So it would seem that everyone else has blogged about it, so I suppose I should update my blog too. So here is the short version of my story with Kristopher.
Kristopher and I met through an online video game that Mike had gotten me obsessed with called City of Heros. I'm pretty sure, at first that we actually disliked each other very much and I'm not sure when that changed exactly. Anyway, there was a set group of people that we would play with and considered "friends." One day I, knowing Kristopher was an IT professional, called him to ask how to install a video card into Mike's computer. Well he sent me a link of basic instructions, which I followed, and got everything working. He was QUITE impressed! (Apparently he thought I'd look at them and decide not to do it myself.) Anyway, we were just friends at that point and remained as such for a few years. When Mike and I got engaged 12.28.07, he was very happy for us, I even told him he'd get an invite to the wedding!
Then, on 5.21.08, life changed drastically. As most of you already know, Mike passed away from a brain tumor and I was left pretty much shattered. That morning I called both my best friend and Mike's but neither picked up the phone. I think they were probably both getting ready for work at that hour. In desperation, I called Kristopher just to have anyone to talk to (my mom was still en route with my brother to the hospital). Thankfully, Kristopher picked up the phone and I told him what happened. Since that day, Kristopher has always been there, supporting me and helping me get through Mike's death. Being an insider looking in and not having to grieve Mike's death in a personal way, he was able to offer lots of insight and unbiased support.
Maybe it's not the fairytale way to start a relationship but it just happened. We talked all the time. If I needed to cry or was having a difficult time at work I could always call Kristopher and talk to him about Mike. He was, and still is, so understanding and supportive and not once has he ever expressed jealousy over Mike or acted like he was in competition with him. Of course, our friendship grew into something more and I was not having an easy time being by myself in New York. I flew to Louisiana to meet Kristopher for the first time and it was like all my burdens were temporarily lifted.
A few more visits back and forth and I decided to leave NY and move to LA for a chance to move on with my life. Some people felt it was way too soon and they may still be bitter about it now but I know I had to do what I needed to do for me. I wasn't going to hold back and wait like I did when I was with Mike and miss out on everything we had planned. So I moved.
It's been almost three years since that move. It hasn't always been easy. Learning to be in a relationship with someone new had it's difficulties but we persevered. Kristopher has helped me realize that the grieving process is different for everyone and he was open about his own grieving when his brother passed away many years ago. He continues to support me and Mike is not a forbidden topic in our lives, in fact, he enjoys hearing stories about Mike.
Well on 8.8.11 I was having a particularly difficult day. It was the 2nd anniversary of what would have been my wedding day with Mike. I pretty much zoned out for most of the day and just thinking about how excited Mike had been about the wedding we were planning. On 8.9.11, Kristopher proposed -- online. At approximately 4pm in the afternoon I received a push notification to my iPhone with a proposal and a picture of the ring we had picked out several weeks ago. I didn't cry but smiled big and laughed a little. He knew me so well! Most people might think that is the worst proposal ever but I know the meaning behind it and I loved it. It was perfect. When I got home after work, he got down on one knee with box in hand and asked me to marry him. Of course, I said yes.
So now you know our story and I hope that although it grew from such a sad event, that you see the positive in it. God truly has blessed me with not one soulmate but two. He made sure that when he took Mike away to heaven that I would have someone to help me through it. A few weeks before the proposal, when I was doing a lot of work on the house, I noticed several rainbows appearing. Ones that reminded me of the rainbow that comforted many of us on Mike's funeral day. I knew it was Mike smiling down on me, reassuring me that it's okay to settle down, move on and be with someone else. I just knew it. It was like he was hugging me from heaven. Then a few days before the proposal I heard Tears in Heaven, the song his friend sang at his wake. I felt like he was telling me, "Go, you can't stay here with me." And so, I went with his love in my heart.