We found love later in life. Here’s how we blended our families.

Belmont Village La Jolla residents Ed and Marilyn met in 1977 at a meeting for Parents without Partners. They recently wrote a letter in the San Diego Union Tribune to share more about their love story.

Our love story began in Washington, D.C., in 1977. We met at a meeting at Parents without Partners, an organization that helps single parents learn to cope with raising children by themselves. We had each separated from first spouses about six months earlier and were both parents with sole custody of one child each. She had a 2-year-old girl, and I had a 9-year-old boy.

We hadn’t met before, but we discovered many shared interests in discussions during those meetings, including similar Midwestern backgrounds. We began dating one month after meeting. I asked Marilyn if I could call her, and she was going to provide her phone number when I said, “Oh, I already have it! I wrote it down from the sign-in sheet.” Our relationship quickly became exclusive, and our families blended easily. Marilyn impressed my son Scott by kicking a football 70 feet with no problem at all, and Marilyn’s daughter Courtney became my little grammar corrector.

By late 1978, I was offered my dream job in San Diego, and my son and I moved to California, but it wasn’t long before I realized how much I missed Marilyn and Courtney. After securing a brand-new small house in Oceanside, I popped the question to Marilyn and Courtney, and they packed and joined us in San Diego. We were married at Oceanside Presbyterian Church on April 28, 1979. Our two families had become a mini-Brady Bunch. Courtney served as maid of honor and flower girl, and Scott was my best man. The courtyard of the church made a beautiful California setting for the wedding, which was followed by a 10th-floor ocean-view wedding dinner at Elario’s restaurant in La Jolla.

As working parents, we found new friends at our jobs and at our new church. The kids fit right in to a new neighborhood of young families, school buddies and Sunday school. In San Diego, we found a new community of support for our new family. By blending that community of support and our own compatible and loving relationship, we built a new life together. We were able to communicate and resolve everyday issues with compassion, understanding and love.

Once our children completed college and flew the coop, we began to consider our own next steps. We eventually decided that Belmont Village Senior Living La Jolla would provide us the lifestyle we were looking for without all the hassle and interruptions involved in maintaining a home. We now have more time to care for each other and prioritize each other’s happiness.

They say that Valentine’s Day this year will be a celebration of love, entertainment and friends at the Belmont Village Valentine’s Day dance and party, and we can’t wait to celebrate what we have created together.

Click here to read Ed’s complete letter in the San Diego Union Tribune.