In one week, my new husband will arrive here in Florida. We will no longer have two homes, in two different states. We will no longer have a long distance marriage.  We will finally be a married couple, living under one roof. And hopefully, no longer feel like we have two separate lives. It is so exciting. And at the same time it is scary.


It has been me and my son against the world for five years. And now someone new is going to move into our home. Change our routine. Change our lives.  It is going to change our dynamic. Our entire household. It is also going to be an adjustment for my husband and his daughter. We are no longer individual families of two. We are going to be one blended family of four.  A widowed mom and a divorced dad each with a teenager coming together to move forward and forge a new life.  


And while it will be wonderful for my husband and I to live under the same roof and for my son to have a father figure, it is also scary. We have never spent more than a week or two together. And that was on vacation. We have never lived together day in and day out. Never had to deal with the other in person after a bad day at work.  Never had to deal with each other’s idiosyncrasies. Now we are going to have to learn to tolerate each other‘s bad habits. Decide which battles to fight and which ones to let go. Figure out how to share our space and still enjoy alone time.


Plus, my husband has never parented a teenage son. And his daughter hasn’t lived full-time in his house in nine years. Yes, he’s been on a hands on father but he only has her half the time. Where I have been both mom and dad, by myself, for the last five years.  There is no other parent coming to take my son for a night or a weekend. And I’m sure that’s going to take some adjustment on my husband‘s part. Not to mention, we parent very differently. I am a parent first and a friend second. And my husband is just the opposite.  But thankfully, we have started couples counseling to be able to address these issues beforehand. Come up with a plan. A coping strategy. To try to make this transition as easy as smooth as possible. 


Not only are my husband and I going to have to adjust to living with each other, my son is going to have to adjust to having a man in the house. For the last five years, it has just been he and I. We have developed our own routine. Our own system. Our own rules for survival. And having a third person in our home, is definitely going to change that. I know my son wants me to be happy. And he is very accepting of my new husband. But he still going to have to adjust to someone new being in our house. To potentially have some new rules, new expectations. And I know it is not going to be easy for him. Or for me. It’s going to be difficult for me to allow someone else to parent my child. But I love my husband and I trust him. So I have to give him the space to do just that. And I have to encourage my son to accept our new family dynamic and all the changes it brings. 


Merging our families, also means merging our households. Deciding which items of furniture to keep and which ones to donate. One of the things we’ve decided is to keep his bedroom set and donate mine. However, that is proving to be a bigger grief trigger than I expected. That was the bedroom set my late husband and I bought right after we were married. And letting go of it, while I know is the practical thing to do, tugs at my heart.  But my husband understands. He even suggested we keep it. But it’s time to let it go. Time to move forward. 


Moving forward in joining my life and home with my new husband doesn’t mean I’m forgetting. Jared.  He will always be a part of me. I will always carry him in my heart. The love we shared and the life we lived together will always influence my decisions. But it’s time to give the same love and attention to my new marriage as I did to my marriage with Jared. My new husband deserves it. And my marriage deserves it. I am blessed to have a new husband who honors my late husband. Who is not jealous. Who welcomes my late husband into our family.


In one week, my life will change.  I will forge a new path, with my new husband, in our home. All while keeping my late husband in my heart. In one week, my new husband and I will officially live in the same house. I am so excited. And a little scared. But If it scares me, then it’s a good thing…right?


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.