When Jared died, I swore I would never date again. Never love again. Never let someone else parent my child.  Well, how things have changed. 26 months after Jared died, he sent me an incredible man. A man who loves me and my crazy widow life. A man who understands that a heart expands to find new love.  In December 2016 we decided to officially start dating. There goes that first never. A few months later I was head over heels. There goes that second never. And now we are married, planning our future. Discussing how to raise our children. Did you hear that last never just fall away?

But none of these decisions were easy. And I didn’t make any of them lightly. My son is always and will always be at the forefront of my mind when I make these kinds of decisions. I worried if anyone could love him like their own. Especially if that person had children, could they love Steven the way they love their child or would there always be a difference between our children? I can honestly say Steven is blessed to have a man in his life who loves him like his own.  Who will treat him like his own.

Yet, Jon, my new beginning, does not know the stories of Steven’s first 12 years. He can’t share in the memories of his first words, his first steps, his first day at school. Those are memories that I share with his dad. And that makes me sad. Makes me sad that the parent that shares those memories with me is no longer here. And can no longer share those times, those memories, those stories with Steven. Yes, Jon loves Steven, no doubt about that. And we are going to make many new memories. Have many news stories to share. But that doesn’t take away that his dad is gone. That Jared won’t be there to share in our new memories. To take new adventures with Steven.  To teach him all the things a boy learns from his dad. His dad in heaven will always be watching over him. Always. Jared will always be missed. We will always say I wish Jared was here.

But now my son will have Jon to support him, guide him, and teach him.  And bonus, he’s getting a big sister. Our two only children will now have a sibling. And yes, we know, that’s going to be interesting!  And it’s going to take a lot of work. And a lot of time. Blended families don’t happen overnight. But with work, communication, respect, and most importantly time, we are hopeful that we will be successful.

I learned to never say never.  And since that time, my world has grown.  I have learned love shared is multiplied. That my heart can expand to love more than one great man and more than one child.  That my past will always be connected to my future. That letting new love into your life allows your child to learn how much the love the heart can hold.  Yes, I had worries about sharing my child with someone new. But when that someone new opens their heart to love you, your child, and your dead husband nothing but good can come from that.   And now I know that we can never have too much love.


Carla always knew she would be a widow but didn’t have any idea how it would actually feel. When Carla met her late husband Jared, he was waiting for a lung transplant due to Cystic Fibrosis, a chronic disease affecting the lungs and pancreas. So she knew that most likely someday she would say goodbye to her husband. But she never dreamt it would be exactly one week before their 14th wedding anniversary. In August 2014, Jared was diagnosed with a rare bacterial infection in his transplanted lung and was expected to survive at least 6 months if not a year. Instead, he died just 6 weeks later. And in the blink of an eye, Carla became a solo mom to their 10-year-old son. And even though her life was forever marked before and after, she was determined to live life to the fullest because her husband would expect no less.

She founded Breathing for Jared, a Foundation to provide college scholarships to those suffering from lung disease in honor of her late husband. Became a supporter of the CF Foundation and Donate Life. And discovered that writing out her emotions and fears on her blog Transplant Wife and Widow helped her to process her grief

Carla recently remarried and is now blending a family with her new husband, bonus daughter, and son.