Letting Go

Standard

          The first time a fell in love, the feeling so overwhelmed me, I simply couldn’t deny what it was, even at the age of ten.  The butterflies in the stomach; frozen stare; fumbled speech; sweaty palms; I was instantly captured by the very spirit of the girl I was doomed to spend countless days dreaming of and wishing for.  The beauty of old-age is hindsight 20/20 vision.  Unfortunately, it also works as a curse; a double-edged sword that pierces the soul of a man, incapable of taking back or redoing historical events.  Her name was Theresa, and she had no idea that her brown eyes were destined to haunt my soul, on the day I met her.  Little did I know, those eyes would torment my heart, for the next 24 years of my life.

                The monotonous routine of life as a fourth-grade student was nothing special to remember.  The days consisted of the normal activity of lessons learned during the morning, lunch-time school-yard playing, and afternoon classroom reading.  One random day, a new student came to the classroom.  My teacher, Ms. Perry, introduced our new classmate as Theresa Smith, and encouraged all the students to welcome her, announcing that Theresa had come to us from Canada.  I remember thinking to myself, “this kid is gonna have a funny accent”.  Never once did I bother to look at her.  I was too busy doodling in my notebook, another one of my pastime activities of the day.  Since Ms. Perry seated her classroom students alphabetically, Theresa took the desk directly behind my own.  Still never lifting an eye to size up my new classmate, I felt a shift in the desk behind me as she took her new seat.  I gave a flustered sigh as my pencil jumped, from the desk bump. 

                 That day’s reading lesson called for the students to take turns reading aloud, a social studies lesson on the Badlands.  Since Theresa was the “new kid”, Ms. Perry immediately chose her to pick up the reading where the lesson had been completed by another student, the day before.  Once she began reading, the voice I heard behind me hit my ears and stirred something in me.  There was, in fact, an accent between the lines of each uttered word, but the accent was beautiful.  It was like nothing I had heard before.  Her pronunciation of the very word “badlands” caused me to pause in my own silent pacing and listen intently.  Her voice was sweet and melodic.  I remember smiling idiotically at the back of the head, of the kid seated in front of me, but dared not turn around to peek at our newcomer.  I waited until the time was right to catch a glimpse of her. 

                As the class was set to be released for lunchtime, I actually crawled underneath my desk (I was a little guy after all), and positioned myself so as to be able to peek at her from my seat, over her desktop; a weird sort of peek-a-boo position.  As my eyes trailed up the back-rest of my desk seat, and over her desktop, our eyes locked and I was frozen stiff.  Brown eyes; caramel colored skin; and freckles across the bridge of her nose.  Cupid had just shot me square in the face, right between the eyes and I had officially been smitten.  We stared at each other for what seemed like forever; she glared at me with a slight scowl, and I stared back, still stooping just below the front edge of her desktop, my mouth agape. 

               “You’ve got some bushy eyebrows,” she said.  The first words she ever spoke to me were an obvious observation.  Later in the year, I found out through a mutual friend, who happened to be standing next to Theresa, how she felt about me.  Karen Johnson took a certain amount of pride in blurting out the fact that Theresa thought I was cute.  Theresa immediately began to laugh, but there was a hint of embarrassment behind the laugh.  I could see her beautiful face turn a shade of red.  That was it.  I was officially in love with her, but was too shy to tell her so. 

                Over the following years, Theresa and I grew close to one another.  It turned out that during the week, she stayed with close relatives who lived just up the block from my family, so we made a point to walk to the middle-school together, and sometimes walked home together as well.  I remember how excited I used to be, getting up in the morning.  I couldn’t wait to see her smiling face.  She had become the best part of my day.  For that brief walk to school, Theresa was all mine, and I didn’t have to share her attention with anyone else.  We walked slow every morning, and talked about whatever our young hearts desired.  Yet, I never mustered the courage to tell her exactly how I felt about her.  Somehow, I convinced myself it would change our friendship, if I let her know my secret.  Days spent walking home from school, were just as exciting to me as days spent walking to school.  We talked about our day; we laughed over trivial things and we generally made each other happy.  Still, I kept my secret hidden away from her. 

                Theresa never waited for me to approach her, so she dated.  While I openly approved of her boyfriends, secretly I envied each of them, because their spot in her heart should have been mine.  If only I’d had the courage to express my feelings for her.  Each night I laid my head on the pillow, I thought of her smile.  I replayed conversations we’d shared during the day.  We had taken to calling one another on the telephone every once in awhile, so replayed phone conversations dominated my thoughts.  Theresa became my world, unbeknown to her.  Finally, I mustered enough courage to subtly suggest that we hang out together, on a Saturday. 

              “You mean like a date,” she had asked me.

              “No! Not a date! Just hang out.  Maybe we can walk to McDonalds or something.” I had replied.

               I dodged a bullet, with that one.  In my mind, it was a date, but she didn’t have to know that. 

              The big Saturday came.  My mother drove me to Theresa’s apartment building off of Jefferson and Southfield Roads.  As she drove away, Mom winked and told me to have fun.  Oh how I was a nervous wreck.  Theresa met me at the door of her building and we were off for our first lunch “date” to wonderful McDonalds, just up the street.  We walked and talked; we laughed and joked.  I was happy to be alongside my best friend. 
            We were so engrossed in conversation, we barely noticed a dog charging and barking wildly at the both of us, from the porch of a house we were walking past.  Theresa screamed and reflexively grabbed hold of me; one hand across my chest, and the other across the seat of my pants.  As the brown and black striped pit bull charged at its two petrified targets, his restraining chain pulled taught, yanking him backwards.  The dog flipped; hind legs over front.  My breath caught in my throat.  It was then that I realized Theresa clutching my chest and my butt; holding on for dear life.  In the melee, I had managed to grab hold and clutch her close to me as well.  Our eyes met for a moment as we stood in the middle of the sidewalk holding on to each other, and we exploded in laughter.  Symbolically, I think that was the defining moment in which I grabbed hold of her, and decided never to let go. 

                A few years passed.  Theresa and I grew closer than ever, as two great friends only could.  Our telephone conversations became easier for me, I endured her taste in boyfriends, and the painful conversations that ensued when they eventually broke her heart.  But never once did I tell her that I loved her.  And then one day, she gave me the worse news I could have taken back then.  Her family had decided to move from our hometown.  My heart crashed and burned.  My time had run out.  I’d have to tackle the 9th grade without my best friend.  Despite my fear of losing her forever, I stood in my own way, and refused to tell her how much I loved her.  And then she was gone.  Although we kept in touch in the beginning, telephone conversations became few and far in between.  I tried to take interest in other girls, but each new interest reminded me of her.  Eventually, we lost touch.  I had let my love slip away, without giving her the truth.

                Time marched on and so did my life without her.  Every young woman I became involved with never measured up to Theresa, until I ran into the eyes of a green-eyed enchantress, during my senior year of high school.  The first time I caught eye contact with Misty, her eyes burned right through me.  She was everything I wasn’t used to dating.  She had moved to my hometown from Romulus, and managed to bring her own unique style with her.  This girl was obviously deep rooted in the 80’s complete with big hair, tight jeans, flat soled-shoes and an attitude to match.  Somehow, she was able to erase Theresa from my memory.  From the very start, Misty and I shared a tumultuous relationship, complete with drama, racial issues, and family mayhem.  She was everything Theresa wasn’t and eventually my heart gave way to make room for the both of them.  Dawn was feisty.  The Italian in her left no room for soft emotion and real feelings in our relationship.  Everything about her demeanor was rough and rugged, packed into a pretty package.  She slowly moved into my heart and pushed Theresa’s reserved spot aside.  But Misty had secrets that would eventually break my heart in half.  During the second half of my senior year of highschool, Misty became pregnant by an ex-boyfriend.  Broken-hearted, I shut the door on our relationship.  I cut all contact with her, but at night her sweet face, sensual green eyes and sultry voice haunted me.  I left for college without so much as a goodbye to her.

                Misty’s treachery had hardened my heart to women the world over, and during my freshman and sophomore years of college, I took advantage of that.  Women came and left my life with no more importance to me than a discarded piece of Kleenex tissue.  Where once, I had been nothing more than a good boy, my newfound lifestyle turned me into a raving maniac.  I lied, cheated, stole, and hurt people more often than not.  I would visit home occasionally and see Misty walking along her block, pushing a baby stroller.  In my vanity, I continuously ignored her existence completely, while maintaining the evil lifestyle I had become accustomed to.  Misty and Theresa rarely crossed my conscious mind; but every once in awhile, they both found their way into my thoughts, while I was alone.  Beneath the façade of hard core toughness I portrayed, my heart still long for them both.  At times, I prayed that they were both watched over.

                Hind-Sight is a beautiful thing, as I have already mentioned.  Today, I’m more in touch with the good Lord than I have ever been in life.  So it comes as no surprise for me to realize now that Jesus was not only listening to my prayers, but he was orchestrating events that would someday shape the man I was to become.  I say this now, to emphasize how my life took a dramatic change, by his hand. 

                During those first few years of college, I ran with a group of young kids who were just as unscrupulous as me.  We all seemed to gravitate toward one another.  When we all got together, some pretty ungodly things tended to happen.  But one night, while speaking with one of these friends, I familiar name materialized from his past.

               “Yeah, I know Theresa Smith.  She was my homegirl!  We used to call her ‘Terrible T’ because she was crazy, man!  I think she moved to Detroit from some little town called Ecorse, but she graduated with all of us, in ’91 and then went to State.”

              My heart skipped a beat.  I couldn’t believe the dumb luck I had of linking up with one guy, out of a university filled with people, who just so happened to know my Theresa.  I immediately jotted down an address he’d kept for her Mother’s home.  That night I wrote a letter addressed to Theresa and prayed that somehow, someway it would find its way into the hands of my secret love from the past.  The letter was simple in nature; nothing formal, but nothing too revealing.  

              The next day, I received a letter addressed to me, from Ecorse.  The letter was from Misty.  My mouth dropped open and my heart pace quickened as I held the envelope, simultaneously elated and terrified to open it and read.  Where thoughts of Theresa had dominated my psyche for most of the morning, visions of Misty replaced them.  I took a seat in the lounge of the dormitory; slowly opened the letter, and inhaled.  Once the envelope had been ripped, Misty’s fragrance cut through the air I breathed.  Suddenly, I yearned for her touch, more than anything. 
              Her letter spoke of feelings of regret, and longing.  She felt remorse for how things had ended between us.  She longed for me to come back into her life.  The feelings portrayed within the words of the letter, were not like the Misty I once knew.  This woman had somehow matured.  She was writing about the feelings inside of her heart, baring her soul to me.  I found myself reading and rereading specific lines of the letter; analyzing and scrutinizing it for any flaws.  It was her.  She was pouring her heart out to me, on paper.  It was what I had always wanted from her.  Theresa’s memory took a permanent backseat to my rebounded lust for Misty, in the course of reading one letter.

                For months, Misty and I exchanged letters.  But whenever I’d return home for holidays or vacations, the old Misty I knew was there to greet me.  The sensitive woman I’d fallen for would disappear while we were face to face.  My heart hardened again, and I eventually slowed my letter writing to her.  Visits became scarce.  Eventually, I returned to dating at school, but maintained an occasional letter to Misty.  We had agreed to grant each other personal space, as I found it increasingly harder to cater to her dual personality.  I even used her mother-status as an excuse to stop working on a relationship with her.  She was out of my life again, just as fast as she had blown back into it.
                Toward the end of my sophomore year of college, I received an unexpected letter.  Theresa had tracked me down and wrote to me.  I couldn’t believe the letter I’d written the previous year had actually found its way to her!  For the remainder of my sophomore year, right into my junior year of college, Theresa and I stayed in contact through letters.  Though they were spaced sporadically, with each letter written and received, it was as if my old friend and I had never left each other’s side.  We talked of dating at our respective schools; we spoke of family; and during the summer of my junior year, we even managed to hang out together alongside two close friends, for one amazing afternoon.  I stuck by her side the whole evening; a permanent grin attached to my face.  We all talked of future plans and I was flabbergasted when Theresa suggested that I make a point to visit her on her campus sometime.  Leaving her side that night was a hard task, but the memory of our time together granted me comfort. Throughout the remainder of my Junior year and into my senior year of college, we kept in contact with one another by phone and letters, but eventually, the letters and calls slowed and stopped.  We each grew older and began to take our separate relationships more serious.  Before I knew it, she was gone out of my life again, but never far from my thoughts.

                In 1995, God saw fit to bring Misty back into my life once again.  The surprise letters began arriving at my apartment, after a surprise visit home.  While staying in my parents’ home over a weekend, Misty paid a visit.  Familiar fire, lusts, and desires surfaced and we entered a third period of long distance romance.  Her persona had softened around the edges a bit.  She was slowly warming to the idea of expressing her feelings during our times together.  Her son Tom, now three years old, somehow grabbed a space inside my heart as well.  Little did I know then, that his space was destined to be a permanent fixture.  During our time apart, Misty had grown into a mature, responsible mother.  I was in awe of how dedicated she was to raising her son, despite being separated from his father.  Everything she did in life took him into consideration.  I realized I had never stopped loving her, and watching her blossom into a young woman made me love her even more.  We began spending every weekend together.  I would travel home bi-weekly to be with her and little Tom.  On the off weeks, she and little Tom would travel to the west side of the state to be with me.  We were genuinely in love.  And then the letter came.

                When my roommate slapped the letter, addressed from State, onto the kitchenette table, I broke out in a cold sweat.  I knew exactly who this would be.  After almost a year of no contact, we were long overdue.  I purposely allowed that letter to sit on the table until my roommate had left the apartment.  To read this one would require silence and alone time.  I slowly ripped the envelope open and smiled at the familiar hand writing of my long lost friend.  She’d taken her time to bring me up to speed on how her life had been progressing up till the point of this writing.  I laughed aloud at humorous spots, and sighed at her accomplishments, and frowned at rough spots Theresa had been made to endure.  As I read the letter, I could feel her presence with me, as if no time had passed between us.  Toward the end of the letter, she gave me a personal gem.

               “As for me and you, I want to tell you that I love you, E.  I always have.  You are such a true friend and I’m glad to have you in my life.”

               I stopped breathing; I literally stopped breathing, as if I were holding my breath to jump into a pool of ice-cold water.  My eyes slowly paced over the lines repeatedly, soaking in the depth of what I’d just read.  All these years…Theresa loved me, and I’d never said a thing to her.  It didn’t matter that the love for me she professed was that of friendship.  The fact was my secret love…loved me back.  My eyes welled. Conflicting tears of joy and sorrow spilled over the lids.  I completely broke down.  I wrestled with the joy of knowing she cared, and the sorrow of knowing I should have told her years earlier, of my true feelings.  Over the next two days, I revisited the letter, then finally ripped it to shreds and discarded it.  I chose to lock my secret love for her away forever, because I owed it to Misty to make our budding relationship work.  I never wrote another letter or placed another phone call to Theresa for the next five years.

                 Misty and I gave birth to two children between 1996 and 2000.  Our relationship had peaked in 1999, however; as we grew older, we began to grow apart. On some level, I realized that from the very beginning, the relationship had been doomed to failure.  It had been based on all the wrong reasons, and we had simply been nothing more than two children trying to grow up too fast.  Misty, having been a single mother for so long in her life, began to regret the idea of never having the opportunity to live her life as a single woman.  She stepped outside of the relationship, content with living a dual life.  In my frustration with our downward spiraling relationship, we split apart in the summer of 2000. 

                I found my soul in a place of total darkness and despair over not being able to “fix” my relationship with the woman I had come to revere as my future wife.  I had absolutely no one to turn to for advice on how to overcome my troubled heart.  On June 28th, 2000, Jesus heard me cry for help and answered my call.  He brought a certain level of peace to my heart that I’d never experienced before.  Through him, I began to learn how to work through the pain of watching Misty self destruct, while maintaining a mother’s duties.  It was an extremely difficult time, but he encouraged me to remain patient and vigilant to his will.  During this time, I received a call from an old familiar friend, particularly when I was at a low point in life. 

Theresa’s voice on the other end of the line worked a miracle to pull me out of the darkness I found myself in.  And just like that, we found ourselves in conversation again.  I discovered that she was in a good relationship and was happy with her life.  She’d found the Lord and he had been working miracles throughout her life.  I told her of my children but never disclosed my relationship problems.  I didn’t want her to know that I was miserable, because she had told me that she found herself thinking of me from time to time, and had prayed that I was doing alright in life.  I loved her even more than ever before, when she told me that.  As we ended the call, I knew in my heart I would never call or hear from her again, but I was content with the fact that she was happy in life, herself.  I remembered that she loved me, and I thanked God for allowing me to know that.

For six months, Misty and I remained separated from one another.  We continued to be civil, for the sake of the children, but she was steadfast in her pursuit to maintain her “single woman” status; this despite the fact that her world was crumbling around her.  I continued to selfishly pray to God to bring her back into my life, so that we might build a family together the right way.  He gave me exactly what I asked for.  Misty and I stepped out to dinner, one brisk October night.  During our date, she apologized for everything she’d done to ruin our relationship and proposed by sliding a marriage ring box across the table.  I leaped at the turn of events and immediately moved back into the three bedroom apartment we shared with our three children.  Together, we made plans to move into a house and marry in the coming year. But she was still troubled; you see she had actually fallen in love with a grade school sweetheart of her own, during our time apart.  It seems God has a sense of humor indeed. 
As the wedding date approached, thoughts of Theresa bombarded my mind constantly.  I convinced myself that God had served his purpose in my life by bringing Misty and I together again and therefore I didn’t need him to watch over me as much.  The rekindled relationship between Misty and I progressed at a slow pace, but my heart had become bitter over her betrayal.  Openly, I wanted to make our relationship work, but secretly I wanted to get even with her.  I harbored desires to give her a taste of her own medicine; to show her what it felt like to hurt the one you were supposed to trust completely.  And deep within the recess of my mind, Theresa was always never far away.  I had come to realize that, for whatever reason, we seemed to be able to find one another when the timing was right.  But I was deeply conflicted at the same time.  Although I harbored lustful feelings toward other women, I loved Misty as much as I was able to.  I never acted on any of my thoughts, but just keeping the thoughts around was bad enough.  Just before my marriage in August of 2001, I found my secret love again.  I was determined to find out whether or not Theresa would give me any reason not to marry Misty. 

I remembered Theresa once telling me she held a job a department store, in the Northland mall.  To my surprise, she was still there, so I paid here an unannounced visit.  It felt good to see her again, after so much time had passsed.  She immediately took a break, allowing us to walk through the mall and catch up on old times and faces.  We stopped at a yogurt kiosk to sit and continue our chat.  In that one moment in time, everything was as it once was.  It was as if no time had passed between us, and I felt so comfortable just being close to her.  But underneath the comfort, something was different; something strange.  As we talked, I made no mention of my engagement.  Theresa never knew who Misty was, or that she was such an important part of my life.  I kept Misty secret from her.  I walked Theresa back to her store and wrapped my arms around her small frame, holding on tight.  Looking into her eyes, I knew I was making a mistake by coming to see her.  We said our goodbyes and parted ways.  I never told her that I loved her.  There was no point.  I had clearly chosen Misty, and so I walked away from Theresa for the last time. 

Misty and I married, and quickly added two more children to the growing Smith Family.  My wife and I portrayed the perfectly happy couple to outside eyes, but behind closed doors we both fought with our separate demons.  I sheltered feelings of vengeance and lust, while she struggled to deal with a husband who emotionally was detached from her.  By 2005, Misty had had enough of my selfishness and insensitivity.  She gave in to her own lustful intentions and stepped outside of the marriage.  Initially, I had no idea my wife was leading a double life, because I was too busy paying attention to myself.  But at some point, the Lord brought me back down to earth.  Jesus helped me to realize how self centered my life had become, and began to work on me, again.  He worked diligently to turn me into the God fearing, faithful man I was destined to be, but at a price. 

Three years after starting a life of infidelity, my wife’s secret life became very much public.  Misty had returned to her own secret love, and had decided to leave our marriage, for the prospect of starting a relationship with another man.  I was devastated.  I couldn’t understand why God had turned me around, and made my eyes able to see the beauty of what I had at home, only to destroy it all.  I had finally come to a place in my heart where I was willing to give all of myself to my wife, but she didn’t want it anymore.  The pain of the situation completely shut my life down.  I fell into depression as I watched my wife make plans to split our family.  There was nothing I was capable of doing to change things.  I was lost.

God has a particular plan in store for all of us.  I believe that wholeheartedly.  Sometimes, we must be made to lose everything we’ve held dear, in order to be rebuilt from the inside out.  This is the only way we are made to grow.  We must be put in a position of real discomfort, to see him for the wonder that he truly is.  He will literally destroy lives, to rebuild them better than before.  I found that I was not exempt from these simple rules of the Lord. 
God began speaking to me subtly, through the Lord Jesus.  Of course, I fought him at first.  I was angry, bitter, and had completely lost the illusion of any control I thought I had over my life.  I found it hard to deal with the idea of deciding to give myself over to my wife completely, only to have her take for granted everything I had to offer her.  You can fight the Lord for only so long before one of two things happen: you either submit to his will, willingly, or he gives up on you and lets you go your own way.  I gave up and decided to go with God.  It wasn’t easy at first, because I had to let go of all bad habits, lustful intentions, and selfish tendencies.  Let me tell you from personal experience; facing your true self is one of the hardest tasks anyone will ever face.  But with his guidance, I did it.  And today, I continue to do it.

I slowly began to thirst for the knowledge of God’s word and lessons.  This new feeling took over aspects of my life that had previously dominated me for so very long.  I stopped praying for selfish reasons; I stopped thinking about hurt and revenge; I dug deep into my mind and heart and actually began to free that spot I’d held for Theresa because I realized I had been holding on to a ghost.  I had to admit to myself that she is where God wants her to be, just as I had been put where I was for a reason. 
My wife noticed a change in my personality, just as her personal life went to hell on a fast train.  Her wants and desires for a separate life faltered quickly as God began to work through her.  My prayers became more involved with her well being as opposed to her finding her way back to me.  Trusting the Lord became my way of living, and I found freedom in that.  Misty continued to take notice, and the Lord finally broke through her walls.  She caved in, and submitted to him, willingly.  I saw Jesus work a miracle by bringing my wife out of a spirit-killing place, she never wanted to inhabit in the first place.  He set her free of her inner demons, and through him, we found our way back to each other.  We began to attend church faithfully every Sunday, as a family.  Reading and understanding the Bible became a priority for us.  Through the Lord, we began to love and appreciate one another in a way that we had never been able to do before.  God had freed my heart to give to Jesus and to share that love with my wife and children.  The joy I feel today is beyond measure. 

Misty and I both learned that walking the Christian lifestyle is by no means an easy undertaking.  It involves revisiting places that, mentally, we try to avoid.  For Misty, that meant rekindling a relationship with her estranged father.  Through the wonder of technology, God saw fit to bring Misty and her father together.  One day while streaming through Facebook, she received a message from him.  We read through the message together and found ourselves astounded at the tone of the message.  By all accounts, he had found the Lord and was attempting to go back through his own life, making amends of bad relationships from his past.  She was top priority on his list. 
 God is good all the time.  Misty’s gone through her own life to remove all bad elements; anything and anyone that may come between us, she has chosen to remove.  One day while talking about past relationships, she confided in me the relationship with her secret love.  She spoke of how hard it had been to walk away from this man, even though he was no good for her.  She spoke of finally choosing to follow God’s word and walk away from people she had no business coveting.  She spoke from the heart, and she cried as we talked. 

Without realizing what was happening, I began to tell my wife the story of Theresa.  I explained how I had once loved her, but hadn’t been able to tell her.  I told her of every time Theresa and I had been apart and then miraculously found one another again.  I spoke of the joy I felt when speaking with Theresa; the happiness of just being in her company.  I told Misty that deep inside, I felt as if I had been waiting for a time when I would be able to tell Theresa how much I loved her, but how I had come to realize that it was all wishful thinking.  God had chosen Misty for me; and me for her.  Teresa was never a part of the plan for my life’s happiness.  We spoke of the idea that Theresa had been brought into my life all those years ago to help me get to where I was today. 

           “You know what’s going to happen, don’t you,” Misty asked me.

           “What’s that,” I replied.

           “Somehow, someway, God is gonna bring her back into your life.  When it happens, what are you going to do?”

           In truth, I didn’t know.  I told my wife I would be able to walk away from her.  But I didn’t want to think about it at the time.  My indecision forced his hand to action.

            Not a week later, I opened my Facebook page and my breathing stopped.

            “No.  You gotta be kidding me, God. Why?  Why now, when everything is right with us?”

            The photo of Theresa’s profile stared back at me from the laptop screen.  I found myself unable to think clearly for a moment.  What was God trying to teach me here?  I walked away from the laptop and paced the room, thinking fervently.  Finally, I returned to the computer, and hit the “accept friend request” button.  A dozen emotions and questions fluttered through me.  Was this some sort of a test?  Did I just fail it?  If the Lord had seen fit to bring her back into my life, what was I supposed to do now?  I can’t very well keep in contact with her.  After all, she’s married and so am I, these days.  On top of that, I’m happy.  That was it.  It hit me hard and suddenly, and I remembered God’s lessons.  He puts us in positions to revisit people and resolve issues.  Long ago, I had chosen to give myself to Misty, but never really experienced any closure with Theresa, even if she never knew that I needed closure.  It didn’t matter whether or not she understood what I had to say.  It wasn’t about her.  This was for me.

                An hour later, I checked my Facebook inbox.  Just as I figured, there was a message from my Theresa.

               “Hey E! What’s Up!!”

                I typed furiously, but honestly. I told her of how every once in a while I had looked for her, knowing that the Lord would someday bring us together again.  I explained that I’d found the Lord; that he was working miracles in my life everyday; and that I was happy.  I told Theresa that she probably wouldn’t hear from me in the future, and told her to take care of herself.  After hitting the send button, I deleted Theresa from my friends list.  I had said what I needed to say; it was closure for me, but not complete closure, because in retrospect I needed to tell her so much more, which brings us here, to this very moment.

                The Lord says speak it, and it shall be done.  So let it be.  Closure.

 Dear Theresa,

                I need to thank you for always being around when I needed you in my life.  Although we didn’t always stay in touch the way I may have wanted us to, by the Lord’s graces, we always found one another at the right times.  When we were kids, I never would have guessed in the 4th grade, that you would become such a huge part of me for years to come.  We shared good times and great laughs, planned and unplanned.  You were my best friend and I so looked forward to spending as much time as possible in your company.

               T, I want to tell you that…from the moment I first laid eyes on you, you had my heart.  I loved you fiercely, though I could never tell you the truth because I was afraid of what it might do to our friendship.  So I locked it away for a long time, and simply chose to hide my real feelings from you.  But somehow, I get the feeling that you might have guessed.  I know now that his plan for us, was simply to share a deep friendship; that’s what you gave me.  There were times when I held you in such high esteem, it was as if I had placed you on a pedestal.  Everyone I ever came in contact with, I compared to you.  No one compared, until my wife came into my life. 

Although it took me years to find our Heavenly Father, I always prayed for you to be happy.  I prayed that nothing bad would ever happen to you.  When I found out you had discovered the Lord, I wasn’t honestly ready for Christianity myself and therefore couldn’t understand what your reasoning for going that route might be. But I’ve learned that everything happens to people in their own time.  Each day that passes, I learn more about the Lord and his love for us and I’m glad to know that God is the biggest part of your life these days; he’s the best part of mine as well.

T, you used to make a point to tell me that you wondered how I was doing, whenever we found each other again.  You once told me, in a letter you’d written, that you loved me because you considered me a true friend.  You were that true friend to me as well.  So let me put your mind at ease:  I had to endure real pain to come out on the other side, T.  There were times when my relationship with my wife tested everything I had, but God is good.  Misty struggled through personal trials and tribulations which took her to places of unspeakable nature.  I didn’t help much; too busy focusing on distractions.  But in the end, God pulled us both through, and today we’re in a good place.  We’re actually taking the time to get to know each other honestly, without secrets, and it’s an awesome experience.  Theresa I’m truly happy with my life.  My family is the most import unit in my life, next to the Lord.  I’ve learned that he comes first.  And that’s where it ends on my priority list. 

Theresa, my heart held on to you for so long that you became a distraction from what I should have been paying attention to all along.  You never knew it, but that’s what I made you into; a distraction.  Every time I found myself in some sort of trouble, I fell back on my “What If” scenario.  You were my “What If”.  I don’t know if that makes any sense to you, but I had to take time to realize it.  I don’t need that scenario or imaginary “Plan B” anymore.  I’ve finally let go.  I hope you understand what I’m saying.  I’ll always have special memories of you and the times we shared, and I think that’s as far as my mind will allow me to think of you now.  I‘m ready to give Misty all of me completely and the Lord is helping me to do that by putting me in positions to resolve personal issues that might potentially sidetrack his plans for me.  I know you’ve got God on your side, so that grants me comfort for your well being.  I know you’re going to be okay.  I will be too, T.  No more worries.  Take care of yourself. 

Sincerely,

E.    
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s