Falling for Dr. Grandma

November 6, 2009 in Diabetes Management, Home and Garden by Victor Bunderson

Ten years ago when we first met online, family and friends were horrified that I would take up with an internet stranger. I just liked the idea that she could communicate well in writing, with wit and spirit. I liked it that she was a computer literate woman, although even now, she regards herself as less than the modestly computer-savvy person she really is.

I was a bit cautious myself, but believed that it is hard to conceal who you really are when you write.  Also, she wrote well and as I later found out, is fun to talk to.

Going onto an on-line dating service was not something I was keen to do, so I got on with no fanfare and with a minimum of information and no picture, just to see what would happen.  I was driven to it by finding some old honeymoon photos of my late and dearly beloved wife Eileen, gone about a year at that time.  Grief takes a long, long time to heal, but loneliness can’t be healed by staying alone.  If you had 38 ½ years of a really great marriage, with 6 kids and 16 grandkids then (now 26 from the Bunderson 6), you yearn to have companionship again, to share the big house, the big garden, and the joys of interacting with the growing extended family.  Eileen was a fellow professor at BYU, and we talked about everything.  She was a botanist and science educator, and a landscape architect.  She designed and supervised construction of the big park-like garden that Joyce (whose email was a variation on "Garden Lady") now loves and has improved and expanded.

The main level of the garden from upper back deck contains waterfall and rose garden.

Upper garden, above waterfall and stone path, has vegetable plot.

So despite trying to lurk quietly to see what was out there, I was very soon accosted by a lot of single women who had their search parameters set for someone with my age and other general characteristics. After a while one of them attracted my attention by the witty and somewhat saucy way she responded. So that started our correspondence, using at first our user names that concealed our identity. It didn’t take long before we started talking by phone with our real names. Then we began a dating game where one or the other of us flew between LA and Salt Lake City.

Some months of fun and romantic times ensued. One notable event was standing under an umbrella in the rain on top of Stone Mountain, Georgia and giving her a ring. Six months after we met online we were married, with receptions in Utah County and Ventura County.

So now our readers may see us bantering a bit between our blogs, and that is how we carry on face-to-face. We have a great relationship, and talk about everything under the sun. Foods and healthy living is a shared passion. She tried for a while to help me as vice president of my non-profit company, and now I am backing her company and helping out. It is the least I can do, because less than four years after Stone Mountain, I was diagnosed with diabetes. Her special experiences and education in weight management, nutrition, foods, and controlling your food environment was brought to bear very rapidly, and in ways superior to the “Diabetes Education” we received. I will blog about that later. The rapid success in getting my weight down and keeping it down for five years, without medications after only 6 months, is a story we both wanted to share.

One of many Eileen-planted garden plants, this peony, like the grandchildren, thrives.

Three stockings hang on the mantle. One reminds us of Eileen.