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.
When John finally asked me to be his girlfriend in March 2012, I thought everything would be so much smoother for us from then on. After the last eight months of just friends to quasi dating I was sure things would settle down.
And they did, for a while.
The very first thing he did was to introduce me to his family. John wanted me to meet his Mom. She lived just 25 miles from the little town where I was born, and had never been back to since leaving with my family at age two.
It’s Sunday night and I wanted to write a little more of my story, but John just left and I’m feeling lazy.
I was in Oregon last week and got back just in time to see John on Monday night before catching the train back home Tuesday morning. He worked all week away from home, and got back Thursday night late.
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
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
Yesterday I wrote about growing up in Michigan and how we spent most of our time outside.
I also mentioned because of that experience, I wanted to be sure my kids had the same opportunity.
When I got pregnant with our first son, my husband was still in school. We lived in a townhouse near campus and it was fine. By the time our boy was six months old, we’d moved back to Oregon and found a rental in town.
It wasn’t until after our second son was born that I started to remember my own childhood, and what it was like to grow up on a farm. I had married a city boy, and I wasn’t sure he would want to move into the country.
We played outside when I was a kid growing up in Michigan. It didn’t matter if it was winter or summer, we were outside most of the time.
In the summers we would play hide-and-seek until way after dark. There were a bunch of us and so many different places to hide that the game would go on for hours.
We also had a sandbox to play and dig in, though I do remember the cats liked “digging” in it too…which was a little gross.
We found things to do and explored beyond our farm too.
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
We learn how to be women from our moms, or at least a mother figure.
So we watch them closely and subconsciously put each act or word into columns of either, “This is good advice to live by and pass on,” or “No way do I believe this and I am so not going to do this to my kids.”
There are probably a lot of other columns too, but those two stand out the most for me.
I learned how to be a woman by watching my mom. Which is probably why I’m not a girly girl. She didn’t wear makeup or dress in pretty clothes. And she lived in “practical shoes” and flip-flops.
I think she made most of her dresses. You’ll recall I said she only wore dresses, even as a farm-woman, right? I have to wonder if her mom wore dresses too. But I can’t recall much about my grandmother.
My mom learned how to be a woman from her mother too. It’s passed down from one generation to the next with varying degrees of changes for each of us. Continue reading
Do you ever wonder what it was like for your parents when they were kids? I don’t think about my dad’s youth as much as I do my mom’s. That’s probably because she was the rule-maker of our home.
And the enforcer too.
When I was a kid, I didn’t think about or care what made her the way she was, I was more concerned with ducking her flip-flop as she tried to swat me with it for not doing what I was told.
But as an adult, I have to wonder what it was like for her growing up in that little farmhouse in Michigan with four brothers and three sisters.
She was born in the spring of 1924, unless you go by what her headstone reads. Not sure how that happened, but it’s off by a year. She was the second child of eight, in a home that would soon be crowded. 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
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.
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