I met him four months before the second anniversary of Michael’s death. Marty was a sweet, quirky, and gentle man who worshipped the ground I walked on and had the bluest pair of eyes I’d ever seen.
He stood at the end of a long line of guys I’d been texting and FaceTiming with for the last nine months. At first, it was about connecting with other gay men—some who’d experienced loss and some who hadn’t. Then it became a search for something I was missing.
Although it felt like I was cheating on my husband, I kept reaching out. It wasn’t just about an aching need for companionship, and yes, I’ll admit it—sex, it was about getting back something I’d lost. I’d loved and lived happily with Michael for twenty-two years, and I wanted a version of that life again. It was as simple as that. Was it too soon? Was it right? I don’t know, but it was what I needed.
I’d met a slew of nice guys online. Still, I’d come across my share of scammers and was close to giving up on the whole thing when I signed up with a dating site boasting a seventy-item personality test that appealed to the social worker in me.
Marty was the first match to respond to my profile. Standing ramrod straight in his pic, with a messenger bag strapped across his chest, the well-rounded gentleman was incredibly persistent. After exchanging a few texts, I was drawn like a magnet to his quick-witted and offbeat charms.
Soon, the Nebraska native and I were texting about a hundred times a day and FaceTiming every night. After eight weeks of pining for each other, I decided to bite the romantic bullet. Stowing my Pomchi Adele in her travel carrier, we flew the nearly 1700 miles from my home in Portland, Oregon, to the wilds of Omaha. And despite a head full of fears and doubts, I took a step toward my future and what I hoped would be a new beginning.