Days Gone By…(Gary etc)

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?

My Junior Prom 1965 –

Rebecca & Jack

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.”

Janice & Gary

Janice & Gary

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.



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8 Responses to Days Gone By…(Gary etc)

  1. Rhubarb says:

    My immediate reaction: You have a good, generous, loving heart. I’m so sad for your loss and wish you well all the time.


  2. TopsyTurvy says:

    Now 1 more Wed, 1 more Friday, and one more split Monday. 😀 Go, Bex! Go!


  3. TopsyTurvy says:

    Now 1 more Wednesday, 2 Fridays and 1 split Monday. 😀


  4. Jim says:

    Bex, thanks for the Grammar Girl link. Her advice was pretty good.

    Old photographs and old memories — amazing how the years have gone by. It was really strange going to my 50th high school reunion this summer. All of those old people! **grin** (I can think of two young girls I dated in my younger days I would like to find online just to see how their lives turned out.)


  5. Bex says:

    Well, TT,let’s see. This is Sunday, right? We’ve got this week and next week, and that’s IT! But I only work 3 days a week so I have, in theory, 6 more days to work, but I split Monday’s work up between Saturday & Sunday, so for working days, I have 2 more Wednesdays, 2 more Fridays, and one Monday which is really one-half Saturday and one-half Sunday. So, let’s see (counting on fingers) that’s a grand total of 5 whole days or 4 whole days and two half-days to work… spread out over the next two weeks.

    Is that clear as mud? Thanks for asking, though.


  6. TopsyTurvy says:

    Hey there, Bex! Where are we in your countdown for retirement?


  7. mz. em says:

    What a lovely story. Ah, the loves of our lives. Since I didn’t attend any proms I don’t have such photos. I do have photos of past loves since I moved to California. I sometimes think I should get rid of these photos. Granted I don’t have them out and Michael doesn’t mind. He has his photos of past loves. In the end, I guess we both ended up with the “man of our dreams.” The pictures are priceless!


  8. TopsyTurvy says:

    *hugs* Sometimes things are just meant to be. You were meant to be loved and cared for by Paul, not always wondering if you’d lose Gary to someone else.

    My condolences on the loss of your friend.


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