A True Love Guest Post by Kathy from Florida
Note: This week I'm handing over my blog to five lovely souls who have shared their LOVE stories with me. I'd like to keep LOVE alive as an ongoing event, so if you have a story you'd like to share, please, pop me an email HERE and I'll post your story. Some of you may want to remain anonymous. And that's just fine. (I promise, stick a needle in my eye, to keep your identity hush-hush). Your story can be as long or as short as you want it to be. You can change names and locations. You can send me photos to post if you'd like. Mostly, though, and I speak from experience, writing and getting your story 'out there' feels just plain good. All I ask from you is that your story is about love, whether you are searching for it or have found it, that it delivers a positive message in the end, and that it is TRUE. Hey, in this crazy world of ours, we all need a little dash of HOPE.
With that said...here we go!
I met Robert for the first time when we were 13. We were in middle school and had a few classes together. I remember that I was very boy crazy at the time and thought that he was cute. I liked him for about a week and then moved on to the next crush, but he was to remain my friend. I was in 8th grade that year, and what I remember most was that I developed two significant "life long" male friendships: Michael and Robert.
So there I was, a romantic teenage girl with two friends that were boys. I had friends that were girls, but the friendships were on a much different level. As the years passed, I ended up dating the one boy, Michael, but as it turned out, he was more interested in other boys than girls. Robert and I never dated.
At the start of my 9th grade year, I had a boyfriend that I went steady with for over 2 years. I was 14 and he was 18. I am still not sure why my parents allowed me to date him given our age difference, but it was a good relationship. We broke up when I was 16, shortly after he proposed marriage. I wasn't even thinking of marriage yet, but he was. He was 20 and was ready. It was that issue that lead to our breakup, as shortly after that, he met a girl and they married less than a year later.
I dated others casually in 11th grade. I was most definitely college bound and was very much involved in my schoolwork, band, clubs, and working at the hospital. By the time I was a Senior, I had another steady boyfriend who proposed while we were in college. (We went to separated colleges in different states. I moved away to Alabama, and I think he wanted me to come back home.)
Eventually, I met my first husband and we married when I was 20. Before we had children, I finished college, we started a business, and I started my career as a Speech/Language Pathologist. We also renovated an old lakefront home and two boats. We have two sons together. They are 25 and 23. My oldest son will be getting married this April.
After 16 years of marriage, it was obvious that my first husband was miserable. There were several issues that led to our divorce, but in the end, he found the will to leave when he fell in love with another woman. They are still together today and very much in love.
I remarried a man that was the son of a couple that were friends with my parents. He was 40 and a confirmed bachelor. He very set in his ways and a strong fundamentalist Christian. This marriage ended disastrously. He left me because "God told him to." He had prayed for a "godly, submissive wife" and I wasn't doing what "scripture said a good wife was to do." One day he came home and told me that God had released him from his marriage vows to me as I wasn't being submissive to him. Admittedly, I am pretty strong willed, smart and financially self sufficient, but hearing that sent me reeling. And the wounds left me physically sick, mentally depressed and financially bankrupt. I have not spoken to him since he left and filed for divorce. Good riddance! That was in 2007.
Now, back to the story of me and Robert. Like I said we were friends in 8th grade and most of 9th grade. He moved away sometime during our freshman year. While he was gone, he would write me letters telling me of what he was up to. It turned out that his parents had gotten a divorce sometime before I had ever met him. His mother moved away and left him and his older brothers with his dad. In 9th grade, he actually "ran away" to live with his mother in Chicago. Every now and then I would talk to his older brother at school and would tell him to let Robert know that I was asking about him.
Then sometime in later high school (maybe our Senior year?) he showed up at my house. We sat in my front yard and talked at great length about all that we had been up to. I now know more of what his life was like at that time, but even then I got the message that he was looking for a lifeline. As it turned out, when he ran away to Chicago, he ended up getting a job, dropping out of school, and moving back home with his dad, who had remarried. He has told me since that his intent when he come to see me was to ask me to be his girlfriend. He said that I was always nice to him and that he wanted a nice girlfriend like me.
As I recall, during that conversation he told me that he was moving out of his dad's house and was wondering if I wanted to get an apartment with him. I remember telling him that there was no way my dad would let me move in with a boy unless I was married to him. He jokingly suggested that we could get married. Somehow, I managed to let him down gently. Still, he ended up walking out of my life that day feeling like a fool. I saw him one other time just before I got married for the first time. We talked and I told him that I was going to get married in a few weeks. He had joined the Army and was a recent newlywed himself. I was very happy for both of us.
The day before I got married something very tragic happened to Robert. One of his best friends committed suicide by shooting himself with a gun. Robert was the one who found the body. On the day of my wedding, Robert had a breakdown. Shortly after this, his marriage ended.
Of course, I heard about this and for some reason felt compelled to start to pray for Robert. At the time I kept a journal and would keep him in my thoughts and prayers there as well. Then the years passed...
Eventually he remarried, became a general contractor and had two daughters. His daughters are 19 and 14.
So...what is our story?
We found each other again (via FaceBook...I know...) in 2011. We immediately started our friendship back up. I truly feel that we can go for years without seeing or talking to certain people but that red cord of connect truly does bind us. That is the case with Robert and me.
I guess that God, the Universe, the stars or whatever looks out for us and times things in such a way that when we most need it, our souls and spirits are sent soaring.
I was dating another man (it was long distance and he was 12 years my senior) when Robert and I found each other again in January of 2011. He was unhappily married to his partner, but felt good about the home and environment that he was able to provide for his daughters. It turns out that his wife had been unfaithful to him, but he remained in the home because he didn't want his daughters to have the same ill effects of divorce as he did. I admire him for this.
We started to talk and met up one day for lunch (we lived an hour away from each other). We talked everyday (and have for 4 years now). I ended up breaking up with my boyfriend and, upon Robert's suggestion, moved back to my hometown. My sons had moved out so I had an empty nest. I was able to find a job back home that paid a substantial amount more than I was previously being paid. Plus, my parents were still in town.
It made perfect sense to make the leap of faith.
As time has gone by, Robert and I have become best friends. Right now, we are talking about future plans and laying down the foundation for our own happily-ever-after. I think we're off to a great start...
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