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35th Wedding Anniversary

Today is the 35th anniversary of the day I got married. It was a gorgeous Spring day, and we married, surrounded by lilacs in bloom and our closest friends and relatives, in the garden behind Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's Cambridge home.

Would we still be married now, if I knew then to Assume Love, Expect Love, and Find Third Alternatives? If we had been able to stay close through those tough times twelve and thirteen years after that happy day, would Rod still be alive? Did the stress contribute to his death?

I miss him, and I miss the model he would have continued to provide for our son and now for our daughter-in-law and grandchildren. He was an exceedingly gentle and peaceful man, and a man of exceptional intellect. He loved mathematics and understood it as few people do. He greatly valued learning and would surely have encouraged our son to complete his Ph.D. and not follow in my footsteps of leaving grad school. They would have spent many hours discussing philosophy together. I wonder if he would have taught our son and grandkids the poker strategies he wrote about as a master of the branch of mathematics known as game theory.

But it's hard to reflect on this great loss without immediately feeling the great love of my second husband, Ed. We've used what I learned in Rod's death to build the sort of marriage that helps both of us to thrive, to grow, and to feel wonderfully loved. I would not want to imagine life without Ed. He, too, is a great model, a smart, brave, generous man with a strong sense of craftsmanship in everything he does, and the ability to be totally present in whatever he does, without distraction. I can't imagine my life, or that of my son and his wife and children, without Ed in it.

I wish you much love in your life. If you're having trouble finding it, please write to me and let me help. You can use the Comments link. If it's personal, and you don't want it to appear here, just say so in your comment. Either way, I will write back.

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Patty Newbold is a widow who got it right the second time...

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