John. That’s the name of the ‘boy’. The boy of whom I am reminded, “because of the color of the wheatfields“.
I met John when I was a little girl, and he was almost a man. Our families attended the same church. I have distinct memories of love for him, as much as a 10 year old can love a 14 year old anyway…
He was a tall, blonde, lanky thing, and I watched him from afar, trying to steal glimpses of him when I didn’t think anyone would notice. I was not yet in junior high school when his family moved hundreds of miles away to Northern California. I remember being very sad about that. And the years passed.
Occasionally over those years his family’s name, his name, would come up in various discussions at my family’s dinner table. Mostly in the vein of us wondering how “they” were, John in particular. I never heard anything about him, until about five years ago. While at work in the emergency department in the LA area, the paramedics brought in a woman whose name was a familiar one. It was John’s sister’s married name. An unusual name. I wondered if the woman was a relative of Joanne’s husband. She was. It turned out this patient of mine was John’s sister’s mother-in-law. Though I was busy, I tried to get caught up on what was going on with the family. My “secret” agenda was to find out what was happening with John. I found he was still single, but that’s about all I got out of Joanne. I figured there must be a good reason she didn’t divulge any further information. I gave his sister my phone number, hoping that she and I could possibly get together in the future. And hoping that she might pass it along to John and that he might be just curious enough, about the ER nurse in Los Angeles that was asking after him, to investigate who I was.
Joanne (his sister) never called, and neither did John. And the incident left my consciousness. Until June 9 of last year.
My father forwarded an e-mail to me that he had received from John. The e-mail was sent to his parents’ e-mail address list, which my father just happened to be on. He was asking for help in wishing his mother a happy birthday. My father forwarded it on to all of us kids. I sent his mom an e-mail wishing her a happy birthday. And I thought about e-mailing John. It took me a week of actively resisting the finger of God tapping me on the shoulder and whispering for me to “do it, do it”. Eventually I relented, said “why not” and sent him a short, generic note of greeting…
“You probably don’t remember me, but…” That’s how it started. I heard back from him, and it sounded like he wanted to hear back from me! When I got his second e-mail, I knew that something wonderful was in store for me. I go back and read that e-mail now, and it seems somewhat innocuous and without an agenda, but I saw what I saw in it then! And I acted on it. We e-mailed back and forth for a number of weeks. His father had been ill for some time, and it seemed that his struggle would be over soon. I didn’t hear from John in that last week. When I heard that his father had passed away (on June 27th), I lamely extended my condolences, and my ear, to him. And after a few days, he took me up on the offer. A couple of weeks later, our communication again stopped. Then the most unthinkable thing happened. Just a month and two days after his father died, my sister-in-law and best friend, my healthy as a horse sister-in-law, took a nap from which she never awoke. In my stricken state, I felt a drive to connect again with John. And from there, our friendship blossomed into the greatest romance either of us had ever experienced. Until the bomb went off. What happened needn’t be laid out here. It’s mine and John’s to handle. But the shrapnel blew deep into our hearts. We not only couldn’t get the shrapnel back out of each other’s hearts, we couldn’t even tell each other where it was or how to find it. We struggled for months, trying to find our way back to some semblance of the beauty we had shared, and the beauty that neither of us wanted to admit had become something very different. Finally, in March, it ended. I limped along, missing him horribly, but knowing that things needed changing in us so that we could love each other better than we had been. And knowing that only God could address these things and bring about the change that was needed. So the silence remained between us. Two weeks ago, God took our very broken roads which had briefly crossed and then diverged, and impossibly, unbelievably, had them cross again.
Which brings us to today. God in his graciousness and in what can only be his amazing love for us, seems to have granted us access to each other’s hearts once again. And at a time when John had effectively put me out of his mind, and I had begun to think that maybe my hope for a future for us was misguided, and naive. Though our problems are not resolved, we have decided that we love each other enough to work this thing out. For now, we are letting things just breathe and giving ourselves some slack. The only decision we have made about our future is to acknowledge that we probably have one. We are basking in the refreshing loveliness of, and are delighting in, each other’s company. The rest; the answers, the solutions, the bridges, the plans, will come. In time they will come.
Breathe. Just breathe.
Thanks for being my friend and for loving me. I am so glad I am on this journey with you, John.
5/1/2007 – – – Sadly, our paths parted again some months ago. Only God knows if they will ever cross again. Only God knows if my heart will ever heal. I wanted to delete this post altogether because it’s actually quite painful to go back and read. And embarassing, too, to tell the truth. But it’s part of my history. It’s part of my collective life experiences and sharing my experience is what my blog is about. Nobody ever goes back this far into a blog to read, do they? It used to be posted under the categories of “John” and “Love”. It is now to be posted under “Sad Day”.