I recently read that not every person who comes into our lives brings positive and wonderful things. That oftentimes we meet prickly people. Although, the person I am writing about in this post is not a prickly person, he did teach me a hard lesson.
As I have written before, my Mom passed away when I was eleven. It goes without saying that the following few years were tough for myself and my sisters.
The summer of 69 brought a fresh breeze though and it was a turning point especially in my life. That summer, my older sister met her husband while working at the city pool. That summer I met my first love at the same pool.
I have known for a very long time that I would one day write about him, but, so often the words failed to be cohesive and make sense to me. I finally, after much thought and actually praying about this, am ready to write this.
We were fourteen years old. He(GJL) was tall, dark and I thought handsome. I fell hard and as is common with a first love, I gave my heart. It was a brief romance, just a few weeks that amounted to a first slow dance in the living room of his future sister in law’s living room, meeting at the pool, and a day watching a soap box derby, a walk through the park and the highlight of having my hand held for the first time. That sums up the romance, actually. Except for the fact that a piece of my heart went to him. His mom, had other ideas about this romance and she ended it which I found out much later after wondering why I was being ignored. His younger brother finally told me. So, there was no closure. No ending. Just nothing, and my heart broken.
We went to the same high school and whenever I saw GJL, my tummy would do flips as I would hope he would at least smile at me. Hubby and GJL worked together during the summer and actually he is partly responsible for hubby and I getting together since I would talk with hubby during summer school art enrichment classes so I could look at GJL.
The lesson I learned from GJL is this, hearts can and will be broken. When they break, it colors how you view relationships, both those of a dating nature and friendships. You can adopt the philosophy of “hurt before being hurt“, and/or you can keep everyone at arm’s length, therefore protecting yourself for further hurt. Both of these things, I have done. Unrequited means something is not returned, it is not reciprocated. When things do not have a closure you cannot retrieve what was given, and therefore after almost fifty years, a piece of my heart is still missing.
Would I trade anything in the past fifty years? No. I would not. Because, when I was going through all of this I turned to the One friend who has never left me, never hurt me, never led me in the wrong direction. I would pour out my heart to Him while sobbing in my pillow at night. That friend knows what a broken heart feels like. His heart was broken for us when He died on the cross. Luke 4:18 says in the first part, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted” (New King James Version)
Since that time my heart has been broken several times. Because of that first heart-break I have learned that although it is not pleasant, broken hearts do heal. Each break brings new wisdom. Each break strengthens you in some way. My heart is now scattered all over, in old boyfriends (there really weren’t that many), old friendships that soured, family members who have turned their back on me. I can’t retrieve those pieces and I don’t think I would want to because with each loss, I have become who I am.
Do I think of GJL? Not as much as I once did, but every once in a while I wonder about how he is doing and if he is happy and well. I hope he is. I know I am. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” (The Message) The future I got so many years ago is beyond what I could have thought about or hoped for.
Thank you for stopping by today, Cathi (DAF)