“Now this did happen once upon a time When things were not so complex How he worshipped the ground she walked And when he looked in her eyes he became obsessed My love is like a storybook story But it’s as real as the feelings I feel My love is like a storybook story” – Willy De Ville

Yesterday was my wedding anniversary and after arriving home from San Francisco at 1:30 am, a long day at the hospital and a weird allergic reaction I took a pass on blog writing.

I like to “commemorate” special occasions as they happen so I can look back year after year and see how I have grown. I like to look at the photos and remember what I was thinking in those moments, some are good, some are funny and some are so, so heartbreaking. 

My wedding anniversary – that’s a good one. I also have a wedding video – it’s buried deep in my emails and I watch it once a year. I like listening to the speeches and seeing all the love that surrounded us that day and continue to surround me today. 

I love Duane. I loved my wedding. I miss my old carefree, wild life. But I am moving forward and I am happy. 

Here’s where it gets tricky for some people … It’s been four years since we were married and two and half years since Duane passed. We can all do the math and see that we didn’t get married until he was well into his ALS diagnosis and progression. We had been together for a decade before that.

So how long were we together? I count the entire relationship. When Duane asked me to marry him he said, “I should have done this sooner” (No shit)! But does that make our relationship any less? I think not. Honestly – if Duane hadn’t been diagnosed I’m not sure we ever would have gotten married. Maybe we would have just kept doing life in a way that worked for us. Is that wrong? I think not. 

So this leads me to my next question. Duane was a part of my life for over a decade, he was my partner, he was my best friend , he was my co-dog owner … he was my family. Soooo because we weren’t married does that mean what we had was less important? Is it easier to “move on” from? Once again I think not. 

Dating has been coming up in my circle a lot lately. I date, not successfully but I do date. hahahaha I put the effort in and I go … most of the time, well some of the time, I do cancel a lot. hahahahaha But mostly because I don’t like leaving my house or Buddy. I don’t want to be alone forever but I also don’t want to settle. 

So this leads me to another question. When is the right time to truly start dating? Some say not within a year. Some say 1 year for every year you were married. Some say 3 years, 4 years and still some say never. I say whenever you want. There is no timeline. You could meet your next love 2 months after your spouse passes. Or two years. Or never. BUT no matter what, widowed or not you do not get to judge. You do not get to say that people shouldn’t date because of this or that. You don’t get to say that you read this or you read that or you think this or you think that. You don’t get to tell other people what to do with their life. 

We need to support one another more. Support people moving forward with their lives (if they want to). Just because you don’t want to, or you don’t think it’s time, it doesn’t mean that others feel the same way. And that is okay. You have never walked their journey – we all have different experiences in life and we get to decide what is right for us and what works. People are entitled to live their lives as they see fit, as are you. Be mindful that the world is full of judgement and meanness and try not to be a part of that. 

Love people, and if you can’t do that, just be nice, and if you can’t do that, smile at them, and if you can’t do that … I don’t know what to tell you. It takes more energy and more muscles to frown than it does to smile … So I guess I’ll just assume you’re trying to lose weight – because why else would you be deliberately rude. 

– xoxo Victoria

P.S. A HUGE pet peeve of mine … If you are happily married and you think its okay for someone that is divorced to date but not someone that is widowed you’re an A-Hole. 

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