Monday, May 26, 2014

What I Remember This Memorial Day

My life changed forever in an instant on Feb. 15, 2000 when my first husband Bruce breathed his last of this world and entered Heaven's rest. He was weight-lifting in our basement when I heard him yell. And when I went to see what was up I was a little annoyed because he was lying flat on the floor and I thought he was playing a joke on me. Wow, that's a strong memory, and its caught me off guard and I'm tearing up as I write this... But I take a deep breath... the emotion rolls on like an ocean wave... I don't mind the tears anymore. They no longer suffocate me. I treasure them because what would really be sad would be to not feel anything...

My life changed again, forever in an instant on this date--May 26-- two years after Bruce died, when Tom Hardy and I, both widowed, vowed another 'til death do us part. It was a Sunday, and we went to our church's Sunday morning service which was packed with many friends and relatives who'd sped their way by cars or planes to Ohio for our big day.

It was a usual church service, perfectly normal, until the end when the pastor dismissed everyone and no one went home! They were all waiting. The church lights dimmed, candles were lit, and a video streamed photos of our histories and loves ---my Bruce, Tom's Marilyn, our kids, our homes, our entirely separate lives until this day.... A widower and a widow who amazingly meet and fall in love online, and knit the 500 mile gap between them with a marriage.

So today I will remember both the present and the past. The present--- which is so blessedly average that Tom and his son are at the Indy 500 and we'll celebrate our wedding anniversary when he gets back home. And the past--- which can still knock the wind out of me every once in a while.

But most of all, I'll remember that life is precious. There are no guarantees it will ever be the same after my next heartbeat. Those changed-forever instances come without warning. So I will hang on tight as I can for now, and when it's time to let go I'll do so with gratitude and glory for each moment I was granted. And I'll remember you, for it's an honor to serve you and hear your stories of love and loss, and life again.


  1. Ferree, I didn't realize Tom was a widower.

  2. Yes, Candy. I think that's why he's so supportive of me doing what I do for widows. He gets it. His wife Marilyn died of ovarian cancer when Aaron was only 10 years old. The understanding sympathy between us has been a treasure. We've been able to comfort each other over the years when those little grief storms still roll through. And we know how the other still loves their first spouse even though we are fully in love and committed to each other. It's such a blessing.
    I hope you have a beautiful Memorial Day...

  3. I love you Ferree Hardy. Forwarding this to my widow friend who also married a widower. very sweet. thanks for giving us hope when it seems like hope is gone.

  4. I love you Elaine! I think about you often and pray God's very best for you! Bless you for all you do!

  5. Thank you Ferree for being a blessing in my life, and all your encouragement that gives us hope, strength and grace to go on.
    I love and appreciate you, May God Bless you ~ Dodi

  6. Ferree, thank you for sharing your inspirational story of you and Tom's special day with us. How beautiful!

    ♥ Happy Anniversary ♥

  7. Happy Anniversary to you, Ferree! Your story continues to give me hope and inspiration especially on this Memorial Day. I can't fully articulate all of the healing I've experienced and continue to experience through your transparency. I'm in a much better place now. You recommended a book, sometime ago, by Vance Havner, "Though I walk Through the Valley". I was blessed to find the book at Thank you for all that you do. I am deeply helped. The blessing of the Lord is upon you!

  8. You are such a blessing Ferree. Happy Anniversary!

  9. You are a blessing, Ferree. I love hearing your story.

  10. Thank you all for your kind words, I hadn't expected anyone would be around over the holiday, let alone commenting. But it was sweet to have you remember the day with me.


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