About two months after the devasting experience of losing his wife to another man after nearly 45 years of marriage, he was into a new relationship. I remember he called me to tell me how wonderful the single life was, how “in love” he was, then told me how his pharmacist had to warn him about mixing Viagra with some medication he was taking. Looking back, the conversation was a bit inappropriate, but at the time I didn’t catch it. In fact I remember thinking he was acting like a teenager in love for the first time. He shared a few more rather personal comments, and I remember smiling and thinking I was glad he was dealing so well with the breakup of his marriage.
It wasn’t more than two months later that I ran into him, asked how he was doing, and he said he had just gotten a “Dear John” phone call that very morning. The woman he was so enamored with had called and broken off their relationship because she felt he was too controlling. He laughed, said he’d get over it by driving to Texas to check on his RV which he parked there during the summer months. I suggested we get together for lunch sometime. Thoughts went through my mind feeling there could be irony in the possibility that the two of us could find some common ground and that just maybe we could be the answer to one another’s loneliness. After all, I knew his background, knew his family. I was even his daughter’s godmother! And he was my children’s uncle! What could be a safer way to start a relationship?
A few days later I called and left a message that I’d be willing to be a travel companion if he wanted one. He had just had some heart issues, and it occurred to me that if something happened to him while alone it could be a serious situation. So, ever the caregiver, I offered to go with him.
So down to Texas we went. Because of the family connection, we had lots of catching up to do. I had loved his mother like my own, and his father, and so we talked all the way through state after state on the trip to the southern tip of Texas. By the time we arrived, we felt we were in love. I was as surprised as anyone, but told myselt it certainly was possible because after all I’d known him over 50 years, and oh-by-the-way I’d had a crush on him while dating his brother. And at our age you didn’t have long courtships … especially when you already knew one another. It really felt possible and probable. And exciting!
Bored yet? I’m just setting the groundwork. I want you to see how nice things were for the first month … nothing out of sync that I can recall at all. Talk – catching up – feeling a physical connection as well as emotional connection: beautiful. But it wouldn’t last for long. Stay tuned.