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Monday, April 15, 2024
THE LOVE REPORT: Finding love after a tragic loss
Sonia, left, and Paulo Polonio had an on-again, off-again love story, which they finally made permanent after her father died. SUPPLIED

Sonia and Paulo Polonio

In 2007, upon returning from a vacation in the Bahamas, I buried my husband of 10 years on my 32nd birthday.

I spent the next six years keeping myself busy with work and trying to rebuild my life.

I sold everything, including the matrimonial home in the suburbs and even the children’s books I was collecting for our little family that would never be.

Over time, I found the courage to date again. But after several years of failed attempts to find my prince in a sea of internet toads, I was ready to give up and accept that it wasn’t meant to be.

Until one night, I reluctantly opened a message and intuitively knew there was something special about Paulo, the man in the photo smiling back at me.

After four years of on-and-off-again dating, Paulo finally broke up with me when I half-jokingly suggested to him that we should sell everything and move to Niagara-on-the-Lake or Thailand.

Instead of moving forward with Paulo, I sold my condo in the city and bought a small home where my aging father would live with me.

Over the next three years, my father quickly became my best friend.

I enjoyed watching him cut our lawn, having barbecue dinners together and even doing day trips to NOTL.

Paulo and I became just friends and I saw him on a regular basis. I even got dating advice from him.

But the solace I found in my new life quickly ended the day I learned my best friend, my father, was dying of terminal cancer.

It took only six months before the cancer finally took him on Feb. 10, the same day as my husband’s birthday.

During those six months, as I was struggling to be my father’s caregiver, Paulo became my guardian angel.

Among other things, he would show up in the middle of the night, and without my knowledge, shovel my driveway so that I would have one less thing to worry about.

It was only after the third snowfall that it dawned on me how my car escaped the snow when all the other cars around me were buried in it.

It was at that same moment, I realized that Paulo was true-blue and that I would marry him – that is, if he still wanted me.

After my dad’s memorial, I casually asked Paulo why, after we broke up, he never dated other women?

He said it was because once he started to date other women, he knew we would never get back together.

Then, I asked if he thought we should get married, to which he responded yes.

So, on March 24, 2016, we eloped to NOTL and got married at the Living Water Wayside Chapel on the Parkway.

We spent that weekend at a B&B, followed by a honeymoon in Antigua.

In July 2022, six years later, we came back to that B&B and bought it, and have since made NOTL our forever home.

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