Do you remember the day we met? It was over by that strangely phallic statue in Scoville Park. I was sitting on one of the benches talking to Jimmy and you stopped by. You quickly became my sanity, my protector, my world and the love of my life.
It didn't matter that we were both involved with other people. I know the age difference bothered you but it never bothered me. Emotionally I was so much older than my chronological age and you were much younger than yours. Vietnam had affected you more than you will ever admit, even now. You were vulnerable and parts of you are still vulnerable.
I remember when you went missing. Jimmy and I searched everywhere for you. It was terrifying. On the third day I received a call from Jimmy letting me know that you were in Oak Park Hospital. I went to see you. I walked into the room and didn't recognize the man in the bed. I said, "excuse me, I must have the wrong room". You said, "Missy, it's me!" I finally saw the ring on your hand and knew it was you. You had been beaten beyond recognition. It took all of the strength that I had not to cry.
Your decision to leave Illinois was devastating. I felt like my world was ending. Who was going to keep me sane? I wasn't ready to do it without you.
Fifteen years passed and I thought of you almost every day. I still missed you terribly. Then one day Russ called me to tell me you were in town. I was a nervous wreck. You made it so easy. It was like no time had passed at all. You immediately fell back into your role of taking care of me. You made me feel safe again. I can't tell you how much I appreciated your help with moving me and the kids to Wyoming. When I called you and told you that we were moving in with you until I found another job and a new place to live, you never questioned it. You just came and got me.
I am sorry that I said no when you asked me to stay. I wasn't ready. I didn't want to dump my baggage on you and as you know now, there is a lot of baggage. Do you remember that argument we had? The one where you told me you felt an obligation towards me? That's when I decided that I wouldn't ask for your help anymore. Have you ever noticed that I change the subject whenever you begin asking me? I want you to be with me because you want to, not because of that weird sense of obligation.
I love you. Always have and always will. You are my beshert.
Read more How We Met stories from the wonderful Women of Generation Fabulous.