So the Day 1 emails between Danny & Mara continued (did they ever! Remember how I said we knew we wanted to marry each other after Day 1??). Here is our next correspondence:
Oh my goodness, you just made me melt. My hand is over my mouth and I am so touched by what you said because I feel exactly the same way about it all. Wow. I have learned soooo much about life/love/faith!!! It just gives me goosebumps. I think I must have been brain dead to it all my whole life. Cause I look at my testimony now and it is 1,000 times more what it used to be. I never had to really put my beliefs to the test until my life seemed to be falling apart. And then, by some miracle, the gospel all came together for me and I have been a changed woman ever since. I wouldn't trade it for anything. Oh my.... I had no idea how cool the Mormon church was and here it was in my back pocket the whole time. And love. Oh my. What I've learned about how to love and be loved. (as in the unconditional/Christ like love.) I never really knew specifically how it all worked. But I do now. So beautiful.
So yes, we are two very lucky people. People don't really understand it when I say I would do it all over again to have what I have now. To think that I get to be with an eternal companion someday and be a mother some day and live the rest of my life .... from this state.....well, there is NOTHING better to me.
OH, and my parents. I can't believe what you wrote about your's as I feel the exact same way. Danny, I have become so close to them, too. They have been my lifeline through this whole thing and the best examples and the best parents to me. It's made them closer as well, as they have worked together to support me and be there for me....
Being in limbo while I was waiting for the divorce to go through was difficult. I hung out with all my married friends and really didn't even know any single people. But I was feeling so good about my state of life that I actually felt very ready to date. And friends were wanting to line me up like crazy... so I had many nights of dreaming about all the guys that I would one day date. And I hadn't even met them yet. hahahha. Eventually that day came. I am telling you, it will be such a trip for you to be with a girl. Or even thinking about a girl. Or one day touching a girl. You will die. It was (& still is) so crazy. I was married for 7 years. And never even looked twice at anyone but my husband. So to all of sudden have the gates wide open..... holy moly. I remember the first time a guy touched his knee to my knee at dinner. hahahha. I thought I might stop breathing. Same thing touching shoulders with a guy at the movies. Well, let me just say that you have some fun times ahead of you. Of course, we know that nothing could compare to being married. I would just love love to get married again. But it is pretty wild to be single and to feel like you're 16 again.
And yes, hot commodities... FOR SURE. One guy I dated was saying how he never thought he'd date a divorced girl. And I said, "You know what??? With me, you at least know what you're getting. I have been through all this.... and yet here I am all the better for it. With other people, who knows what you're getting.... who knows what kind of wife/husband they will really be.... who knows how they will react to a trial."
Well, thanks for writing back. So nice to hear from you and to hear that we speak the same language. Just curious, how long were you married?
And yes, can't wait to meet!
And, OK....I'll keep going with these emails a tiny bit longer, if you don't mind...just cause they are jam-packed with some awesome thoughts that were so real and raw, written by two people that had just gone through the greatest trial of their lives. To me, it was a MIRACLE that we could talk this way about our unwanted divorces & still have this perspective. Danny, I can see it. But ME? A couple of years prior, I had no spiritual connection to anything, didn't know the power I had, and was wondering if I even really believed in God. So trust me, this stuff was monumental for me. :)
OK, here is Danny's response....and some photos from his bachelor days...
All I can say is Exactly! I always thought I knew what charity and unconditional love were, but now know I hardly had a clue. It was nothing short of a heaven sent miracle to me – to be wronged in the most intimate of ways, and then choose (key word there) to put aside the anger and hurt, and suddenly find yourself filled/washed over with this situationally unnatural compassion that says, “Forget about yourself for a while, you’ll be fine in due time. Focus instead on how you can help her put her life back together, if she’ll let you help. If not, do what you can as a friend and support.” When that happened, I realized – kind of like in Matt 7 when Christ talks about even evil parents know how to give good gifts – if I in my wounded and overall imperfect state, can be filled with this level of compassion/concern/love for someone who betrayed me, how great must be the love of God in all his perfection. It gave me a great deal of hope.
I’m glad I am not alone in my understanding of that priceless knowledge.
In answer to your question – I had been married 4 ½ years, the last year of which was in separation (though fortunately on the friendliest of terms). And you’re right, spending some time alone/with married friends and not rushing to fill the void is exactly what let me know that I was indeed ready to date when the time was right. I’ll have to remember what you said about knees and shoulders – I never knew they were such a sensitive part of a woman’s body :). (actually you’re right, now that I think about it, what I wouldn’t give for a little knee on knee…kind of pathetic)
One question – did you find that you were more open/honest than other people were used to? I’m not sure if I was always like this…I guess I vaguely remember when dating that it was like we all needed this filter that helped us say the right things to maintain aloofness or to make sure that every thing sounded right and we appeared to be the ideal mate. Marriage must weed that out of us because the opposite becomes true – hiding behind a filter does you no good. Anyway, I feel like I weirded someone out a little because I wasn’t thinking about the normal filter of coolness.
Kind of like now…no filter :).
Seriously, your emails have made my day. I’ll give Ashley a big hug when I go have dinner with them tomorrow.
Best to you,