‘I received a call from my husband’s co-worker. ‘Brittany, hurry, run. Allen is hurt really bad.’ My heart wasn’t prepared for what I was about to witness.’: Widow finds ‘love after loss’

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“You know those rare occasions in life when God unexpectedly blesses you out of the blue? Those times where your life changes forever? I have been fortunate enough to have been blessed with two of those rare moments in my life thus far. One in particular changed my life altogether and molded me into the woman I am today. The other allowed me to give another person the very best version of myself. For that, I am forever grateful to the Lord that His plans were always greater than my own.

June 22, 2012 is the day I met Allen Ramsey. He was a successful farmer who lived in another town an hour and a half away from myself. Never have I ever been set up on a date with a complete stranger. I wasn’t ready to date anyone, but after much persuasion from a friend, I agreed to a casual double date. Little did I know, that night would change my path and my life forever.

Allen pulled up in his F-450 King Ranch pickup truck. He was a tall, handsome cowboy that I initially wasn’t sure of. He had a way about him that made you feel comfortable and at home. His country twang and demeanor drew you towards him. He had a confident air about him and I found it very attractive. His laugh was highly contagious. As the evening progressed, so did my attraction to him. Needless to say, the night I was not really looking forward to quickly became a night I didn’t want to end.

Courtesy of Brittany Ramsey-Dyer

That night quickly turned into a second date the next night and a third date the following weekend. I distinctively remember telling my mom that weekend I had met the man I was going to marry. Our relationship quickly grew and soon I found myself in love with this cowboy I spent every weekend with for a year. Helping him work on his farm on the weekends and hanging out with friends on the lake. However, as our relationship grew, we knew we no longer wanted to be apart throughout the week. At the end of 2013 I quit my job, moved out of my parent’s house in Glasgow, KY, and moved to Monticello, KY with Allen. I worked as secretary of his farming operation and was happily in love.

Courtesy of Brittany Ramsey-Dyer

A year later I found myself sharing the exciting news with Allen that we were expecting our first child. Let me just say, I have never seen someone more excited to become a dad. After sharing the exciting news with our family and friends, we finally settled into this new idea that we were going to be parents. We were ecstatic. As if it couldn’t get any better, he asked me to be his wife December 23, 2014. Of course, I said yes!

Layla Alynn Ramsey was born July 6, 2015. Our lives changed forever that day. We both had a different presence about us. Like being her parents was what we were made to do. She brought about a new purpose to our lives. On September 18, 2015, I said ‘I do’ to the man of my dreams with the historical farm wedding of our dreams. Life was wonderful as I worked side-by-side with him in his farming business while raising our daughter. It was a life I had never dreamed of, but was more perfect than I could have ever imagined.

Courtesy of Brittany Ramsey-Dyer

A year later, life found us in another new adventure. Allen had always dreamed of moving back to his hometown. He dreamed of owning the farm where he grew up. He longed to raise a large family in the log cabin home his parents built when he was a child. After much thought and consideration, we decided to sell our farm and make the move to Danville, KY. The first morning in our forever home, we found out we were expecting our second child. His dreams were coming true; we were going to bring another baby home to this place where he had envisioned raising a large family. I’ll never forget how excited he was. He only told his best friend as we wanted to wait until our first appointment to share with family. Little did I know just after 10 days of living in that home, nine days after our one year anniversary, everything would change.

That day will forever be the worst day of my life. I had just gotten our 15-month-old down for a nap. I had planned to use this time to help Allen get the office situated after the move. However, after only moments from being in the office, I received a call from one of his work hands stating, ‘Brittany, hurry, run. Allen is hurt really bad.’ My heart literally dropped to my stomach. I felt as if I couldn’t breathe as I frantically ran to the barn. What I observed next, my heart was not prepared to witness.

Allen lay on the dusty barn floor face up. He was white as a ghost and I had no idea what had happened. Allen’s last words to me were, ‘I don’t know’ when I asked him what happened. As I frantically searched his body for injuries like I was trained to do in my previous CNA and EMT trainings, his employee said, ‘Brittany, be careful there is a gun.’ Ground hogs had been tearing up our barn floor. Allen was frustrated and mentioned he was going to take his hand gun with him that morning in case he ran up on one. I frantically pulled the gun out of his front hoodie pocket that was still secure in its holster, raised up his shirt, and noticed a bullet wound in his abdomen. As I called 911, did everything in my power to keep him conscious. When he quit breathing, I performed CPR. When he started foaming out of the mouth, all I could do was cry out loud, ‘Please stay with me Allen, please!’ After what felt like an eternity, the EMTs and Paramedics arrived and wheeled him away.

I’ll never forget the two hours of sitting and waiting in a tiny waiting room with both of our families, awaiting the surgeons to come out and let us know if he was okay. But when the surgeon walked in with the Chaplin, I knew my best friend was gone. I cried out in shock, ‘No! I am pregnant, he can’t be gone!’ Honestly, the next few days after that were a blur. How would I carry this baby? How would I raise two babies on my own? How would I provide for them or pay our bills? My world was literally turned upside down.

Courtesy of Photography by Autumn

The months after moving back home with my parents were a whirlwind. I joined a network marketing company not long before his passing as a side hustle for fun, which quickly turned into my full-time job. I put all my efforts into my business. I needed to save money to get our own home before our little boy arrived. I wanted to feel ‘normal’ again, despite how very not normal I felt.

I began going to church with my brother and sister-in-law. I studied God’s word, attended church, surrounded myself with friends and family, and I prayed a lot. Despite how very angry I was with God, I knew if I put my faith and trust in Him, He would provide a safe haven for myself and for my kids. I purchased a sign and hung it up to where I could see it every day that stated, ‘For I know the plans I have for you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11.’ I constantly prayed and reached to the Lord to surrender. I had to tell myself over and over, ‘Lord, I don’t know why I am going through this, but it’s not my job to know everything. I trust you.’ Even on the days when the pain was unbearable, I kept waking up, climbing the mountain, and pushed through for my baby girl and our unborn son.

Courtesy of Brittany Ramsey-Dyer

The day finally came. I had waited nine whole long months to meet Allen ‘Sage’ Ramsey. The room was filled with my closest girlfriends, my mother, and my father. My support system was unreal. My OB-GYN knew and fully understood my story. He was incredibly comforting to me at every appointment and even more so on delivery day. The emotions surrounding that day were so surreal. I never imagined in my wildest dreams I would be in a position at which I would be bringing our child into this world without Allen by my side. However, my friends brought mine and Allen’s wedding picture to set on my bedside table during delivery. It’s kind of strange how much comfort that little gesture brought me. With my mom holding one hand and my dad holding the other, I brought my baby boy into the world. My initial reaction — he was a spitting image of his father.

Courtesy of Photography by Autumn

Those first few weeks at home were difficult. I had a wonderful support system with my mother and grandmother just minutes down the road from us. After a few weeks, I finally started to get into this new role of being a single mom to a 22-month-old and a newborn. Even though things were falling into place in my life, I was incredibly lonely. I shared my life with Allen for years. We became one and I lived my life for him and our family. One day it was all gone, and the immense pain and loneliness I felt was unbearable at times. I needed someone to talk to other than my girlfriends and I was curious about the possibilities of love again. But I was in no hurry to get there.

One evening I hosted an event at my home for my business and overheard a conversation between a few of the ladies. One gal told another about this man that would be perfect for someone. She continued to say he was her high school boyfriend back in the day and was a wonderful person. He put himself through veterinary school and was very successful and stable. He was recently divorced and had a beautiful little girl around the same age as my Layla. Later the girl said, ‘Brittany, I know you aren’t ready yet but when you are, I think Wesley and you would be perfect!’

For whatever reason, that night I couldn’t stop thinking about the man those ladies were speaking so highly of. I looked him up on Facebook and then Instagram. Creepy, I know. But then, something came over me and I thought, ‘Maybe I should just message him and start a conversation, what’s the worst that could happen?’ So, I did. ‘Hey! So I know this is so random and weird. You are probably wondering who this girl is that added you on Facebook and Instagram. Some ladies were at my house the other night and randomly in conversation brought you up. I know we don’t know one another and I never message people I don’t know on Facebook, but I just wanted to say hey! Your little girl is so stinkin’ presh!’ To my surprise, a few hours later I got a response back. ‘I get a lot of friend requests from people soliciting for free vet advice, so I checked you out before I added you. Not to say I wouldn’t give you free vet advice if you needed it. And thank you, seriously. My baby girl is my world. Your kids though, they’re adorable.’

We hit it off instantly. We talked on Facebook, through text, Snapchat, and FaceTime for an entire month before I finally got the courage to go out on a date with him. I honestly felt like I truly knew him before I ever met him in person and I waited until I felt I was ready to finally meet him in person. However, looking back, I was not totally myself. I compared Wesley to Allen and even contemplated letting him know I couldn’t see it going anywhere. I felt as if I were cheating on Allen. I was devastated at the thought of not seeing him again because we had such great conversation. After a lot of thought and prayer, I decided to go on a second date.

It was a while before I ever let him meet Layla. However, the first time he held Sage in his arms, I melted inside. I knew I wanted a father figure for my children, but I was cautious because I had them to think about as well as his little girl. Eventually, he met Layla for the first time. He brought her flowers, chased her up and down the hallway, and played dolls with her in her tent. To say I was over the moon with excitement is an understatement. He was such a natural when it came to my children. He asked about their day and what they were doing. It wasn’t just a relationship that was growing between him and myself, but him with my children and I with his daughter.

Courtesy of Brittany Ramsey-Dyer
Courtesy of Brittany Ramsey-Dyer

As our relationship grew, and even pretty early on, we came to the conclusion we would be in this for the long haul. We both had been through so much and could really relate to one another. For so long, I felt like a part of my heart would be closed off forever. He listened to me when I cried after our first kiss. He held me in moments when my grief spasms would take control. He allowed me to talk about Allen with him. He understood why I kept his pictures up and talked about Allen to Layla. My new life with Wesley made me feel as if I were home. He made me feel alive again, and so when he asked me to be his wife 14 months after we began dating, of course, I said yes.

Courtesy of Brittany Ramsey-Dyer

Another thing I loved and valued about Wesley was his love for Christ. So naturally, when we began having conversations about the wedding and moving in together, we wanted to do it in such a way that would be pleasing to God. We took pre-marital counseling through the church we had been attending together. We engaged in tough conversations and really thought everything through in such a way that would be easy for the children. In the end, we loved one another so fiercely. Our children loved one another and we could not wait to all be under one roof.

Courtesy of Brittany Ramsey-Dyer

Marrying Wesley and being his wife has been the biggest blessing in my life. I did not know if I would ever experience love again. Real, genuine love. However, I held strong to my faith. I knew one day I would wake up and understand all of my pain had great purpose. I lost my first husband while carrying my unborn child. This allowed me to be mindful to not just take care of Layla during that time, but to take care of myself. Our son was diagnosed with Autism, and God has shown me so much beauty in this world through the eyes of my baby boy. I learned my heart is capable of having two great loves. My children have the best father that loves them unconditionally, is their biggest cheerleader, and does everything possible to keep their father’s memory alive. Most importantly, my pain had a bigger purpose. Love after loss is possible.”

Courtesy of A Love for Photography
Courtesy of Photography by Autumn

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Brittany Ramsey-Dyer of Park City, KY. You can follow her journey on Instagram, Facebook, and her website. Submit your own story hereand be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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