As I stood on the deck holding my left hand, I could feel the void and knew what had happened. I also knew I couldn’t look at it. I just stood there trying to breathe through the burning pain I felt in my left thumb.
With my eyes squeezed shut, I kept saying out loud, “It burns! It burns”! Within seconds John was at my side talking to me and leading me into the house.
Grabbing a towel from the kitchen, he told me to turn away so he could see the extent of the injury. Talking in quiet, hushed tones, he assured me everything would be okay; but I had a hard time believing him in that moment.
John wrapped my hand with the towel and put an ice pack on it and told me he’d be right back. What was probably just a few minutes felt like an eternity; so I called out to John asking where he was. He came back into the house and said, “Looking for your thumb, honey.”
As the autumn breeze cooled the air, my heart filled with warmth when John uttered those three words he had said to me months earlier. Not only had he said, “I love you,” but I also knew he meant it. Perhaps it was the fear of his uncertain future, but in that moment I didn’t care.
A month later we were sitting together on a bench outside Courtroom A waiting for John’s trial to begin, neither of us wanting to show the anxiety we both felt. I could sense John’s fidgeting before he stood up and announced he needed to use the bathroom.
I watched him walk away and noticed his usual swagger was absent. From the moment I met John, he had an air of confidence that I knew didn’t always match what he was feeling inside. That day he couldn’t mask the anxiety he was feeling, and I noticed his shoulders weren’t as square as usual.
As soon as she told me, “Yes, they brought him in, he is in the emergency room” my heart sank. I didn’t cry though. That’s not the time to cry.
Instead, I grabbed a jacket and my keys and raced to my car.
I don’t recall the nine-minute drive to the hospital. But I
do remember sitting in a chair in the waiting room for someone to give me
information about John.
When I’d arrived and asked the person at the reception desk
about him, she got a strange look on her face and told me I’d have to sit down;
that someone would be out to talk to me shortly.
I was afraid to ask any questions. If you don’t ask, you
can’t get unbearable news.
That morning John said goodbye and headed home to take care of some business. He wanted to make reservations at his favorite place in Pismo Beach for my upcoming birthday, and said he had a few other things to attend to.
We were so happy.
The night before, John told me he loved me just seconds before drifting off to sleep. We didn’t speak of it the next morning, but there was joy surrounding us we could both feel.
And it felt good.
For several years now, I’ve had numerous people tell me I
should write a book. They read or hear stories of my life, and then proclaim I
need to write about it.
I usually smile and say thank you, but inside, my only thought is, “I don’t know how to write a book.” So I don’t do anything with their advice.
From the time I can remember I’ve taken most people’s counsel
to heart and even felt a sense of “obligation” that I should follow through
with their guidance. Which for most of my life has created a sense of
pandemonium in my brain.
I’m sorry, but getting older sucks.
Yes, I know, you hear so many of us touting that it’s wonderful and amazing and enlightening and empowering but in all honesty, I’d take my 20 something year old body, over my 58-year-old body any day.
The other day, I plucked a black hair off my chin that was at least an inch long! First, how did that happen? And secondly, how did I not see it until it was an inch long? I think the biggest reason our near-sightedness gets worse as we age, is so we don’t see that sort of thing on our partner’s face.
That and all the wrinkles.
What does that mean, girlfriend?
On March 21, 2012 John asked me to be his “girlfriend”. I had no idea what that even meant to him.
I’ve used the term “girlfriend” casually and never thought of what it meant to anyone else. To John it was a big deal. It was a step towards “forever” and his experience with forever wasn’t a good one.
I’d met John eight months earlier, and I can say that the best thing that ever happened to us…for us… was the fact that we became friends first. Once the pressure of the possibility of a romantic relationship was taken off the table, we both relaxed and stopped acting like peacocks looking for a mate.
There was no need to try to impress the other in hopes of “pick me”. Continue reading
I walked back into the bar and up to John. We looked at each other and then held each other, crying. It was all so sad.
We talked as John walked me to my car. I told him I thought what he did was “shitty”. He didn’t like that word at all. It was odd, he just didn’t want me leaving thinking HE was a shitty person.
We said goodbye to each other and I headed home. That night I cried.
I cried for the loss of “us”. After all of the relationships I’d been in, and through each failed attempt, I’d learned more about myself and who I wanted in my life. I could see us fitting together.
But apparently John couldn’t.
I’ve clearly been dragging my feet about sharing this next part of my (our) story. But here goes…
It was February 2012 when I had the unfortunate incident with my co-worker at the winery. It was also that incident that got me to pick up the phone and call John.
I knew I wanted to tell him and get his support and I’ll admit, even a hug. Which is exactly what I got.
Over the next three weeks we talked almost every day. We played tennis and hiked and went to coffee and dinners together. Just like we used to.
He was still busy driving back and forth to the valley to get his house ready for the new tenant. But most days we were doing something together. Continue reading
I wanted to tell him to shut his ugly mouth, but instead an uncomfortable laugh came out. It’s what we do, you know, when a man much bigger and stronger has you trapped in his car while telling you just what he wants to do to you.
The entire drive back from San Francisco to my house in Napa, I kept up a nervous banter with the drunken guy driving me home. The second he pulled into my driveway, I flung my car door open and ran out.
I was shaking when I locked the door behind me and watched him drive away.
The first person I called was John.
After John’s flat-out, in my face, “NO, I don’t ever see us in a relationship” statement, I was a bit numb. I had to come to grips with the fact that not only did I had a bad picker, but my instincts were off.
You know what having a bad picker means right?
Yep, that was me, the president of the “can’t pick the right guy club”. And my instincts couldn’t have been more skewed if I was looking at the world upside down.
Most of all, I was mad. Continue reading
I want to share more of my story, and know most everyone who is close to me already knows all of this. But I also know there are way more people who don’t.
So I’m going to continue sharing.
I left off in January of 2012, with John deciding he still wanted to date around, and me wondering what the hell just happened.
Over the next month our relationship became more and more strained. I knew John was dating other women and I had no idea if he would ever let go of that pattern of casual dating and see what we had.
He was messaging me daily and we still did a lot of things together. But it wasn’t the same.
We planned to meet up for coffee on Valentine’s Day, but the day before while chatting on the phone I asked a question that was on my mind most days.
I asked, “Do you see us getting into a relationship?” He simply said, “No”. So then I asked, “Do you EVER see us getting into a relationship?” His response sank me. “No, Loretta, I don’t ever see us getting into a relationship.” Continue reading
I was looking back at old posts I’ve written and came across this one. It made me cry!
Wow, have I come a long way. I don’t feel anything like this now and I’m so happy that I “kicked out the old tenant”.
I wrote this in August of 2017. Since then I’ve lost 20 pounds but more importantly, learned so much about myself. This blog is exactly what I needed. (Thank you for supporting me with it, John).
Me and John Oct. 2018
When I signed up to help coordinate the FierceCon event, I had no idea exactly what I had gotten myself into. Or how all consuming it would be in the end.
But I’m so glad I did.
When Catherine Grace O’Connell approached me with her plan for a weekend dedicated to bringing women together, I was intrigued. I’ve enjoyed meeting many of my online friends, and definitely wanted to get the chance to meet more.
But I also knew I’d be volunteering a lot of time and energy.
This last weekend I helped coordinate a big event in Redondo Beach. It’s called FierceCon. The founder of The Forever Fierce Revolution, Catherine Grace O’Connell wanted to create an event to bring together women from her community.
From all over the world.
I wanted to write about my experience there, but when Linda Williams shared her experience with the group, I was moved beyond measure. I believe her words speak the truths of many of us there. Continue reading
Last week’s posts, sharing our story about how we went from friends to more than friends, got a lot of comments like “What was he thinking!?”
We thought we would share a video that may help shed some light on just what goes on inside some men’s heads when getting into a relationship. Especially those who have been hurt in previous relationships.
Check out this week’s Love Over 50 video: Continue reading
Driving home from our road trip, I was content and happy. I had a wonderful time with my kids and new granddaughter. And it felt like John and I were closer, even though we hadn’t seen each other in two months.
On our way back, I was looking at a text John had sent me and I said out loud, “I think I’m falling for him.” My son said, “Yeah, I noticed.”
I could see the man he was before his divorce. The one who was devoted to his little family and their life together. I could also see the profound hurt that kept him from “going there” again.
So I wasn’t surprised when he texted me and asked what day I would be home. Or that he asked to come over and play tennis with me the very next day. Continue reading
Let’s see….where did I leave off?
Oh yeah, with John running off. Can you believe after months of a friendship and then just one night together he ran?
I actually could. Predicted it even.
The good news: I knew John well enough at that point and suspected it would take a lot of patience if we were ever going to be anything more than friends.
The bad news: I was irritated by his behavior just the same. There was no reason to not meet for coffee or join me in a tennis game or go hiking. Something! But, nope, he wouldn’t meet up with me.
So I got busy with my own life.
After John and I had our one and only romantic evening, he was still texting me and sending me his columns, but all of a sudden he didn’t have time to meet for coffee or play tennis or get together at all.
So I got busy with my own life and plans and let John figure out his own issues.
Column 22 – If the Truth Hurts Then Shouldn’t it Come With a Warning Label?
(One of the things Loretta and I had in common was our love of family – we sort of lived for our kids. Continue reading
For those who have been following along on my blog you know when John and I first met, through online dating, we became “just friends”. We both started dating other people, but because of his columns that I was editing, we talked almost daily.
He would come over and sit on my deck and we’d talk for hours about our lives. We played tennis and met for coffee several times a week. We shared our stories with each other and helped each other through difficult breakups.
My favorite times together where when we sat on that deck and John talked about his childhood, his family and growing up. He had some of the funniest stories to share, and they found their way into his columns.
His readers loved it as much as I did.