Writing Chapter Two.

On June 19, 2020, I married a man I wholeheartedly believe my late husband prepared for me.

Gosh, that’s such a weird statement.

But it’s true.

Darian loves me exactly how my heart needs to be loved right now. He’s also so perfectly himself that he makes me laugh and smile by just being… him. My husband. My “chapter two.”

Widows who remarry often refer to their second husband as “chapter two.” I feel I’ve lived so many lives (and written so many chapters), and there’s no way I’m on just the second chapter of my life, but I get it. And I’m so incredibly grateful for the love of the “man who came after…”

You entered my life as a neighbor. Heartbreak forced a transition into a true friend.

Darian is incredibly kind, intelligent and loving. He doesn’t force me to forget, but rather helps me to keep walking forward & embracing a future I never thought I could endure.

Many thanks to SMDi Photography for capturing our big (unique) day!

Since COVID took over this spring, we have scrapped two sets of wedding plans, so we decided to simply jump the broom virtually on ZOOM on one of the biggest days of celebration in the black community: Juneteenth.

SMDi Photography https://www.smdiphotography.com/

I never imagined how something so simple could end up so perfect.

And before my parents in our kitchen (and the county clerk and our friends & family online), we vowed to love one another. We spoke to each other’s hearts.

SMDi Photography

Darian Iverson, I love you.

Thank you for loving me just the way I am. I can’t wait to experience the rest of my life with you — as your wife.

XO

Darian, you made my heart beat again.

I was so angry with God, so hurt. I believed my best days were behind me. God had given me plenty of blessings and for some reason, He was done, but He wasn’t.

I began to expect the worst in people, life. I thought – maybe I should settle – for just… okay. For… mildly happy. For alone and lonely, but relying on my amazing memories to keep me going.

You entered my life as a neighbor. Heartbreak forced a transition into a true friend.

You are an innately thoughtful man. Your sweet greeting cards and quick texts to check on me were rooted in genuine concern.

And you, Darian Iverson, are my “Immaculate Reception” in this final round of my playoff season.

I built a large wall around myself four years ago and swore no one would be allowed inside. Inside my heart or my head or my world. I vowed to keep everyone at a distance. God had given me enough, right?

But you kept checking on me. Simple words. Action rooted in sincerity. You wanted nothing more than to genuinely see how I felt.

Often it was awful, and you didn’t shy away from sending a hug in the mail. You didn’t run away from my pain. You’d ask – how are you? I see the smiling pics on the ‘gram, but I wonder, how is she really?

I cried when I read that text.

I wasn’t good.

But having someone ask and really want the answer, and to listen to me babble about my past dreams, life, and missed opportunities helped my heart begin to heal.

I just knew no one would love this girl again.

Who would sign up to love all of this? And even when you tried – I tried to push you away. I suggested you try someone else, someone less complicated.

But you reminded me God is not done with *me.

https://www.smdiphotography.com/

You helped me remember the plans God has for me.

Plans to prosper me and not harm me – as I felt so deeply for so long.

Plans to give me hope and a future.

It happened.

I tried so hard to guard my heart & keep it out of my life, but love found its way back. For years, I prayed for God to take away my future. I didn’t see the point. There was just so much pain – I couldn’t imagine pushing through much more of it.

How did love seep into the one place I guarded with the strength of 10,000 warriors? God worked hard on me. When I least expected it, love slithered into the crevice of one of the millions of cuts of my shattered heart.

The heart is so resilient.

It expands. I didn’t know it was happening, but while I was fighting to simply keep going, a new me was built. And within her, a new place became ready to build a new life. A new chamber in my heart was created, and there, a new spot was formed for new love to take root.

D, you are my future.

You are why I want to wake up and see what God has in store for me. You fuel my smile, my joy.

I celebrate the wins much louder now because I know how deeply the losses can cut. And you, Darian Iverson, are my “Immaculate Reception” in this final round of my playoff season.

You are a gift I didn’t think God would ever give me.

Thank you for being you. Thank you for making me smile. Thank you for cutting the grass.

Thank you for loving me.

Until the day God calls me home – and even then, I will always love you.

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