Second Chances

Just glad to have a second chance at all of it!”

That’s what my friend, Scott, has posted on his Facebook page. It’s been there since he got married a few years ago to the girl next door—and I mean that literally. She was the girl next door.

He’d been married for about ten years, had two children, and was fighting to make it work, going above and beyond the call of duty to make things peaceful at home. I met him about eight years into the marriage, when our sons became good friends in school. We chatted often over the next few years, and when that first marriage ended, he admitted he’d known he was in a losing battle for far too many years. He was angry, bitter, and maybe even a little bit lost. He was working hard, keeping in touch with friends, learning to be independent again. He found a nice apartment that would accommodate his children on “his” days and weekends. Soon after moving in, he met his next door neighbor, Liz, a young teacher living with a friend she taught with.

Liz had the patience of a saint and a smile bright as day when he needed it—especially whenever the ex-wife was involved. They were married two years later during a surprise birthday party Scott planned for her (she wasn’t expecting the party, let alone a pastor waiting in the wings). They now have a beautifully expressive baby boy along with two teens and, yeah, it’s obvious to everyone who’s known Scott over the past few years how happy he is at this second chance.

See, I like this kind of stuff! And I know I’m not alone—Lifetime and Hallmark movie channels are on the air because of other romantics like me who are suckers for a good love story (the more tissues needed, the better the story). Same goes for book sales, with the “romance” genre being consistently a top seller.

I’ve been working sporadically on Book #3 (while finishing up Book #2). It features four main characters, three of whom are getting a second chance at love. Two are widowed—they’d had good love and good marriages and stuck to the “til death do you part” clause. They didn’t expect, or want, to be in their forties and single again. The third character is divorced—and is admittedly an amalgam of Scott along with two other friends who tried in vain to make their marriages work.

I’m writing this story of fictional characters while watching my friends’ real lives unfold. I can make my characters maintain hope for a second chance at love; I can put each of them in the right scene with the right person to make it happen. And as I’ve noted before, I’m a romantic. My stories will always have the slow-building (and flirty!) romance, conflicts that only true love can handle, and a Happily Ever After ending. (By the way, if you’re new to my writing, you can get a snippet of my romantic nature by reading the excerpt from “The Bridge,” a short story that’s also about second chances. Click on the link at the top of the page.)

What’s nice to observe, though, is that my other two soon-to-be-divorced friends haven’t given up on second chances either. They believe a Happily Ever After is just a chapter or two away. Those chapters may be years in the making, but the hope remains. When the right scene and the right person comes along, it’ll be Hallmark-channel-three-tissues worthy.

And I’ll tell you right now, I can hardly wait.

Next Week: Romantic Gestures

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4 Responses to Second Chances

  1. What I think is so beautiful about second chances is that the people involved have learned from that first one, so they have a shot at avoiding some of those relationship-killing mistakes the second time around. All just a theory though—I’m still hacking away at the first one.

    • I think you’re right! Not only do you learn about what it takes to have a strong relationship, but you learn your own assets and liabilities you bring to the situation. You’re definitely more likely to consider what the “for worse” might be along with the “for better” because we all know that bad days happen. Hmmm…advice that would have been good for Kim Kardashian??

  2. What a wonderful story about second chances. I’m a romantic too and believe there is someone for everyone, even if it’s that person’s second chance. 🙂

    • And that’s TOTALLY the story of Scott and Liz! He’s such a sweetie and a wonderful dad (my son Ian even commented once that Scott was the coolest dad he knew). He really means what he wrote on Facebook.

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