Love is in the air!

Winter is a time of blustery winds, warm blankets, and book friends to fill your heart.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Guest Blog by Jan McDonnell

My Christmas Love Story

By Jan McDonnell

            I was fortunate enough to have met my soul mate in September of 1998 at the age of 45.   I met Mike in an internet chat room shortly after my divorce was final.
            Mike and I spoke on the internet constantly, then exchanged phone numbers and talked every night for hours. It was an incredible experience to discover all we had in common.  Besides having children and both of us diehard Yankee fans, we had a love of family and tradition, and, being Italian, we loved to cook.
            We met in October, and immediately fell in love.  Mike brought me six red roses, a bottle of wine and a pizza.  Ah, a guy after my own heart.
            We saw each other every two weeks; oh, did I mention I lived in New York, and he lived in Rhode Island?  I took the Amtrak to Providence one week, and Mike would drive to NY the next time around.
            By Thanksgiving, he had proposed to me and I said yes without thinking.  I'd been married before for 23 years, and never felt the way I did with Mike. 
            We decided that we'd wait until my son turned 18 until I could move to Rhode Island and start my life with him. We married in January, 2000, bought a house, and settled in.  We were not only husband and wife, but he was my best friends. We could tell each other anything, and shared not only good times, but tough times as well.  Mike was not well, but our romance grew with time. My love for him only grew deeper each day, week and month.
            We bought a house together later that year, and prepared for our first Christmas in our new home.   We cut down our own tree at a friend's farm in Exeter, and set it up together, hanging lights on the tree and in the windows, writing out Christmas cards,  laughing, drinking wine and decorating our lovely house with love and happiness.
            I'd never really known what love was until I met Mike.  He'd do little things for me, things that may seem pedestrian and trivial, but he treated me with respect and with undying love. Our first Christmas together was unforgettable.
            We exchanged little gifts every Christmas, things like Yankees sweatshirts and caps.  I loved making a soup to nuts candlelit Christmas dinner.   He'd give me my favorite red roses, beautiful cards or love letters. I didn’t need much. I had his love and our lives together.
            Christmas Day was breakfast in bed, staying in our pj's all day, and just enjoying each other and celebrating our life together. 
            I would only share ten more Christmases with Mike.
            I'm not going to end this post on a sad note. I lost Mike in September of 2010, but our years together, especially our Christmases, are stamped in my heart for all time.
            Suffice to say, we filled a lifetime worth of Christmases into a decade, sharing our lives, and our love.
            He was my Christmas gift day in and day out, and I feel incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to share 12 magical years with him, ten of them as his wife, lover, best friend and guiding light.
            In the film, "Steel Magnolias", Julia Roberts tells the Sally Fields character something I'll never forget and always apply when I speak of my life with Mike.  "I'd rather have thirty minutes of something wonderful, than a lifetime of nothing special."
            I'm thankful for those 'thirty minutes'.  They were beyond special and every Christmas memory is etched in my heart for always.
            Merry Christmas to all of you, and I wish you everything wonderful. 

Read more about Jan and love at:   

Thank you Jan for sharing these Christmas memories with us. You have shown us that love is timeless and ageless.



  1. Jan, this is such a beautiful piece that it brought tears to my eyes. I have no doubt the strength of that love will bring you through many trials. I know you'll never lose your faith in Mike and the special relationship you shared. You have made my day, inspiring me to remember fondly the many relatives who have left my life, especially at this most magical time of year. It can't have been easy to write this. Thanks for posting it.

    Karen Frisch

  2. Jan,
    We need to be happy about every special moment and not take anything for granted. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. Jan, that was...well, the best post ever. Your love for Mike leapt from the monitor. I'm so glad you had that time with him and though you'll miss him in this physical world, I'm sure he's with you in the next. :)