I am a remarried widow.  I am blessed to have two amazing love stories.  But being remarried is not easy. It takes a lot of work.  A ton of grace. And an endless supply of compromise. 


I am not the same person I was when I married my late husband 20 years ago. I have changed, grown. And my new marriage is not comparable to my first marriage. 


My late husband and I were married in our 20s, we grew together, found our way together, became parents together. We celebrated all our significant firsts together. 


My new husband and I were married in our 40s. I am widowed. He is divorced. We both bring the hurt, the pain, the trauma from past experiences to our new marriage. And while my love story ended because my husband died, his ended by choice.  


For five years I was a solo mom to a boy who lost his dad way too early. And for nine years he was a single dad who shared custody of his daughter with his ex-wife. Very different circumstances. I was mom and dad. I was on 24/7, all parenting responsibilities rested squarely on my shoulders. He had his daughter half the time. He and his ex-wife shared parenting responsibilities. While he no longer had a marriage partner, yet he still had a co-parent. I was used to making all of the decisions for my son without consulting anyone. And for him, consulting someone was the norm.  Now we are learning how to parent together. Figure out how to blend a family. Make our marriage a priority while reminding our children just how important they are to us. 


Our core values are the same and that’s important. Vital to our relationship. But our experiences have shaped us. I am more let’s see how it goes.  Live for today. Never say no to an adventure. My husband is black and white. Walk down the middle of the road. Plan for tomorrow. I guess it’s true…opposites attract.  We know we love each other and want our marriage to be successful but trying to find a balance that works for us has not been easy. It’s work, hard work. But it’s worth it. 


Marriage is never easy.  And marriage after loss is hard. At least for me, it seems harder.  Maybe it’s because I’m trying to focus on my marriage, blend a family, honor my grief, and live my best life. Marriage takes work. Communication.  Honesty. It was not easy to take the chance on love after I watched my spouse die. Opening my heart to love, taking a chance on happily even after was terrifying .  But it has been so worth it. 


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.