When Glen Allen vowed “until death do us part,” it was supposed to be forever.
He never imagined it would only be 15 years.
The 47-year-old teacher from Milwaukee lost his wife to cancer and had to figure out how to raise his three young children, manage his job and keep his life together.
But he did, indeed, figure it out. And, unexpectedly, seven years later, he’s found love again.
And he wants to tell you all about it.
Join Allen and four other Americans as they share their stories of love and heartbreak during the USA TODAY Storytellers Project’s virtual show at 6 p.m. CT/7 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Feb. 16. Register in advance to receive a reminder at https://www.storytellersproject. com/all-events and watch on the Storytellers Project’s Facebook page, YouTube channel or website.
“By sharing my own heartfelt experience, I hope to encourage others to seek hope, healing and restoration even after life’s most devastating events,” Allen said.
He will be joined by:
• Lisa Van Loo, 42, Gilbert, Ariz.;
• Dan Boyd, 33, of Chicago;
• Kelsey Rene Campbell, 35, of Tempe, Ariz.
• Nancy Davies, 61, of Milwaukee.
Campbell, the first woman wrestler at Arizona State University and an Olympian, will share a story about her pursuit of a gold medal and heartache she experienced along the way.
Her story showcases perseverance, personal strength and fortitude.
“We all have talents to realize our dreams,” she said, “it’s often just a matter of not getting talked out of it.”
Davies and Van Loo have personal stories about finding romantic love.
A journalist and blogger, Van Loo was a divorced mother of three who had left an abusive relationship and wasn’t actively looking for love, but found it when she was literally in the middle of nowhere.
“I love my heartbreak because it allowed me to move forward and find someone I couldn’t have imagined even existed,” she said.
Davies says she was inspired to tell her story of dating debacles by everyone single and frustrated over their pursuit of a lasting relationship.
“I hear them and want them to know they’re not alone,” she said. “It seems from my experience, I’ve confirmed that we can’t make love happen. It comes in its own time. But we can remain open to what may be.”
Growing up, Daniel Andrew Boyd’s dog was his best friend. And having to say his final goodbyes was devastating, so much so that he didn’t think he would ever have the courage to open his heart and home to another dog.
“I have felt a … kind of emotional pain that I hope to share and, in so doing, perhaps connect with others who have felt the same,” said Boyd, a professional storyteller. “Maybe, if someone is currently carrying a similar emotional weight, hearing how I let it go might help them better navigate their own.”
“Love and Heartbreak” is the second show of the Storytellers Project’s 2021 storytelling season, which includes 43 national and regional shows. The series shares stories people from across the United States, all coached by USA TODAY Network journalists and professional storytelling experts.