Sooooo. . . . . In 1995/1996, I dated a guy named John. I met him at my first full-time job after I graduated from college. We got along awesomely and dated for about six months. We were in love - or at least I thought we were. As soon as he got the job he dreamed about since middle school with the police department, he dropped me like a hot potato. I was pissed and heartbroken. It happened right around Valentine's Day... Since it was during the days before cell phones, I decided to go to his house so I could have the last word. His mom let me in, I stormed into his room, whipped his gift at his head (a bottle of cologne) and said, "Happy Valentine's Day, asshole." and stormed out. Never talked to him again. For 22 years...
A couple of months ago I was at my friend Connie's house for a party - she's one of my best friends since high school, and her family is like my family. I was talking to her Uncle Tony and his girlfriend Christine, and Christine said to Tony, "We should tell John about her!!" and right away I said, "NO! Don't tell anybody about me - I'm good!! I DON'T wanna be fixed up."
This past year has been the most peaceful one since Matt died. I stopped dating altogether, stopped entertaining any thoughts of moving again, got a puppy, and have been primarily focused on the kids and myself and our sweet new addition. Life has been pretty darned good, and I got to the point where I didn't want to bring anyone in our lives and risk rocking our peaceful, pretty boat.
Tony started to tell me about his friend - "He's recently retired from the police department, is 49 years old..." and then I interrupted him and said, "Johnny Glaze?" Tony looked at me like he saw a ghost and was like, "How did you know?!?!"
Lucky guess, but the name popped in my head so vividly that I couldn't NOT have said it out loud.
A few days later, Johnny friend requested me on Facebook. I accepted, and I knew it was only a matter of time when he'd be sending a message. Sure enough:
"So I was talking to Tony over the past weekend. Pretty weird how you came up. I'm sorry to hear about your husband. Listen, I feel a little awkward saying this, but I apologize for doing what I did to you in the past. I would like to meet you out sometime, but I would totally understand if you say no. I guess at least I had the chance to talk to you again and say I'm sorry."
"I appreciate the apology, John. I'm not sure about meeting out tho. I've always been of the thought that if it didn't work out the first time, then why would it be different the second time? I'm flattered, tho. Again, I sincerely appreciate the apology. Small world, isn't it? Tony's a good guy."
And that was pretty much the end of it. Until a couple weeks later when I started thinking back to when we dated. We never fought, always had fun together no matter what we were doing, and it was really wonderful up until he got the job, and then boom. It wasn't like he was a jerk while we dated, he was always sweet to me. It just ended abruptly and without explanation. I started looking at his pictures on his Facebook page and saw his adorable kids. I also noticed pictures of him with a woman who I assumed was his ex wife, and they looked so much in love. I felt bad for him because obviously, they weren't together anymore. I had to ask...
I'll keep his story private from this public platform, but long story short, his kids were the best thing that has happened to him in all those years, and he's been through some stuff, too.
We continued to catch up a little bit online and over the phone, and then decided to meet in person, but I was adamant that we didn't call it a 'date.' By the time the day rolled around that we were meeting, it was a full-fledged date.
He told me he remembered something else I said to him after I whipped the cologne at his head: "I hope that every time you wear this, you'll remember that someone cared about you." He said he never forgot those words (even though I apparently did)!
We've agreed that it was for the best that things didn't work out between us way back then for many reasons. One big reason is that I wouldn't have met Matt and had the ten wonderful years I had with him, and had our two amazing kids. I wouldn't have traded that for anything in the world. And he needed to do what he did so he could have his wonderful children, too. These four little souls needed to be in our lives, and lord knew I wouldn't be able to pop out four kids! If Matt was only going to live to be 39, I'd like to think I made him happier than anyone else could have during his short time here. Plus, John and I both had a lot of growing up to do between then and now.
There have been so many crazy signs that have all pointed to this, including the simple fact that he and I were both at the very same point in our lives - pretty much resolved to the belief that there wasn't a living person out there that we could feel this way about, and neither of us were willing to settle. We were actually ok with being alone. For me, it was the first time I felt that way since losing Matt, and it's where I wanted to be for years. I really wasn't gonna let John mess with my boat... (What's that expression about when we make plans, God laughs?)
It's amazing how when we came back into each other's lives, how quickly and strongly the feelings came flooding back. The history he and I had way back then gives us a sense of security that we already know each other pretty well, and we haven't had a moment since coming back into each other's lives that we have felt any apprehension or doubt that this. is. it.