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LOVE STORY: Kathryn Monaco-Douglas, Scott Douglas

Kathryn Monaco-Douglas and Scott Douglas of Dix Hills were brought together by a great loss. Kathryn tells their story.

I was devastated by the sudden loss of my first husband, Larry, in 2000. We had been married 20 years and had three children, ages 18, 14 and 11. My sister enrolled me in a bereavement group at the Jewish Y in Commack three months later. I reluctantly went.

Scott, one of the men in the group, had lost his wife, Sally. They had been married 14 years and had younger children, ages 4, 6 and 11. He was there seeking help from other widowers to better understand how to cope with raising his children alone.

We became friends because of the many commonalities we had, especially our ages. We were both 42.

After the eight-week program was over, the group would meet weekly for dinner. We did this for a year. Scott and one of the other men started dating women outside of the group and would discuss their dates with me and ask me for advice.

I thought I would never date or love again but if I ever did, it would have to be with someone like Scott, someone who understood me and my loss. He was so sensitive and genuine when he spoke about how much he missed his wife.

One night after a group dinner, I told him if I ever dated it would have to be with someone like him.

Scott responded with, "Well, if you would date me, I will stop dating until you are ready." I didn't know that Scott had liked me. All flustered, I told him that I didn't think I would ever be ready and begged him to please continue dating. He left that night intimating that he'd wait for me even if it took years. That was the sweetest thing anyone had ever said to me.

Back home I started to think how lonely my life would be as my children got older. I thought about how much I missed and loved my first husband but realized he was never coming back. I had to make some kind of change in my life if I ever wanted to feel happy again. I e-mailed Scott saying that I would date him.

We dated for three years and married on Sept. 26, 2004, with our children in the bridal party. Our house is alive with the laughter of our six kids.

Scott and I never forget our first spouses. We recognize how short life is, appreciate every day together and know that love is a blessing.

Scott is a salesman for Sirius Computer Solutions in Hauppauge. I have my own decorative painting business, Strokes of Creativity. I also facilitate a bereavement group and a social program geared to widows and widowers at St. Matthew's Church in Dix Hills.

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