Introspective Adventurer

Aging on my terms - Daily musings in 500 words or so

Tag: love (page 1 of 5)

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes…

The day after our wedding we left our hotel in San Francisco to go explore the city. It was a beautiful spring day, and we were excited to spend the day together as husband and wife.

Our wedding was everything we hoped it to be, and we were still on a love-high we wanted to bask in for as long as possible. 

Our wedding at San Francisco City Hall

My phone rang as we stepped out onto the sidewalk and I answered immediately. My son and daughter-in-law were due to have daughter number two any day, and we were happily assigned to take care of daughter number one while they were at the hospital.

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A promise…

John and I got married on a Monday afternoon at San Francisco City Hall. There was no set-up or tear-down of decorations or chairs. There were no arches adorned with greenery and flowers. We didn’t have a rehearsal dinner because there was nothing to rehearse.

Instead we met John’s family and my best friend and her husband at City Hall at 3:30 in the afternoon on March 13, 2013 and stood before Judge Betty in the magnificent rotunda and both said “I do.”

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Amazing Grace by John P. Gavin

When John went back home to get me clean clothes after my accident, he gathered my things and sat outside for a few moments. He told me he was so proud of me and how gracefully I handled the situation and that he sang, “Amazing Grace” for me.

That is how he came to the title of this post.

Amazing Grace

When I was 10, my Aunt came to live with us.

That may not seem like a big deal; but since my family is from Ireland, it meant she had to travel about five thousand miles to do so.

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The Marrying Kind

When John asked me to marry him, the first word out of my mouth was “No.” The look of surprise on his face made me want to take it back. The poor guy was standing on a big boulder holding my hands and asking me a question he thought he would never ask anyone again.

But I had made a promise to myself that John didn’t know about.

I was just a few months shy of 54, and life had thrown me some curveballs when it came to romance and especially marriage. If you have been reading my blog, you know this was not my first proposal…or even second.

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The Real Trouble with Valentine’s Day

The reason John chose to ask me to marry him on February 13, 2013, was because it was February 13, 2012, when he told me he could never see us getting together. Ever.

Guest post: John P. Gavin – The Real Trouble with Valentine’s Day

(This was the first column in a long time I didn’t send to Loretta to proofread before sending it to my editor, and that felt weird. I didn’t send it because she broke up with me the day before, albeit with good reason.
But I didn’t want to see that yet.
So I was annoyed – and a little shook up – and very cranky.
Let’s see if any of that comes across in the column).

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Affairs of the heart

On the drive home from the airport, John was all smiles. He kept glancing over at me and saying how much he’d missed me. He was grinning ear to ear, and it was nice to see him happy.

Once home, I invited him to stay and have dinner so we could catch up. He happily grabbed my suitcase with a bounce in his step and said that he would love to stay.

As with so many other times in the past we sat on my deck and shared food, laughs and the things about ourselves we wanted each other to know.

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I Have Some ‘Splaining to Do – Guest post by John Gavin

“Recognizing the absurdity of his request, he tried to explain. It wasn’t about seeing her so he could win her back but rather about seeing her so he could release the perceived hold she had over him.

I tried very hard to understand…”

Those words were written very recently by Loretta, the woman I love; the only woman I’ve ever loved this way. But I once told Loretta I wanted to borrow her car to go talk to an ex-girlfriend.

What the hell?

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The Elephant in the Room

The summer of 2012 was filled with so many highs and lows I honestly don’t even like recalling it, and the ratio of highs to lows was unbalanced in the wrong direction. John and I not only had to deal with the snail’s pace of the legal system, but also the uncertainty of love.

John had told me he loved me one night back in April, but after the accident failed to remember he’d said it or that he even felt it. He spent the entire summer wondering if he’d let ‘the right one’ get away.

And he didn’t mean me.

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May Day!

Sitting in my car, outside the emergency room, I couldn’t think of what to do next. I’ve always been a person of action. Get the facts, figure out what needs to be done, and do it.

But as I sat there with tears streaming down my face, my brain couldn’t even figure out how to start the car.

The only call to action that came to mind was to phone my best friend.

She listened to me tell her everything and then told me to go home and call John’s brother, he would know what to do.

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A Love Story

Right after John asked me to be his girlfriend, he wrote this column for the newspaper. It is still one of my favorites. (You might want to grab a tissue for this one).

A Love Story

My Mom and Dad were married for a very long time.

And it can happen – when a man has been married for a long time – that he becomes a bit low-key in the ways he shows his wife how special she is to him. After enough years of marriage we guys can misplace our flare for the dramatic, and we can underwhelm when just the opposite is called for.

Upon the approach of my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary I think that might have been where Dad was headed. Not that that would have been an unforgivable thing, just the opposite really. Mom would have been happy with whatever he did – but then she’s like that. She was happy to be married to the man she loved – if he remembered an important date, well, that was icing on the cake.  Continue reading

Will you be my girlfriend?

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

You can’t have spring without going through winter- part 2

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. 

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You can’t have spring without going through winter

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

When it’s time to call it off

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

What happens when women get together – FierceCon 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.  

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The evolution of Motherhood

I remember from the time I was little the only thing I really wanted to be when I grew up was a Mom. Not very “progressive”, I know, but it’s the truth.

We were very poor growing up and rarely had any new toys. Instead they were passed down from one child to the next.

The neighbor girls I tried to hang out with had Barbie Dolls that came with different outfits you could dress them in.

I had one doll, and she wasn’t a petite little doll, but more of an old-fashioned Dolly with eyes that would close when you laid her down. And with one arm missing.  Continue reading

What was he thinking?

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

The loop-de-loop

We got back from our four days of working on John’s home on a Sunday night in January 2012. I didn’t see John the next day, but we got together on Tuesday for coffee and to go over the applications for tenants.

We were sitting side by side at the Starbucks we’d first met at and John had applications spread out on the table. His phone was there too.

Within just a few minutes his phone lite up with a text message. From Toni. 

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Don’t Forget to Use Your Breaks

John wrote this post while I was away for the holidays. He was messaging me daily and we both agreed  online dating was getting old.

Column 26 – Don’t Forget to Use Your Breaks

(I used this column to say “focus on where you’re at”.
I also used it to disparage the dating sites a little. They can be frustrating, and I wanted to tell people if the sites are annoying then the best thing to do is leave them alone for a minute.
About the time I wrote this one, I texted Loretta to get her thoughts on the sites. She said they didn’t feel ‘organic’ to her, and that she was done with them.
I said I agreed and was going to take a break from them myself – saying it would probably be months before I got back online).

Something I’ve come to know about myself is I can be stubborn at times.

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The Dance – If you want him to move towards you – Step back

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. 

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