Andrea and I are doing intense end-of-the-summer cleaning. Her room is anything but school-ready, and I thought I'd set a good example and also clean.
We sorted (and giggled) through a box of old family photos...pumpkin-carving and silly Halloween costumes, a thousand pics of virtually the same 6 newborn baby shots, Christmas mornings, school pageants, birthday parties, family pets. Long-misplaced pictures of our wedding. The stuff of our lives.
After she went back to her bedroom, I found another photo. A group photo from a professional class I taught in Chicago in 1985, 2 years before I met Ron, 2 years after my divorce. As I perused the faces...trying to remember the occasion.....I saw him. Him. Him.
My passionate brief summer romance. My foolish between-marriages fling. My reawakening to feelings after an awful, hurtful divorce. I was 33....he was 21. Yup. 21. A tall (6' 2") blonde Texan with the sweetest smile a girl ever saw. And oozing modest charm with his deep Texas drawl and his cowboy style. (He even wore boots.) I was ripe for his come-on. And oh my.... the chemistry.
It didn't last long...we both had to return home. He tried to keep the flame going, but I had the maturity to know that ours was a finite romance. He gave up trying to contact me. He looked me up once at home about a year later, but it was awkward. Of course, we were strangers.
I had forgotten him until I saw the photo, him in the 4th row, me in the 2nd row, everyone dressed in business suits. I know I'm supposed to regret a spontaneous, momentary rendezvous. It defied everything parents and church taught me. I shudder now at the risks. But I don't regret it.
It was a formative event on my journey to wholeness...on my journey to Ron and our life together. And I can't help but smile at the wonderful, warm romantic memory.....
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