Friday, June 11, 2010

Embracing the Past

As time goes by I find myself increasingly looking backwards, wondering how people are whom I cared about as long ago as high school; wanting to see friends who still matter, missing a piece of my life that is gone forever but comes back suddenly in unexpected ways.

Yesterday, while perusing the Facebook photos of one of those California friends with whom I reconnected at my last high school reunion, this photo popped up. My breath stopped and for a moment I was transported back to my giggly 15 year old self, a determined girl with a major crush on the boy on the left.  Now, this photo was taken a few years before we met but I already knew his brother, on the right.  We'd gone through elementary school together as little kids.  His older brother became my first serious boyfriend.

We were a couple for eighteen months.  He was two years ahead of me in school, a senior to my sophomore.  We were one anothers first love.  It sounds corny but it's true.  He was a serious person, excellent in school, a fine guitarist who played in one of the many amateur rock bands so prevalent in those days.  I was mad about him. 

He's one of the only persons I remember who knew what he wanted to be in life:  a pilot.  He had it all planned out; ROTC at Loyola, then fly school in the USAF, then go commercial.  That is exactly what he did.  Oh, and he married one of my best friends.

He wanted to get married after I graduated high school.  I was only in my Junior year and already flirting with a new boy with whom I had one date.  I couldn't see tying myself down in marriage.  Besides, I was 16 years old!  I broke up with him on my 17th birthday and it was painful.  By then I was falling for the boy who, seven years later, would become my husband.   I actually thought I could ease his pain and assuage my guilt by setting him up with a close friend who was infatuated with him.   She probably gave him everything he needed, especially devotion. They were married after he graduated college.  She couldn't wait to get out of her house.  They were both Catholic.  My dad liked him a lot but he couldn't abide my marrying a Catholic.  We're Protestants--Baptists.

I don't know if you can see the sweetness in both boys.  I suppose to anyone who didn't know them, they look like typical teenagers.  A few weeks ago I saw a current photo of him and didn't recognize him at all.  It was a shock.  I haven't seen him since 1970.  What did I expect?  I guess I didn't expect him to remind me of his father.  He's still married to the same girl, they have two grown children and he's now retired at the tender age of 61.

But I do remember the beautiful boy with whom I fell in love thanks to this photo which  brought a smile to my face and many happy memories. 

Life can be so  sweet. Tempest Fugit.


Grandmother said...

Oh, those sweet first love memories...Thanks for sharing.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

That's a nice story. I guess we don't expect our long-time-no-see friends to show up looking like their parents, but that is often what happens. I suppose it's as true of me as of them.

DJan said...

Yes, you can see that these are Good Guys. I remember my first loves, and sadly he's passed away already. But he also was a really Good Guy. Are they getting more scarce these days??

Judy said...

Oh I know what you mean.... a few weeks ago I was back in my hometown, and they gals I saw in my class of 1974, now looked like their mothers... I'm wondering if I do to? Very weird!

maggie's garden said...

Facebook is changing a lot of peoples lives. Putting us in touch with people we haven't seen in years and it is shocking. I can't believe it... I thought everyone stayed their young looking selves...and only I got older. It is fun though.
Thanks for sharing your story...and the two guys are/were cute...I'd be crushin' too!
Have a great weekend.

Susan said...

Well, God forbid that we (yes I was one) Baptist girls would ever marry a (gasp!!) Catholic!!! My mother would have rather seen me dead, I believe, than have me married to one. Geez, I didn't realize California Baptists felt the same as our little backwoods area where I grew up. Have feelings changed any since then?

Your little cutie-pie first love looks a lot like Mickey Dolenz, only cuter. His brother was a hottie, too. I had a huge crush on Mickey.

When my BFF from high school came for a visit last summer, we were looking at our yearbook and comparing the pictures with people we knew on FB and there was one guy in our class who was the sexiest little stud muffin football player in school, and his FB picture was unbelievable! I mean, we couldn't believe it was him. There was NO resemblance whatsoever. It was kinda freaky. Sometimes I think it's best to leave well enough alone. At least, I think I'm recognizable. I hope.

Marguerite said...

When I first saw the pictures of your first two loves, I immediately thought that the guy on the right was your son! Guess he takes after your husband! And I know what you mean about old flames. They never look the same 30 years later, whereas I find that the women do, at least in the face. Thank God for name tags at reunions! lol

Baino said...

Ah Facebook's a wonderful thing sometimes. A couple of my old Flames are on there as well but I've never had the courage to contact them. And yes, the years have changed us all sadly.


by Cole Scott