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I'm not sure what happened to me. At the beginning of 2004, I had an epiphany that opened up my world. I felt released, freed, eyes wide opened. All of a sudden, I KNEW that I had passed by the life that I was meant to have: convinced (with all my heart) that I did not look up at the right moment in time.
Every since I can remember, I have been terrified of an ‘unnamed something.’ So, I buried myself in books, and school. I made friends, but managed to stay on the fringe of everything so as not to become too involved. That meant no dating, no romantic bonds at all. In college, I had two brief relationships (first one out of curiosity, and the second one somewhat serious.). However, both relationships left me feeling frigid and empty; so I accepted this too as part of my nature, and ended all attempts at dating and relationships. NOTHING: no dating, no relationships for twenty years!
Funny thing, I was blissfully happy during these years. I thought I had the prefect life: a wonderful job, great circle of friends, loving family, my own home, and a billion other things. I did not think nor felt that I was missing out. I had so many babies in my life, I felt fulfilled (I am that ‘special’ aunt that can walk on water. I am/was “My Mae Mae” to so many children; it will take time to count.).
Like a climatic point in a movie, just at this point of letting my guard down, the moment that I had dreaded happened. For reasons I didn’t want to examine too closely, I never wanted to think about high school. I intentionally lost touch with all high school friends; I didn’t go to the reunions; I destroyed all pictures and documents of that time; and essentially, went into hiding for 25 years. Why? Nothing bad happened to me in high school; on the contrary, I was happy, popular, and successful, yet I felt horrible when I thought about it.
A couple of years earlier, I joined Classmates.com and got reacquainted with old classmates. It was a good time; a healing time. I renewed my efforts of trying to locate Max Edwards (not his name) who I had tried repeatedly during the 25 years to locate with no success. After mentioning my efforts to a former classmate in another state, the most incredible thing happened. This is how she explained it: “Ok.... this is freaky. One week after you tell me that you want to get in touch with Max Edwards.... guess who comes to the Alltel store where I work????? I told him about you and he was ultra happy about reaching you again. He REALLY wants to hear from you. Write soon.”
I emailed him immediately and he responded via email some minutes later. Out of fear, I did not response to his email until five months later! I was petrified of what I knew he was going to say and I was right. This is what he said:
“I never could find out where you went. I figured you would have gotten married. When I saw Lisa and she told me that you were looking for me, my heart jumped to the sky. Then you didn't answer and that was depressing. But the day your e-mail arrived! I can't explain the feelings in words. Thank God, I was sitting down. My daughter was the first to notice my huge grin. Nowadays, if they see me smiling and typing, they know that you are online talking to me. When she asked why I was smiling, I don’t remember what I told her. I was too engrossed in the fact that you had replied. It ranked right up there with Bigfoot and UFO's . . . it was unbelievable. I kept looking at it to make sure I wasn't dreaming. The Grinch's heart couldn't have matched how big mine’s got that day. I was off the floor all day.
If I had known that you wouldn’t marry, I would have asked you way back then. If I could turn back time; and, know where you were, I would have hunted you down. Society, when we were in high school, would have frowned on it. And, being that kind of idiot I was, I would’ve bowed out to peer pressure. Yes, I liked you. Why do you think I can remember that dance?”
At this moment my world collapsed. I was hearing the very thing that I have been running from. How ironic life can be! In his first email to me he mentioned ‘the dance.’ (The conversation that follows was over a couple of weeks.) So, I asked him later, “Tell me. What was so special about the dance?” He replied: “You were.”
ME: “You make me want to cry.”
HIM: “Why? It’s one of my happier memories. Twenty-five plus years later and it is still vivid in my mind. That night, you looked like you could have floated on air. That was when I really knew that I loved you. During rough times I could always think of that dance with you and feel better. I can't remember much else but that has always stuck with me.”
ME: “Did you ask me to dance? You did that?!!”
HIM: “Yes I did and you said YES! It was a slow dance: Always and Forever by Heatwave. I remember you spent the evening standing with me and a couple of the other guys. I'll never forget it. Never thought you had an admirer, huh? Let’s build a time machine. LOL.”
ME: "Like HG Wells? I don't know whether to laugh or cry? For a long time, all I wanted was a family: someone to love me.”
HIM: “Laugh or cry? I smile when I remember. If it helps...I did love you. It’s just the times we lived in didn't allow it. I wish I could go back and change it. I would have married you in a heartbeat. I wish I had the confidence back in high school: I would've danced more with you, I would’ve asked you out (would've ticked my parents off to no end). You never knew how much I adored you. If I had a choice back in school and had the confidence, it would have been you ...no other.”
ME: “Would it have been that bad? With your parents?”
HIM: “My parents were pure southern whites. They were born in the 20s. My Dad mellowed out near the end. That’s one of the reasons I left home so quickly after graduation. Dad did his best to turn me into a racist. He failed miserably. I was a fish out of water. Imagine if I had brought you home and said, ‘Here is my fiancé.’ It would have given them a heart attack and they would've booted me to the streets. I wish I had done that in retrospect.”
ME: "Talk to me a little more before I go to bed."
HIM: "Once upon a time, there was this kid. He was a good kid who never said much. He stayed shut up all through school and never said much. To his chagrin he had to leave home. But memories of everything he had left behind stayed with him and kept him happy. He learned to speak his mind, but alas, too late to do much good. He settled for other things in life, but remained happy with his memories. Years passed and the memories began fading except for a few that were precious to him. He wandered the world and a question always haunted him..."What if?"
ME: "What if what?"
HIM: "What if he had told the woman that he truly loved, "I love you." Deep in the recesses of his mind, he knew that they would have been happy and would have grown old together. But time passed and they lost touch, but the love remained in his heart. She never knew of that love and it hurt him and still does. But a ray of hope struck and they were partially reunited and he is happy again and can tell her that he still loves her and always will. The story has no end because he doesn't believe death ends existence and he believes that love missed will be reunited elsewhere for all eternity. You ain’t getting foggy eyes are you?"
ME: "LOL. Somewhat! That is what you wrote in my yearbook...Foggy! You want to know what you said."
ME: “Foggy, it has been really terrific knowing you this year. I hope to see you sometime this summer or next school year. You are fantastic. Max”
HIM: "You were fantastic in my eyes."
ME: "I like hearing you say that even though it hurts. I have known for a long time that somewhere in the past I messed up and passed by the person that I needed to make me happy. I knew it. Reason why it wasn't necessary for me to even try to be in a relationship."
HIM: "Sad to say, but I settled for second bests."
ME: "I tried second bests, but knew that it wasn't the right person."
HIM: "It was either that or be lonely. I didn't know where to find you. I thought that you may have married, changed your last name or something. I lost track of all the people that knew you."
ME: "Reason why I did not want to look too deeply back in my past. I knew the answer was there, not in the future."
HIM: "Maybe. Depends on how life turns out."
ME: "Funny. A few weeks before I contacted you, I had accepted how things turned out. Now, I play the 'what if' games too."
HIM: "Sorry I ruined it for you."
ME: "LOL. It was my fault too. I was terrified to look around me. You have NO idea how afraid I was of life. My idea of heaven was to enter a nunnery! LOL."
HIM: "I can imagine. Reason I volunteered to be a scout/sniper in the army. So I wouldn't be around people."
ME: "I can count the number of times I have cried since college and this one is a big one. I need to go now."
HIM: "I'm sorry. Sleep well. I love you."
To finish shattering my heart was a conversation that I had with his 10-year-old daughter one day when she IMed me. Briefly, it went like this:
DAUGHTER: "You make Dad smile."
ME: "I do! He makes me laugh too."
DAUGHTER: "He doesn't smile much. He’s always hurt."
So, this is the part of my story which lead me to a fining a sperm donor. One of my favorite saying which is often quoted by Oprah who quotes Maya Angalou, is "At first God will throw a pebble to get your attention. If that doesn't work, he will throw a stone." I guess I needed the stone. In March 2004, I was diagnosed with narcolepsy. In August 2004, I had to resign from the job that I loved and forced to go on disability. Before this life changing event, creating a relationship or even a family was never a priority. Until then, I was wholly contented with my life and utterly immerse in my career as a graphics designer/webmaster (10 years) at the University. When the stone hit, I looked around and saw a house, but not a home with a husband or child.
I really enjoyed your story, thanks for sharing. If "Max Edwards" is available I would pursue it further. It's better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all! I don't remember who said that but this is fitting for your story. I will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. I am not sure what it is like to find a donor. I don't even know what steps to take, but FIND that person and do your best to follow your heart!
I'm glad you decided to go after your dream once a baby enters your life you will be a whole new you. A happier and fullfilled you. Being a mother brings out the best in people and helps you appriciate the things in life we normally overlook. I'm curious also what happened with this wonderful man. Is he divorced now? I would never give up hope for a loving relationship, it may happen yet. If not you will have a beautiful baby to shower all your love on and that will be enough to complete you. Good luck!
Kim- wife to Kevin mom to Ashley, Julianna, Marinah, and Delaney
Wow, that's one heck of a story!!! I agree, what's going on with Max???
And have you ever thought of asking him to be your "donor"???
Please let us know... is he still married? Do you still talk? Have you seen him?
Please, I'm so nosy and you can't just leave us hanging like that...
It's like an incomplete romance novel...