It all started in 1999, I was 19 yrs old, when I met the love of my life, Joe. He was a shy guy, but very friendly. It took him weeks to ask me out. We went to dinner and a movie for his 20th birthday as our first date. The night he kissed me, was a night I will never forget. He was so sweet and caring, yet still a little shy. We hit it off pretty quickly. Two weeks after we were dating... I knew I was in love with this man. He felt the same love for me, and our bodies and souls fell together as one. We got married 8 months after meeting one another and we were a very happily married couple.
Three months after we got married... tragedy happened to me in the worst possible way. I was at work one Friday night, when I got a call from the police. "Mrs. Kennedy, you need to come to the hospital as quickly as possible, your husband has been in an accident.". I jumped in my friends car, crying all the way there while she was driving. I had no idea what kind of shape my husband was in at the hospital. I got to the emergency room and asked for my husband. The nurse put me in a room all by myself and told me to wait for the doctor. I called my parents to come up to the hospital. The nurse brought in a hospital chaplain... I knew then it was bad news. He asked if he could get me anything... I said no, I wanted to know how my husband was. A few minutes later, a detective from the police department came in the room. "Mrs. Kennedy, your husband was involved in a shooting, I am sorry, we tried all we could, but your husband did not make it." At 20 years old, my life fell apart as quickly as it came together. I could not believe what I was hearing. "what happened?" I asked. Joe had been helping a friend move that night while I was at work, and this friend was twirling a loaded .45 revolver around his finger when it went off, hitting my husband in the chest. I still couldn't believe what happened. My husband of less than three months was dead. What was I supposed to do now? I was still a newlywed. My parents came and took me home. I laid in our bed and could do nothing to keep myself warm. I felt so cold, as if I had died along with him. The days dragged on, there was the memorial the Army had held for my husband, and the funeral.
I felt so incomplete without him next to me. How was I supposed to get through this? Why did God have to chose MY husband at this point in his life?
The days turned into weeks, and the weeks into months. I turned 21 without my husband to share it with. My husband never got to turn 21. I felt so guilty, I was now doing things he would never get to do.
I was finally got back into the swing of things. I was being dragged out of the house by my friends and taken places "normal" people go to. How was I supposed to move on? What do I tell people when they asked me if I was married, or if I ever have been married? How do I tell them I was a 21 year old widow? The word stung me every time I said it.
I was at the bar one night with a friend of mine, when this guy came and asked me to dance. I said yes, and we proceeded to the dance floor. He was a very good dancer. He told me he was in the process of getting divorced after being married for only 3 months. His wife had cheated on him. I got quiet at that point. I wasn't ready for this yet. But he asked me what was wrong and I finally told him. "I was married before.". "Oh yeah, how long did that last?" he asked me sarcastically. I told him about three months... I got quiet again and he asked "what happened?". I told him that he had died a week short of our three month anniversary. He stopped on the dance floor and put his hands on my face and told me how sorry he was. I felt the connection with him just then. We continued talking for the rest of the night and went to breakfast after the bar. I learned he was also in the Army, and just in town till the morning. He was training at the Army post where I worked. He was headed back to TX in the morning and I would never see him again. We agreed to stay in touch as friends. We exchanged numbers and addresses. I never thought I would ever see him or hear from him again.
He kissed me before we went our separate ways, and that's when I really felt the sparks fly.
He called me as soon as he got back to his hotel, and we talked all through the morning. I felt like I had known him forever. We kept talking for the next month. He got leave for a holiday, and flew out to see me. We spent a wonderful weekend together. I was scared at where this was going. Was this too soon for me? What will people think of me? How was I supposed to risk getting hurt again? This man had taught me how to love again. Everything that I thought was gone forever, suddenly came back into my life through this man. He was comforting, and trusting, and very understanding about my past.
A few months after we started talking... tragedy happened to the wonderful country we live in today... Sept 11th 2001. I knew he was nowhere near New York or Pennsylvania, but I still cried. I cried for him, my late husband, and all of the brand new widows and widowers. I still knew the pain of that feeling all too well. Two months after Sept 11th, he called and told me he was going to fight a war for our freedom. I cried... How could God do this to me again? What if he never comes back? I had grown to love this man, could I go through that pain again?
We made it through the war on terrorism, and seven months later, he was back in the states. We went on vacation and had a wonderful time together. I knew he had to leave me again and go back to Tennessee. I couldn't bear it any longer... I had been living apart from this man I was so madly in love with for long enough. I packed up my house and moved to Tennessee a year after we started our relationship. We found a house together and have been very happy. He has a wonderful daughter whom he loves very dearly. She lived with us for a while and the first time I saw him gaze at her, I knew he was a keeper. His love for her shone through his eyes. I knew that the love in his heart was big enough for the both of us, and all of the children to come.
Five months after we moved in together, we got more bad news. He was going to have to go to another war. This one was twice as bad than the first one. He had to leave me and his daughter alone in the home all three of us had shared. He showed me a side of him I never thought a man would show a woman. He cried. He let down his guard and showed me every side of him. We got married on Valentines day, Two weeks before he left. We are planning a full wedding when he gets back.
I have come to realise, I loved my first husband very much, but there were things in his life he never shared with me. He was a wonderful man, who loved me as much as he knew how. I loved him, and I always will. I love my husband now very much also. God does work in mysterious ways. I look back now, and I know what God's plan for me was. He sent me Joe to show me how to love someone for who they are.
God never gives us more than we can handle... and if you believe in Him, all in your life will ultimately be good. I have loved, and lost, and loved again. And for this I am thankful. I have had two wonderful men in my life who love me and I know both of them always will.
In memory of Joseph Kennedy 10 Dec 79 - 03 Nov 01
Please remember also...Never play with guns! You never know who's life you could end up taking.