It is said that Leonardo de Vinci carried the Mona Lisa with him for almost a decade; seemingly unable to either finish the famous portrait or to part with it. In a similar way, Lynn Duda, an accomplished artist, worked on various pieces she described as her idealized man. Then, to her utter amazement, this individual she had pictured and dreamed of walked into her life, her husband now for over 28 years,
It was a romance that almost never started. Most people know Joseph Duda as the visionary developer of the Viera community and retired CEO of A. Duda and Sons, his wife Lynn as the owner of the ever-popular Coco’s Gallery and Boutique in Cocoa Village. But theirs is also a story of how love mends hearts and the grace that makes second chances better than the first.
“Neither Joseph or I were interested in ‘meeting someone at that time,’ but we had a mutual friend who insisted that we had to get together,” Lynn recalled. “Our first date only happened because of our friend’s subterfuge. He got Joseph and I to come to a fundraising gala, assuring me that he had arranged a date with someone else that evening for Joseph. Which was the only reason I was willing to go. He picked us both up and dropped us off at the event and said he would be back in a few minutes with Joseph’s date for the evening. Well, he never came back.”
Comfortable & Transparent
Nevertheless, they had the most delightful evening together. “I have never felt so comfortable and transparent with anyone before in my life. However, I had quite a bit of trepidation, because, here was the very image of this man I had dreamed of,” Lynn said.
Joseph was equally smitten and immediately called her to go out again, but Lynn pushed back, finding one reason or another to avoid a second date. Finally, Joseph asked her to go out with him giving her a four-week lead time, “As he was sure I could arrange my schedule with that much advance warning,” she said.
“We were simply so comfortable with each other and it is still that way, plus, I’m madly in love with him. I suppose more than anything we were and are best friends. We like being together and miss each other when we are apart. If I get hurt or am struggling, he will pull me out of my shell, so we talk it out. He picks me up when I’m down and I try and do likewise.”
“Joseph has exposed me to new interests and we have both grown together so much in our faith walk,” she added. “That has been part of the glue that holds us together; we have this third person involved in our relationship that makes our bond together grow deeper and deeper.”
Second chances can be better than the first