If you have read my past blogs, one of the things I have written about was reconnecting with people ( Loving a Memory of Yesterday )

What If…
…during that journey you discover you have long harbored strong feelings for someone?
What If…
…you realize, you were the cause of the fall of the relationship!
What if…
…you had been a better person?
What if…
…you had not been so insecure?
What if…
…you both took the time to better understand that person?
What if…
…you just listened?
What if…
…you didn’t act like such a jerk?!!?

What If…
…you had the chance to do it over again, to do it right this time?

I’ve been in communication with the one that I have long felt “got away” more or less since I ended it. It’s been about 25 years since we first dated, we were together for 3 years before we broke up and then dated on and off for an additional 7 years. For those seven years it was physical but not emotional for her. For me, It was emotional. I always wanted us to get back together, but she stated we would never date again. She would say I was clingy and I thought she was too distant. Therein was the reason we could not get along.

In the years that followed, we kept in contact and saw each other a few times but 14 years ago, I moved out of the area. We mostly kept in contact with an email every now and again just to keep up with each other’s lives. Although I traveled home once a year, we never saw each other. Either the timing wasn’t good for one of us… I was also married and that kind of put the kibosh on that.

I was on a business trip in Chicago when I got news of my brothers passing. I was in shock! I drove the three hours home that night in the pouring rain. It was almost surreal. Once home and a few calls later, I was trying to figure out travel arrangements. Then I was on a flight to New York. Then the airline lost my bag. I didn’t have my suit for the wake…

Funerals are for the living. It is a time of sadness, friends come to visit and while they are trying to comfort you, I tend to feel that my responsibility is that they do not feel awkward. Even though it is a time of sadness, great memories are brought up and maybe laughter in those memories. It is uncomfortable yet comforting at the same time. I was standing around speaking with two friends from childhood who I had not seen in years when suddenly, who walks through the door…???

(Queue “Dream Weaver”)

It was a total surprise and I went from a rather somber mood to being filled with happiness, as crazy as that sounds. She spent some time talking to me and then she had to leave. I walked her to her car and we continued to chat. When she was just about to get into her car, I said “I know you don’t want to hear it, and I’m not going to say it but I still feel it”.

I still reached out to her from time to time. During one of our email exchanges, she seemed to be having a great deal of stress with the amount of time she worked and  attended classes. She really had no work/life balance. It was right around that time that I expressed interest in repairing the past, building a friendship and see where things go. She seemed interested in that as well. Prior to that conversation with her, I had planned a trip to New York to get some time to try to sort things out in my life, I really needed a trip to clear my mind.

We had an email exchange when I mentioned my trip and told her each time I went to New York, we seem to miss each other. She was feeling like she had no time to do anything and I asked her to make some time. She stated that only people who have one job can be spontaneous like that… so I said, “I have one job, so let ME be spontaneous”. and she agreed pending switching some hours at work.

Our emails turned into our first phone call in a long time and that seemed to go well. It was towards the end of that first call that I asked, “Would you like to take the opportunity for us to try to get it right a second time? She answered yes! I was stoked!

My first trip out, she had me meet her at a park outside her apartment building. I was so nervous that I listened to some meditative music while I waited… and then I saw her. My heart was pounding. I thought about getting up and running towards her… but, I thought it best I sit down and watch as she walked towards me. a few kisses and hugs later, we were off to have our first date together.

We decided on a dinner together, we both enjoy sushi so we went to a sushi place. It was during our dinner that our conversation turned to her job and she seemed very stressed about it. I asked her if she was “stressing or venting” and she stopped and acknowledged she should not vent to me. I told her it was okay, I asked the question because I wanted to know how I should help her.  After dinner, we went to Long Beach (Long Island) and walked on the board walk. She seemed kind of out of breath. I found a bench overlooking the beach and we talked for a while. At one point I asked her to close her eyes, she gave me a funny look but closed them. I asked her to feel the ocean breeze flowing through her air, to feel the cool breeze coming off the water. I asked her to relax, to listen to the waves crashing, to be calm. “Breath in the positive air, breath out the stress”. I probably had her doing this for a good 15 minutes or so and then I gave her a back/neck massage.  Life…was good.

The next day we traveled to Sagamore Hill (childhood home of Theodore Roosevelt.) It was a pretty hot day and we went on a tour of the house. They had a small trail system that leads down to the Long Island Sound, we started walking and again, like the previous evening, she seemed a bit out of breath, I could tell the trail was a struggle for her… it really concerned me. We took some breaks here and there. When we got back to my car, I blasted the air conditioning. My whole day was somewhat planned to be outdoors and to hike by the water but I could see that this was not something she could do. We work spontaneously, we are good that way… we ended up playing Billiards (pool) and then went to see a movie. The night was sealed with a kiss.

The above sounds great! but during my week stay, it was difficult to coordinate with her as she works four jobs and attends college classes. She was tired all the time and I was really concerned but I worked with it.

My next trip out was around Thanksgiving. I had asked her if she could take any additional time off as I was going to be out for the week but she could not. We went to the same Sushi place we went on the previous trip… it seemed to be our Go To place! Things got somewhat physical but not majorly. I was in the process of separation so we kind of knew there was a line that we couldn’t cross. We did squabble about time. She had said a few things on previous trips that made me feel she was very interested in a relationship and I pressed her on her thoughts… she accused me of fighting with her. I was not fighting, just wanted to know what she was thinking.

So then, I took a trip out in April, it was right after my divorce. It was difficult to get time with her but was surprised that when I asked about Saturday, she actually gave me an early enough time 🙂 We went out for lunch, then attempted to get to the Vanderbilt Museum in time for one of their Star shows. Unfortunately we did not make it in time. We drove to Bethpage Village Restoration (to see houses from the 1800’s and people re-enacting the time period) it was fun, a little chilly and rainy.  Since I was now divorced, the line could be crossed… and it somewhat was. I was making these trips to New York and I was starting to wonder where everything was going. It was the same thing as in the past, always physical, never emotional. That was on my mind. I wanted to love this person, not sex them. I didn’t want to fall into the pitfall of years ago. I didn’t want to keep spending money on trips when the end result was not what I wanted… and so, she accused me of fighting and… ugh, I wasn’t.

After that trip, she told me that we are fighting less than when we were younger but it still an obstacle. I took the trip to heart and started planning my next trip. I asked her way ahead of time to see about taking time off of work to spend time with me. Previously I stayed with my sister who lived an hour away, so I had to leave earlier at night to get back to her place. This time, I would splurge and stay at a hotel local to her apartment. I would fly in – instead of driving in. The plan was to make it very convenient for us to see each other…………….

I began to write this about a year and a half ago and it has been an ongoing process. I’ve been reluctant to post the blog but I think I’m at a place mentally where I can post it. It’s time to start writing “Part II”