It’s true–that if it doesn’t come back to you, then it never was.

My roommate is also my girlfriend. My girlfriend is also my soulmate. My soulmate and I have been fortunate enough to have had two chances at romance, two opportunities to spend our lives together. I don’t believe that there are very many people who have had the same experience–although I very much wish that everyone could.

There was a large flagstone-type rock near where I grew up, across from the Kingston Dam along Route 30 East, just east of Latrobe, PA. The Kingston Dam serves to slow down the flow–such as it is– of the Loyalhanna Creek on its way to Latrobe. My family would often drive Route 30 East to Greencastle, PA and its environs to visit family there. I can recall, when I was very young, that for years the Rock was covered with graffiti–the usual “Rob loves Kathy” or whatever. However, sometime later on a new saying appeared, a saying which was never changed, only repainted and repaired over and over again:

“If you love something, then you must let it go free. If it comes back to you, then it is yours forever. If it doesn’t–then it never was.”

Strong words–but words to live by, especially when you are a young boy. And, especially true later on, as it happened.

We met in October 1984. We visited Arizona in April 1986. In June 1987 I moved there, and she stayed behind. It was our dream to live there together. Stuff happens. She had a pretty serious health scare, and wanted to stay behind–but unselfish as she was (and is), she insisted that I go on. I started a new life there. She got married and started a new life as well.

Her father and I stayed in touch. We were always close…in mid 2008 he asked if I would be receptive to a “friendly hello” email from her. Any acrimony and anger I might have had over past events was long gone, so I agreed. Why not? I had already had enough of the ridiculous and frequently uncomfortable social protocol known as “dating.” What could it hurt?

Late in 2008 I received that friendly hello email…and despite our initial best intentions, the long slow journey to the second act of our relationship was already beginning. Along the way came a memorable cross-country drive a year later, two years of sharing space and time and eventually a release from the marriage that had become only the definition of the word.

She is and has always been the very best person I know. There is no one I would want to spend my life with. While we were apart I can confess that I left very few proverbial “stones unturned” in my search for another one just like her. I have never had any issues with commitment; and while there were many many women that I spent intimate time with, there was always only one person that mattered. While a few seemed to come close, in retrospect…they really weren’t close at all.

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