By Courtney Pierce
The holidays offer us the opportunity to take stock in a year’s worth of living life, this wonderful, scary, magical journey. As a follow-up to my quite candid post about my summer of divorce after 37 years of marriage, I didn’t want to leave our RTG readers hanging with my pain.
The story gets better. In fact, quite a turn my life has taken as the holidays approach. No funny pictures to clutter truth.
I did meet a man, a very special man who stole my heart. I grabbed hold of his, too, by chance. He is my soulmate, wired just like me. Smart. Witty. Passionate for all the same life experiences. While no one in their late-fifties can escape dragging baggage into a relationship― incredible loss and fear of betrayal for starters―we plunged forward with openness, trust, and full disclosure about everything.
Funny thing, but I fell in love with this man, and he with me, before we met in person. With only seeing photos of each other online, a size-up and inner discovery commenced. We texted back and forth for a week before committing to a phone call.
That first call.
I had to hear the voice that uttered hundreds of words to me, and the timbre of it will stick in my head for eternity. With sound attached to prose, we talked at all hours of the morning, during the day, and at night over cooking dinner. We laid it all out there: hopes and hurt, dreams and demons, families and favorite foods, even allergies. We’re both writers, musicians, and responsible citizens who’ve been hurt.
He wanted a real date on a Saturday night, my first in 38 years and a first for him in decades. Can I tell you how nervous I was driving to the intimate Italian restaurant of only ten tables? Separate cars were required, though, to secure a back-up plan of an escape. Cold feet meant scheming our options. I parked, took a breath, checked my teeth, and willed my pulse to slow. I only had me to offer, and I didn’t know how to be anyone else. Being alone was still an option, an option I didn’t want.
I rounded the corner and spotted him standing in front of the restaurant. I knew it was him. He knew it was me. He smiled and stuck his hands in his pockets. His expression screamed hope. And as drew nearer, all my fears dissipated like wisps of smoke, and compelled by a force that overwhelmed me, I grasped his cheeks and pulled his mouth to mine. We lingered for a minute, staring at each other. A scent of cedar wood engulfed me. His aroma circled me like a hummingbird.
“Had to get that out of the way,” I said.
“Okay, then,” he said and grazed my cheek with his finger. “You hungry?”
I stared at him, my usual smart remark forming, but I only offered him the welling tears I tried to hold back. “Not really.”
“You’re more beautiful than your picture,” he said. “I’m a bit overwhelmed.”
Over the next two hours, we talked, laughed, and unleashed a lifetime of want, a continuation of our virtual conversation that had started a week before. I don’t remember what I ordered for dinner that night. Some kind of fish.
With the leftovers forgotten at the table, he followed me back to my house and didn’t leave until mid-Sunday morning. And he came back again at three in the afternoon.
Here it is two months later, and he’s asked me to marry him. I said yes. Time’s a wastin’ when a lifetime of happiness awaits.
This barren career girl, with so much to give, is going to be a wife again, a mother of a ten-year-old . . . and a grandmother. And I couldn’t be happier.
Cool, huh? Like a holiday book . . . only it’s real. And one of our favorite things about each other is that we both write. Something we will do together for the rest of our lives, and me with the man and a family I’ve always wanted. Life begins at 57? Yes, most certainly.
I wish you all the most special of holidays.
Courtney Pierce is a fiction writer living in Milwaukie, Oregon, with her bossy cat. She writes for baby boomers. By day, Courtney is an executive in the entertainment industry and uses her time in a theater seat to create stories that are filled with heart, humor and mystery. She has studied craft and storytelling at the Attic Institute and has completed the Hawthorne Fellows program for writing and publishing. Active in the writing community, she is a board member of the Northwest Independent Writers Association and on the Advisory Council of the Independent Publishing Resource Center. She is a member of Willamette Writers, Pacific Northwest Writers Association, She Writes, and Sisters in Crime. The Executrix received the Library Journal Self-E recommendation seal.
Check out all of Courtney's books at:
The Dushane Sisters are back in Indigo Lake. More laughs, more tears...and more trouble. Protecting Mom's reputation might get the sisters killed―or give one of them the story she's been dying to live.
New York Times best-selling author Karen Karbo says, "Courtney Pierce spins a madcap tale of family grudges, sisterly love, unexpected romance, mysterious mobsters and dog love. Reading Indigo Lake is like drinking champagne with a chaser of Mountain Dew. Pure Delight."
Colorful characters come alive in Courtney's trilogy about the Dushane sisters. Beginning with The Executrix, three middle-age sisters find a manuscript for a murder mystery in their mother's safe after her death. Mom’s book gives them a whole new view of their mother and their future. Is it fiction . . . or truth?