I know the last few days, or, really, the last couple of weeks’ posts have had sort of a down tone to them, just given things with Nala, so I thought tonight’s post should be a little more upbeat.

It’s a fitting post as my sister and brother-in-law aka “big brother” just left after having dinner together. They came by partially to help me give Nala her medicine, but as it turns out, I didn’t have to attempt shoving it down her throat because of some FANTASTIC advice from singlegirlie yesterday, who suggested wrapping the pill in a hunk of cream cheese. SUCCESS! She devoured it happily.

<phew>

Now, on to my guest post from “big brother.” This was something he wrote for me without my asking or prodding, completely on his own, and it’s an understatement to say I am touched by the gesture, and almost speechless at what he wrote. I feel so lucky already to have him as a friend (since we were 14! I still take credit for my sister going on a date with him back in the day, but I digress…) but also as a brother-in-law, and now, really, as a “big brother” who has been one of the most supportive of me through all of this. So, without further ado, his post on his views of my progress since the beginning of my divorce, back in October 2008…

So let me introduce myself — I am Jolene’s brother-in-law, Jess’ husband and someone who has sat back and watched the incredible transformation of Jo. I’ve had a front row seat for an astonishing ride that is far from over and will have an amazing ending. There is no doubt about it.
You can’t be around Jo and not see the change in her.  Now, I’ve known and loved Jo like my own little sister long before her divorce and was also good friends with Pete, but there is just something amazingly different about her today.  Sure, she’s still Jo with that same quirky sense of humor (my wife has the same one and it is hysterical when they get together), same determination, and yup, she is still stubborn as hell.  But yet, there’s something different.  She’s enjoying her life so much more. Doing things for her – for once in her life.  Whether it’s going to Vegas for a weekend (still a little disappointed I didn’t get the invite because I LOVE VEGAS, but I digress…), visiting friends in Florida or just going on a date.
It’s amazing to me that she has thrown caution to the wind… a little anyway. She still needs to check in with Jess before a date both beforehand, a quick text during the date (I don’t know how she pulls that one off but somehow she does it…maybe while in the bathroom??) and then a final text once she gets home so her big brother can sleep at night. I’m a little protective — I blame that on my dad.
Jo has jumped into the dating pool with the same determination and stubborn nature that she has met every challenge with.  The truth is that you are not going to meet your soul mate unless you get out there and meet different people.  You need to open yourself up to others completely in the hope that they will do the same. That’s how you find and make that special connection. No magic wand. No secret ingredients. Just open yourself up – yup, scary thing to do.  This is not easy. Not only is it going to take some time and unfortunately, it’ll probably take several different dating partners until you make a connection.  Jess and I worked together for years, and talked occasionally but we never would have found each other if we did not take that chance, opening ourselves up to potential heartache. (Thanks Jo!) I am touched that Jo wants what we have. I find it refreshing that she is willing to do whatever it takes to find it.  And I’m proud of her determination and strength the last year or so. It’s not been easy…especially this dating thing… letting yourself be vulnerable over and over again, it has to be tough. I don’t know if I could do it after what she’s been through, but she is doing it and having a fun with it.
So here’s my advice…
You may need to go on several first dates.
A lot of second dates.
Even a few fifth dates.
Before you find the one.
And when you do, you’ll realize that all of those experiences were well worth it.
So, in the meantime, enjoy the imposters, the posers, and even a couple geeks.
Enjoy each experience as it’s own.
Because one day, you’ll be sitting across the table from Mr. Right.
And I can’t wait to meet him. <insert big brother fist pump>

Scott, thank you…this is amazing, and I’m so glad my sister has one of the most respectful, loving, awesomely funny husbands in the world. You guys are my inspiration.

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