Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Out of the Blue (Epilogue)

Mixed Messages: The Letter (from her)
After I let her go that Spring, I lost track of Gabrielle for about two and a half years. A lot happened to me in the interim. I went in and out of several relationships until I finally discovered my wife Michelle, the one whose path I’m convinced God had prepared me to cross. We were married on St. Patrick’s Day in 1979.

A third-party connection with Gabrielle then presented itself when I discovered that of one of my neighbors who was taking graduate courses at 4YU had a few classes with her. I asked her to say hello for me and she did. She said that Gabrielle seemed genuinely happy for me.

Some weeks later I received a letter. I didn’t recognize the return address. It was from Gabrielle, and to this day I still don’t quite know what it meant.

Gabrielle wrote that she was happy for Michelle and me and wished us a wonderful life together. That, I understood. However another part still leaves me a bit hollow. She added that she still didn’t understand why I had decided to step away two and a half years earlier, but that she respected my decision.

Talk about mixed feelings.

Make no mistake, I was head-over-heels in love with my wife, but this caught me off-guard. Was Gabrielle trying to stick it to me, by insinuating that she still cared? Had I perhaps stuck it to her, by moving on with my life? Or, was it a straight-up, heartfelt note of congratulations with an equally sincere rhetorical question as to why things didn’t work out between us?

I’ll take Door #3, Monty. I chose not to give myself any more reasons to think about her.

And that was it. I threw the letter in the trash. She was out of my life.

In retrospect I’ll always appreciate the experience for what I learned about myself. How unrealistic I was — not to mention impatient. I learned that only one person can truly make me happy, and it was none other than the guy I see in the mirror every morning.

I learned that I needed to slow down; to not force things; to be patient; to listen to my head as well as my heart.

My reward?

I’ve traded-in my dragster for a slow, steady walk into the sunset.

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