Remember when I wrote about my Junior Prom date with the then-love-of-my-life, Jack, and I gave you this picture of us on our way to the prom?
Fast-forward one year, and here’s a picture of Gary, the then-love-of-my-life:
Below, at my high school senior prom, Rebecca & Gary – 1966
I recently came by these pictures after a long, long wait. In fact, I didn’t even remember that the top picture of me with Gary had been taken. I must have given it to him rather than keep it myself, which is very odd, don’t you think? A girl usually likes to keep prom pictures. Anyway, Gary is the bloke I was in love with at the time of my graduation from high school and for another couple of years until I lost him to “another woman.”
That “other woman” (Janice) and I are now friends of a sort. We’ve only met once, way back years ago when she and Gary were still married, and I was married to husband #1, but not since then, must have been around 1975.
A couple of years ago I got a letter from Janice. At first I didn’t understand why she would be writing to ME. But I knew it couldn’t be good.
And it wasn’t.
When I got in the house and opened her letter to me, I learned that Gary had died recently after falling and hitting his head and being in a coma but never recovering from it. I went into whole-body spasms and shakes, along with tears and sobs that wouldn’t quit.
I knew Janice and Gary were divorced years before that but I’d always felt comfort knowing he was alive and well just over the border in New Hampshire, in case I ever needed him for anything.
Now he was gone. It was too painful for words.
Once I regained my composure, I wrote back to Janice and she filled me in on all the details. Not a pretty picture so I won’t go into it now. But I was then, and am still, very sad to have lost my/our Gary from this world, much too soon and too young. It’s been a couple of years now and I still miss him.
Before I’d gotten together with Paul, back in 1985 or so, Gary had contacted me and we’d gone out a few times. He always had been THE guy I’d let get away (apart from Jack, that is) and it was just one of those loose ends that never seemed to get tied up. He was single again (divorced). I was single again (also divorced) so you’d think it would have been perfect for us. But it wasn’t and I don’t know why, except to say that knowing him like I did, I didn’t feel I could totally trust him with my heart. He was a bit of a womanizer, but he was SO convincing that ladies just fell for his lines! Like I did. Like Janice did. We were “helpless” in his spell. My practical heart said no when he kept asking to come down and I turned him away. Eventually I ran into Paul – my old “heart-throb” from the past, and the rest is history. I made the best decision then, when I was very vulnerable.
I was living alone, doing office managerial work but not really making enough to live on any longer. My rent was going up and at the point Paul came into my life again, I was starting to get into some financial trouble. Not enough income for the expenses.
Paul saved my life then. And has done so over and over since then.
Anyway, when I was writing to Janice by email about Gary, I asked her if she’d ever run across a prom photo that Gary told me he had, maybe in his parents’ house. She looked but couldn’t find it. She kept looking when she was there but no go. Oh well.
Then one day not long ago, I got an email saying her son had found the prom pictures of Gary and me, and she would send them down as soon as she could.
Wow. When I got them, what memories flowed through my brain. And my heart. Such a good 3 years I’d spent with him. Memories I will never forget. But having a picture IS worth a thousand words, and I am so grateful to Janice for going the extra mile to search out the pictures and send them to me.
She didn’t know he had a “girlfriend” when they started dating and she felt kind of bad about breaking us up, but I have to admit, she was prettier than I was and maybe didn’t have the baggage (my mother) who went with the package that I had, so I totally understand – now. But not then I didn’t. Anyway, she is a lovely lady and the fact that we are cyber-friends now is comforting. I don’t travel and she lives in New Hampshire so we have never met up in person lately. But again, I just want to thank her for all she did for me.
And that, my dear friends, is that.