Anne nursed husband Bob through five tough years with cancer. Before he died, he said, “You will meet someone with even more in common. My best legacy will be for you to enjoy a happy second marriage.”
Fourteen months after Bob died, his prophecy had not come true. Then, at a neighborhood holiday party in Santa Barbara, CA, Anne ran into a local builder. He was renovating the elegant nearby San Ysidro Ranch and offered her a free night in the hotel. She decided to spend Christmas Eve there.
A week later at a different party, Anne spotted Michael across the room. A casual acquaintance and local philanthropist, Michael was several years older. Still Anne says, “I felt an invisible hand on my shoulder pushing me toward him.” This old-fashioned, 60-something widow found herself asking Michael what he was doing Christmas Eve. “Not much,” he said. She invited him to dinner.
She reported the invitation to me, her big sister. I shrieked, “You invited him to a hotel? What will he think?”
“I don’t know how I had the nerve to ask Mike out, especially to a hotel,” Anne says. “I had never done anything like that before. I think I was propelled by Bobby.”
Michael arrived at Anne’s cottage bearing a bottle of champagne and a large bouquet of roses. They dined and talked in front of a glowing fire and danced to the one CD in the cottage. At 11pm, Michael “gave me a lovely kiss and was out the door, the perfect gentleman.”
The next morning, Anne gathered up the roses. In the firelight, they had looked pink. In daylight, she realized they were apricot. Apricot was the color of the roses she carried in her wedding to Bob over 32 years ago. Bob had continued to present them every year for their anniversary. Just before he died, he’d paid the florist in advance to deliver apricot roses to Anne once a month for the next year. As if the flowers weren’t enough of a Godsign, Anne realized something else. The CD to which she’d danced with Michael was by Tony Bennett—Anne and Bob’s favorite singer.
Later that morning, Anne returned home. Michael had dropped off a bag of seedless tangerines. The note read, “These are from my tree. They are sweet but not as sweet as you.” Seedless tangerines were Bob’s favorite fruit. And the bag Michael put them in was a Hallmark-type bag with a photo of Venice, Italy. Venice was Bob’s favorite city and the last big trip Anne and Bob took together.
Putting her apricot roses into a vase, Anne walked upstairs and placed her hand on an antique silver box holding some of Bob’s ashes. She asked: Is this the man you want for me? She says she felt “a warm current run up and down my spine.”
Anne and Mike have been married for seven years. Friends often call their marriage a match made in heaven.
Anne says, “I couldn’t agree more.”