Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Today I feel the need to reflect back on how I came to be here in Washington state and all of this part of my life led up to owning the sweetest little poodle this side of heaven and the best friend and husband a girl could have. Here is a photo of my husband Bill. A lot of people think he looks somewhat like John Denver.

My Incredible Journey *

To some of you this may not seem incredible, but for some like me it has made me a true believer in my heavenly father, not that I wasn't already. I believe that God presented me with this journey at a time in my life where I felt as though I was in a very deep dark place.

Twenty three years ago I married a man 15 years my senior, he was good to me for the first 12 years of that marriage and then his life began to fall apart in his eyes. His family was considerably wealthy, they owned 13 large ready mix plants, a concrete pipe plant and were the first in the U.S. to make and install concrete floating boat docks. There were 5 brothers and 3 girls, and the brothers could not get along. To make a very long story short, his dad got cancer and the youngest brother, the only one he got along with, took over the business. He believed in him, trusted him, although I warned him. It turned out my gut instinct was correct and his youngest brother managed to get the father to sign every thing over to him without realizing it, and he stoled everything and fired his brothers.

By this time, my husband was about 57 years old. No one in our city would hire him as they figured he would wind up going back to work for his brother. This never happened and my husband was out of work 16 months.

He finally convinced a friend to hire him and we were transferred to Kansas City. The job was great, the pay was better, we had it all. At least we had it all for 3 years. Life was so fine.

Then one night he went to work to find a letter posted on a bulletin board that the company had sold out and was not keeping the older employees.

This combined in with the tragedy with his brother turned my husband from a wonderful loving caring person, into an angry, bitter, resentful person I did not know. He repeatedly told these stories over and over until no one wanted to be near us. We lost all our friends, he hated everyone and that included me. He with drew from me, we had no relationship other then him snapping, grumbling and shouting at me all the time. His kids talked to him, no matter what anyone said he only became more enraged.

I spent the last 8 years with him in a living hell. It became so bad that with my illness (I have fibromyalgia and severe arthritis) I began to think suicide was my only way out. We had sold our home, bought a new R.V. as that is what he wanted was to travel. I thought this would make him happy, I hated full time and the seclusion and his anger.

WHAT HAPPENED THEN WAS A MIRACLE IN THE MAKING. I belonged to a support forum online for FM/CFS with 8 million members worldwide. I got to know a lot of them and even got to meet about 8 of the women.

By now most of my time was spent on the computer in the R.V. while he picked up part time work as a school bus driver, I was too ill to work anymore. I had no friends and no life.

On that forum of 8 million members I was acquainted with several people whom I would reply to but didn't really know.

One person drew my attention, a man from Washington state, divorced and lonely. I saw in him something I cannot explain. There was a softness, a gentleness and a true old fashioned kindness and the ability to help others. He was SO different that I felt as though I was in a time and place far back in time.

He was always reaching out on there to help others, never asking for help for himself. What struck me most was every post he wrote he signed: Blessing b/c
He was 5 years younger then I.

For 3 years I had been hiding money back when I could out of grocery money etc with the intention of leaving my misery behind. I had decided that when I had saved enough to live for 1 year on my own I would divorce and leave my husband.

I prayed about this to God. I ask God if there was a reason I had found this person on the support board. I prayed some more. This continued for months. We began posting more as I knew him better. He had been alone 8 years after his wife of 20 had left him for someone else. He was heart broken and had vowed never to date or be with anyone again.

I was writing an article on FM/CFS for a magazine and I wanted to get both male/female sides of how they coped with this illness and how it affected men differently then women. I finally ask him if he would give me his email address and give me the men's side of the story. He was not sure at first but he did finally agree.

We began to email and over a period of months I was drawn to him more and more. Of course, I had not met him, he was in WA and I was in MO. There was the feeling of a connection that I could not explain and all this time I continued to pray about this.

He felt like the best friend that I had ever had in this world and I have had a lot of friends.

I began to pray more, and I ask God if this was in his plan for me, it seemed so strange that I met someone like myself on a forum of 8 million.

I prayed for a sign and then many began to come to me. By this time our friendship was so binding that I felt that if I reached out and touched my computer screen I could almost have felt his heart beat.

I realized that all my life this is what I had hoped for dreamed for. I didn't know what to do, but I knew I had to do something, and so I found his phone number and called him. We had a wonderful chat but I knew he was bound to his promise to himself.

We then talked many more times. I could feel his loneliness, his sorrow. One afternoon I decided to take a plunge and write him an email and tell him what I was feeling. I told him that I knew he was the soul mate I had wanted all my life.

I knew he might bolt and run. I feared it. And, I was almost correct, but I ask him not to as I needed him to be my friend if nothing more. I did not hear from him for 5 days. Then he wrote and told me he would not leave the forum.

Later we talked by phone and I told him again how I felt. His reply was, "No Pat, I am not your soul mate." I ask him how did he know. He had no answer.

I continued to pray, that night I cried myself to sleep. I knew he was my last chance for happiness at my age and with my illness.

The more I prayed, the more answers came to me. I relayed them to him and there began to be a glitter of hope.

This took place over a matter of about 8 months.

In April of that year, now 3 1/2 past, I filed my own divorce papers without an attorney. I knew the man I was married to would never let me leave, and though I hate a liar more then anything in this world, I had to lie. I told him that we needed the money, which we did, as that was part of his anger. He had always had it all and now we were barely scraping by. I told him that if I filed for divorce, I could move into a small place and get my SSI. He agreed.

On June 23 my divorce was granted. I had ask Bill if I could come to WA to meet him when my divorce was final. By this time he thought that I might be his soul mate too. His sister and I were emailing by now too.

We told one friend on that support board, only one. She was a friend to both of us. I had her email him and ask him what he really thought about all of this.

His reply to her was this:

"I always liked to fly. So I took my wind glider to the edge of the cliff and dove off, but someone shot me down, I pulled my parachute strings, but someone cut them. (He was talking about his ex wife.) I began to fall and landed on the ground with only minimal damage. So, I walked to the top of the cliffs again and was about to turn and walk away forever when I met this beautiful person whom I think can teach me to fly again. I will never hurt her and I know she will never hurt me."

He agreed that when my divorce was final that I would come to WA to meet him. I was granted my divorce the 26th of June and left that next day to come to WA. I packed everything I owned into my new Ford 350 club cab truck and the long bed and headed to WA.

Since I get dizzy and no longer drive, I had put an add in the Eureka Springs, AR. Geekfest forum that I needed a driver and that I would fly him/her back. I did this 3 weeks prior to my divorce. I was so terrified that I would not find someone that I could trust. You see I knew so many people in Eureka Springs as we had lived there and I had managed hotels there for about 9 years.

I got 4-5 emails from men who wanted to drive me to WA. I was sceptical of all the replies I received until a younger woman wrote to me that her fiance was so trust worthy and that he sometimes drove people other places and that she would gladly have him help me.

It turned out to be wonderful and so I left one early morning on my journey. Richard turned out to be a perfect gentleman, polite, a fun travel companion who might belt out a song if I seemed to be too quiet or worried. He referred to me as his boss or employer when people inquired along the 3 day trip when we would stop to eat or sleep.

I arrived in WA on June 29th 3 1/2 years ago in June. Bill was everything I knew he would be. We were married on December 13th, his birthday.

He is a wonderful caring, compassionate man. He has FM/CFS too so he understands all my needs. He takes such good care of me. He picks me roses when I am down, makes me laugh when I want to cry from the pain.

If you see him in my photos here, that was taken about 9 years ago before he became ill. You can see the kindness in his eyes.

This was certainly the journey of my lifetime.


  1. That is certainly an incredible story. How beautiful! I am so glad you both found each other in that forum and!!

  2. I'm so glad you are happy now and have your best friend to share you life. God works wonders.