Sometimes I surprise myself by how much I share on this web log.
Yesterday’s post may have made for uneasy reading. Everyday Life does get uncomfortable — scary even — when we take off our masks of pretense and dare to share our personal truth. Perhaps a few readers wished to look the other way, thinking, “Oh my .. she must not know her slip is slipping or her soul or whatever is showing. Let’s just pretend we didn’t notice until she pulls herself back together.” But not so with everyone. One dear reader — God bless her soul — chose not only to share a bit of her story — but dared to ask…”are things better now?”
Oh, gentle readers — surely you know by now that if you ask I will tell you. And God help us all if I tell more than I really should, for propriety sake, about my Harlequin Romance life.
The short answer to my reader’s question is this: “Yes, things are better now.”
And the longer answer is what? The long answer is that twelve years later, after making a life bond with Janis in my 1972 Camaro, I ended up marrying that same boy who broke my heart in my second trip to the altar. We have two boys together and this second husband of mine – who is the absolute love of my life — helped me and my first husband raise two beautiful girls.
But how we came back together was not so easy. To begin with, I didn’t know how or whether to respond when he contacted me by letter to wish me a happy thirtieth birthday. It was, by then, eleven years too late by my count and a girl does have her pride.
But after a while, the strange newness of the left-field letter wore off enough to cause me to write back to see what would happen next. And then he wrote back. And then I wrote again. And on and on our correspondence went — fifty letters going back and forth across 500 miles — before he proposed marriage at Surfside Beach as we searched the sky for Halley’s Comet.
But oh… was writing that first letter hard! I didn’t want to love this guy. After all, who wants to love someone after being discarded once before? But as much as we might wish, we hold little power over who we will love over the course of our lives. And ultimately, love won out over pride and even public and private opinions. What mattered most was what he did and does to me….
I confess to a few regrets. I wish I hadn’t hurt my first husband… and I wish I hadn’t hurt my two girls by separating them from everyday life with their father… because even “amicable” divorces cause scars.
But mostly I’m grateful. I’m even grateful to my sister who had the audacity to reveal my deepest darkest secret — when she said to my husband on their first and only date — “You know, Janell never did get over you…”
So he sent a birthday card to see if sis knew of what she spoke. And the rest, as they say, is romance history. And about that first and only date between my sister and my husband…?
If you don’t ask, I promise not to tell.