Saturday, August 20, 2005

Backing from the precipice .. Another life changing moment

I was watching "Good Will Hunting" last night about 2 AM. There was the one scene when Damon and Driver were in the bed and she tells him she wants him to go to California with her, and he panics, freaks, and tells her that he does not love her (idiot). It reminded me of me.

During the first separation my Ex and I had, I began talking to a girl from Hawaii. Her name was Donna. She was still married, but she and hubby had discussed the divorce and were waiting until they had things in order to make the final separation and move. He knew we were talking and even talked with me a time or two.

One of the things that Donna and I discussed early on, was our respective marriages and the place we were in them. She encouraged me to try to make it work with my Ex. She wanted me to be sure I had exhausted all my efforts and would, therefore, have no "maybe I should haves" to interfere with subsequent relationships. Both of us were in vulnerable places. Both of us wanted desperately to have someone to love but didn't want to be in a position to be hurt again. I know the two are diametrically opposed. Part of being in love is putting your head and heart on the chopping block and handing that someone the executioners ax for safe keeping.

Another thing we discussed very early on, was a getaway. If, at anytime in the relationship (it was not a love relationship at the time), either of us wanted to stop it, we had the right, without a long arduous battle. Good-bye meant good-bye. It was our safety clause, so to speak.

Anyway .. back to the precipice .. or at least near it. Donna and I spoke often. There was a 6 hour time difference, so my late afternoon was her late morning. We talked for hours at a time thanks to calling cards where I could talk for 1 to 2 cents a minute. We grew closer. Her hubby even found me a job there in Hawaii. I could move there anytime I wished.

Donna made plans to fly to KY to meet me.

The Ex heard about this thru one of the daughters. She decided, upon hearing this news, that she wanted to discuss reconciliation. We talked and decided to give it another try. She insisted I call Donna while she was there to tell her good-bye. I did this. I broke her heart. True to our agreement, there was no prolonged conversation. It was short and not sweet at all.

Time passed and it was difficult. There was no intimacy between the Ex and I. She let me know, for the time being, she could not be intimate with me. ("time being" turned out to be 3 yrs and then we divorced) In part of that, I did hear from Donna. She was going thru with her plans to visit KY and would use that opportunity to tell me good-bye in person to allow us the closure we needed.

I met this beautiful fragile flower and spent the day showing her parts of my state. In the end, we did as she planned. We said good bye.

I had walked to the precipice and backed away. The tumultuous situation I knew was less fearful than the leap across into new territory. I panicked. After Donna and I said our tearful good-byes, and she was on her way back home, I realized the opportunity I had lost. I don't know if she and I would have been a forever love. I know, at the time, she touched my heart in places it yearned to be touched. I wouldn't go back now and make it different except to take away the pain of that one phone call. I could not live 4445 miles from my children, so, it is a moot point as to whether I would have ever moved there. I had a job offer there once before while I was still married years earlier.

It did change me. I have learned to be more trusting of my first instincts. I have learned that the consequences of not trying far exceed the consequences of trying and failing.

There were fears in my relationship with Tammy. I was afraid (and sometimes still am) that she will tire of me. I worry that the burden of taking care of me will become to burdensome some day. She assures me that will never happen. It would assuage my fears for the while, but they come back to nip at my heels from time to time.

Still, from this cliff, I did not back away. I ran. I jumped. I flew. I am still flying.

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