Valentines Day:  a day to acknowledge the people in our lives whom we love. Of course no one really needs a designated day to express affection, gratitude, longings of the heart. And yet this is what the day has come to represent.

It’s a perfect opportunity to share this new feature I wrote for 5280’s website  — about how I came to meet my second husband Steve Saunders straight from the pages of the magazine. Read on…

Moving to Denver from Manhattan meant grabbing a second chance at life, a real Act Two. Never a shy one when it came to meeting people, I knew I had to reach out to Steve Saunders the minute I saw his photo in5280’s Single In the City issue in February 2007.

There was something about Steve’s story that touched me. I was a widow and single mother to five-year-old twins, trying to manage the first house I’d ever owned. Steve, too, had lost his spouse to cancer and was raising children—two teenage boys. The deal was sealed when my neighbor told me she thought Steve, an anchor and reporter for 7News, resembled a younger, darker Robert Redford.

What did I have to lose by emailing him?

I fired off a quick note. I included a sexy photo of me in a black evening gown. No response. I told myself he’d never received it. I was emboldened from beginning this new life in Colorado, so two weeks later I resent the email— this time copying his work address (easily accessible on the web).

Steve responded right away, apologizing for his tardiness. We exchanged flirty emails, spoke by phone, set a date, and lingered over that first dinner for three hours. Was it possible we had all (us and our spouses) attended the same Bruce Springsteen concert in New York years earlier? And that our spouses shared an oncologist, also in New York? The connections were immediate and profound (on all levels) and soon Steve sent romantic texts daily—my own headline news. For two people whose lives had been shattered by loss, suddenly, to borrow Steve’s words, we felt “more hopeful about the future than sad about the past.”

We married in July 2008 at the pavilion in Cheesman Park joined by our children, our families, and friends, all of whom had encouraged us to give love another chance. It was a late summer day, and as the wind whipped my veil, I felt triumphant at having finally arrived at a place where the thin line separating past and present merged.

We’re all searching for connection, so don’t sit quietly when your gut urges otherwise. Send a note, make a call, get involved. Act Two awaits.

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