My wife and I were enjoying a Father’s Day brunch at Shari’s. I enjoy the time when we can sit and talk without interruption from the TV, phone or computer. Today our conversation wandered to her telling how she had always idolized and mimicked her older sister. After high school, her sister bought a small foreign car, she got a small foreign car. Her sister worked at Alpha Beta’s main offices, she got on at Alpha Beta’s main offices. She told how as middle-schoolers, both were traumatized when her folks practically dragged them kicking and screaming from southern California to live in the country, in Oregon. Her sister returned to California after graduation. My future wife followed.
As we waited for our food, she took my hand and said, “But, if I hadn’t moved to Oregon I would never have met you.” I savored those sweet words, but then reminded her that after our high school graduation, she left me and Oregon without hesitation and without looking back. I squeezed her hand and said, “If I hadn’t moved to California, we would never have married.”
I asked if she remembered the day, early in our cohabitation when she told me she wanted out. I couldn’t believe when she said no, she didn’t remember that.
It was 1971, Sunny Anaheim California, I was living my dream come true – living with my love, now my lover. She came home one day from her college accounting class and said she wanted out of this relationship. The shock was so devastating; I can’t remember the words she used, I only heard, “I want out.” I do remember she said Carol King’s song, “It’s Too Late” expressed just what she felt, Something inside has died and I can’t hide And I just can’t fake it…..
Although I can’t remember any words I spoke, I managed to change her mind, at least temporarily. I knew in my heart if that was how she really felt, we would undoubtedly come back to it. I would have to be brave, face reality and let her go. Given more time together, we might see our relationship grow, change, or die.
That unhappy day finally did arrive when she realized and confirmed that she did want to end our relationship. Before long, we were gone our separate ways.
But here we are now holding hands forty-seven years later,
after saying goodbye forever,
after trying on new relationships,
after a broken heart or two,
a stable home,
a baby and another baby,
and eventually four grandchildren –
here we are having a nice Father’s Day brunch at Sharri’s.