The Second Time Around
His name is Gene/Deacon. He joined in February of '07. He wasn't looking for romance, just some like-minded friends. His wife had died in June of '06 and the AARP grief support group recommended he join an online dating site. But to this day, he doesn't know how he ended up at Catholic Mingle. He was a very young 66 years old.
My name is Pam/smpkg1946. I joined on my 61st birthday in August. A girlfriend from church had asked me if I had ever thought about joining an online dating site. I said, you've got to be kidding me! I'd never do something like that. She said she had heard about a really good and safe site called Catholic Mingle. Her husband had died about six years earlier and the last child had just moved out. I had been a widow for 23 years, but had just lost (March '07) a "significant other"; we had been together for ten years. I wasn't exactly looking for love, but I knew I didn't want to spend the rest of my life alone. There was still a lot of life left in this old gray mare! So I joined; she didn't......yet.
I "cruised" the boards, posting on topics and starting my own topics. Gene emailed me in response to one of my topics. I looked at his profile, but was a little hesitant about some of his answers. I was afraid he was still too attached to his late wife. To me it appeared he had lost the great love of his life and could never love again.
Near the end of September, an angel named Annie took over. She had seen some of our posts, looked at both our profiles, and thought, hmmm, these two would make a great couple. So she emailed him and told him I thought he was interesting. At the same time, she emailed me and told me that he thought I was interesting. He emailed me first and said, "Annie thinks we would make a good match, what do you think?" It just blossomed from there. I responded that I wasn't real sure, but would like the chance to get to know him better. So we emailed back and forth, sent each other CM cards, met in chat, and most importantly, said the Rosary every night in the Prayer Room. We got to know each other more and more. We exchanged personal info, i.e., other email addys, snail mail addy, and most importantly, phone numbers. And boy did we ever use the phone minutes. Every night after Rosary and some time in chat, we would call one another. We talked for hours....sometimes until 3am. We just didn't want to hang up and break that connection. I remember that first phone call; I was as nervous as a teenager with her first boyfriend. I kept rambling on and on. I wasn't comfortable with the silences yet. We still laugh about it; we laugh a lot together. But we can cry together too, when it's needed. Then the stock in Hallmark shot up as we started sending cards through snail mail to each other. The first one I sent was a musical card. Snow White was on the front and when you opened it up it played, "Some day my Prince will come". (And he has!) Gene loved it and has nearly worn it out from playing it so much.
The hard part of our growing relationship was the distance; all 851 miles of it. We wanted to meet FTF, but were having problems with the logistics. I was co-facilitating a group at church and he had barbershop on Tuesday nights, a lay ministry class on Wednesday, and choir practice on Thursday. I invited him out for Thanksgiving, but he had a parish festival he was obligated to. Finally, on 12/27 we met FTF. He says he knew the minute he saw me that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. He came through the gate wearing a green and red elf's hat. I was wearing a red velor Santa hat. He presented me with a box of chocolates and a long-stemmed red rose. I would have fallen in love with him right then if I hadn't already. I had a pretty good idea he was the "one" about three weeks earlier when we sang Christmas carols together over the phone.
We spent as much time together as possible during the next week getting to know each other. His hotel was only about six blocks from my house. I took him on a whirlwind trip of all the Lincoln sites and down to Belleville, IL to the Our Lady of the Snows National Shrine. We met another Catholic Mingler, Nicole, there for dinner and took in their fabulous Lights Festival. On New Year's Eve, we dressed "to the nines" and attended a gala ball at one of Springfield's finest hotels. Our first dance was "Close to You"......very appropriate. But it was during, "Could I have this dance for the rest of my life" that Gene says he decided tonight was going to be a special night. After the obligatory toast and kiss at midnight, he got down on his knee and asked me to marry him. There was no hesitation...I answered YES, YES, YES!!!! A couple of days later after a visit with another mingle member, Cecile, we went and picked out our rings. He flew back home the next day. We both cried at the airport. We knew the separation was going to be hard. We met again in January in Las Vegas for the Mingle Meet, then I flew out to Jim Thorpe, PA in February for Valentine's Day and again in March for St Patrick's Day. We meet with Gene's priest in February and decided on a fall wedding. Jim Thorpe sits in a little valley surrounded by the Pocono mountains so it's sure to be a beautiful setting. Meanwhile, I have relocated to Jim Thorpe. It was getting a little expensive to keep flying. And we have a lot of work to do to get the house ready and all the plans for the wedding. In keeping with our fairytale romance, we are working on a fairytale theme for the wedding.
We cannot say enough about the wonderful opportunity Catholic Mingle gave us; it has changed our lives. We have met some of the most wonderful people on this site and we will truly miss them when we are gone. Thank you Catholic Mingle!
smpkg1946 & Deacon
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