Not too long after my first wife, Tina, died at age 48 of complications of diabetes, her cousin, Sandy, entered my life. Sandy, in her late 60s going on 27, had read a column I had written, which had been sent to her from Tina's Aunt Mart, in Minnesota. Sandy lives at the opposite end of the country, near Washington, D.C., and we have been emailing back and forth ever since. We are the odd couple: me in the mountains of rural Oregon, she in suburban Virginia. I consider her my mentor and, even more so, the big sister I never had. Sandy played an instrumental role in getting me through grief recovery and gave me good advice as I launched back into dating.
Even today, almost five years later, Sandy is still there for me on the other end of emails and the phone. She seems almost as amazed at my relationship with Teri, and my good fortune, as I am.
Today Sandy was commenting on Teri's love for cooking and creativity and on her blog, "Channeling Mom."
"She (Teri) is remarkable and both of you are so lucky to have one another. I still think it's a miracle that you found one another.....a beautiful miracle. I love the framed picture you guys sent me for Christmas. It makes me so happy to look at it and it's hanging with my other family photos in the hallway."
Thanks, Sandy, for your part in giving me the courage to move forward with my life and for putting some wind in the sails of this great adventure.