven’t explored dating for more than two decades. There were many challenges ahead of me because this was all new to me. I haven’t dated outside of my race. I needed to take it slow and close one chapter before moving on the next. Believe it or not, people still stare. In the beginning, I would notice the stares. There would times I would say to myself “why people are starring? Do I have something on my face?” Then I would remember “oh, it’s the interracial thing.”Later I came to learn that not all stares were negative, some were out of curiosity and others were to show support.
Sam and I have many things that are of the same interest. We enjoyed our company and made each other laugh. We understand each other and share our life experiences. Over the past years, Sam and I have enjoyed many things together and travelled to more places with him than I have with anyone else.
Sam helped me develop a love for sports, and I have helped him find love for superhero movies. We started putting together a calendar for live music and outdoor summer concerts in our area to share with others.
When my cousin gave a toast at our wedding, she said “Not only do Emily and Sam love each other. They actually enjoy being with each other.” Just because your life abruptly changes course doesn’t mean it’s headed towards disaster.