My clients are delightful. My favorite client this week was Meredith. She makes seventy look impossibly young. In the middle of our real estate closing, she told me that after being alone for nineteen years, she’s met someone.
My favorite stories are about how couples find each other. Meredith lives in Sun City, which is an active living community for people who are over fifty-five. Widow women run amok in Sun City. Single men (and their waist lines) barely stand a chance. It’s really quite cutthroat. I thought I knew how Meredith’s story would go, but I was wrong.
Meredith divorced nineteen years ago. She has two grown sons. After her divorce, she became a career woman, an outside sales rep. Between her career, her art and frugal living, she did just fine. She did not need a man to take care of her or to support her.
She was always open to dating. She picked a church that was known for it’s large singles ministry. But nobody ever came along who really tickled her fancy.
Last year, she got to the point where she would rather stick a hot poker in her eye than go on another blind date. She made that point abundantly clear to her friends.
One of Meredith’s friends from church went on a blind date. Joe seemed very nice, but too old for her. She told Meredith that the entire date she just kept thinking he’d be perfect for Meredith.
Meredith conceded to trying one more time. She and Joe went to lunch and he really did seem as nice as Meredith’s friend promised.
Joe’s wife was diagnosed with breast cancer when their boys were little. Because of her illness, he primarily raised the boys. After her death in 2002, he sold the family home and followed his youngest, single son around the country. They were companions. They went to amusement parks and traveled. Until the son met a woman two years ago and got married.
Meredith and Joe’s second lunch date was the Friday before Valentine’s Day. Joe showed up with a dozen roses. Meredith decided she’d found a keeper.
Joe told Meredith he knew she wasn’t the type of woman to call a man. But if she found something interesting, please call him. After being married for years to a man who really didn’t want to do much of anything with her, it was a delight to find a man who said he’d do anything except the opera and chamber music.
Soon, Meredith and Joe were scheduled to attend a birding event together. Joe was on his way out of town, so he asked Meredith to get the tickets. He’d call when he got back into town.
As time got closer to the event, Meredith hadn’t heard from Joe so she called him. He assured her they were still on. She suggested that if he had binoculars and rubber boots, that would be good. They’d be slogging through the marsh looking for birds.
Joe called the day of the event. He couldn’t find his binoculars or his rubber boots, so maybe it’d be best if she just went without him.
Meredith took it in stride, found a neighbor to take his place and had a great time.
Within two weeks of their Valentine’s weekend lunch, Joe informed Meredith that he couldn’t see her anymore because he was in a committed relationship with someone else.
Meredith thought that was that, and went back to her previous premise that she was done with blind dates. She has her artwork, her children and grandchildren, and her friends. She is frugal with her money and doesn’t need a man to complete her or to take care of her.
Flash forward to December. Meredith’s phone rang and the caller ID displayed Joe’s name.
Meredith thought to herself, “That turkey.”
Joe wanted to take Meredith out again. She rather aloofly let him know she was leaving the next day to spend Christmas with her children in Atlanta. He said that was fine and asked when would she be back.
He called while she was still on the road heading back from Atlanta. She had a holiday open house to attend, and because she hates going to those things alone, she invited him to go with her. Her friends loved him.
They have been inseparable December. They’ve gone kayaking. He’s teaching her to golf. They got their fishing licenses. Her grandson adores him. He’s been good to his word about doing anything, as long as it isn’t opera or chamber music.
Joe tells her God brought them together. Meredith tells him he’s lucky God gives second chances just like she did after he dumped her. Joe asks her if she’s ever going to stop reminding him about that. Meredith assures him she probably won’t.
I love their story. It reminds me it’s never too late to find your soul mate.
Meredith reminds me of myself. We’ve surrounded ourselves with good friends. Found activities we love. Our lives aren’t dependent on finding a man to complete us.
But if the right man shows up, if our soul mate appears on the horizon, we are both ready to welcome him into our lives, our hearts, our homes.
Meredith’s story delights me and gives me hope.
Question: How long did it take you to find your soul mate? Or, like me, are you still looking?