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Chicago area mom takes a risk and finds happiness

When are you going to get remarried?” my grandma would often ask.

Having been divorced for seven years with children ages 8 and 13, life had progressed to the point where I discovered I didn’t need a partner to secure my family.

“Life is good, Gram,” I’d respond with a wink. “Why complicate it?”

Besides, after experiencing several failed attempts at a decent relationship, it had become easier not to try. Not to bother with the possibilities, the work, the disappointment and the explanation to the children why they won’t be seeing (fill in the blank) again. There wasn’t a revolving door in my home, mind you, but this is the reality in the life of a single mother.

Sure, in a perfect world, you wouldn’t have to deal with all this. In a perfect world you’d find “the one” and stay together. If by chance you did split, second best would be a father who stayed involved in his children’s lives. Or in our case, you have what’s behind door #3—you and the children on your own.

At this point, if you told me what the next chapter in our lives was about to look like, I would have sent you to the doctor for hallucinations. It just goes to show, you never know what’s around the corner.

I never would have guessed that participating on a women’s softball team was going to alter our lives.

Having started off the season on a losing streak, the team captain convinced her husband to be our coach. Figuring dealing with 14 women might become difficult, he brought along an assistant. I immediately dismissed the attraction between that assistant and me.

I was convinced the responsible thing to do was to stay off the love merry-go-round.

Maybe it was the fact that we finished #1 that season, or maybe it was because he made me laugh, but I decided to take the risk and go out with him. As far as turning points in life go, this was extraordinary, although not always easy.

Sixteen years later, I can see everything we would have missed if I hadn’t taken that leap of faith.

The kids and I opened up our little circle of love and have learned so many valuable life lessons—you may get hurt but should have the courage to get up and love again.

There may not be such a thing as a “perfect” world, but sometimes things do turn out just right.

Cheryl Burns is a freelance writer residing in North Riverside. She is the mom of three and grandmother of two.

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