Surviving a bankruptcy and losing my homes was not easy.
Even though I knew they were just “things” I was losing, it was still painful. But, I had a distraction through it all, which made it so much easier.
I met Judd in November, just before the holiday season, and he took me to one holiday party after another. He sold advertising for a local publishing company, and his job came with a lot of invitations.
We had a lot of fun, and I felt like Cinderella.
For Christmas he gave me a beautiful silver cuff bracelet that he had specially ordered for me. He said it was a Wonder Woman bracelet, because I reminded him of her.
He watched me go through so much and said I handled myself with strength and grace. I was so touched and wore my new bracelet feeling every bit a super hero.
When 2008 rolled around, we were dating full-time. He was so charming and tall and handsome with his steel-blue eyes and full sandy hair. He looked every bit the part of a California surfer and turned a lot of ladies’ heads.
And he was 10 years younger than I.
We spent a lot of time hiking and exploring Oregon. We went camping together and enjoyed our time in the great outdoors. Everything was wonderful.
The sting of losing my homes was replaced with spending most of my time on a lake, or up a trail or staring up at the stars in a pitch-black sky. This became my new home and I loved it so much more than the walls and furniture I lost.
My favorite place was a little pit stop in Southern Oregon called Summer Lake Hot Springs. There is nothing for miles around and the sky is so black. At night, if you lie on the ground, you can move your head in every single direction and see stars.
It’s absolutely breathtaking.
When early spring came, we drove to Palm Desert with his parents to enjoy the warm weather and play tennis. His mom was an avid tennis player and, at one time, an instructor so she made sure I became a tennis player too.
We rode bikes to the tennis courts each day and played for hours. Later we would have a healthy dinner around the pool, relaxing and enjoying each other’s company. They were “from money”, and I felt like one of the Kennedy’s, being part of a world I had never experienced before.
Judd was charismatic and the life of the party. He seem to always be laughing or coming up with something fun for us to do. His parents were exactly like him and it was easy to fall into joining in with them for whatever adventure they were coming up with next.
By the beginning of May, Judd and I made the decision to let his apartment go, and he moved in with me. It made perfect sense because we were together anytime we weren’t working.
I couldn’t have been happier and was excited to introduce him to my sons. It would take a lot to win them over, but I knew he would.
He was Judd.