The New M.E. Generation

Among the many other discoveries that Johann and I had during our emails, I learned that, when I was married, he and I were in locations separated by a 4-hour drive.

Unfortunately, this was the time before mobiles and social media, so knowing about each other’s existence would have never happened.

I was already living in the US and he was stationed briefly in an area known as ‘Mile Marker 0’.

Question is: Had we known about this, would had there been an attempt to meet?

I’m sure that would have crossed our minds, but the circumstances wouldn’t have allowed it.

For starters, accessing his location is not easy. Not even meeting halfway or looking for an alternative to do so would have worked.

Then there was the fact we were tied to another person. Mine always resented my male friends, even if they had been part of my life way before the marriage occurred, even if they were just that, best friends, because he felt threatened.
My ‘x’ eventually asked me indirectly to part ways with them, so seeing Johann would have caused an even greater resentment from my ‘x’ towards me.

If I had made it to where Johann was, it would have been an awkward situation, as word of my presence would have surely reached his wife.

The conclusion is that it didn’t happen because it was best not to, so the universe took care of it. It would have been heartbreaking for both not seeing each other.

But, it did intervene when it was meant to be. I am now free to mingle with whatever guy I want and even got all my friends back because they were the ones who really loved me.

And Johann never forgot about me (me neither) and found a new way to reconnect with me that fits everyone.

We may be again separated at a long distance, but we’re close again and that’s good enough for me.

{September 9, 2013}   Take Me Back 20 – Picture this

I recently checked my profile page and saw Johann vacationing with his wife in Europe. In the photo, they were sitting together around a fountain.

Heck, I felt jealous, not necessarily because I wished I could be with him. But the location looked awesome and the sky was crystal blue. Photos can surely say a thousand words.

I also asked myself when was the last time I took a vacation, even more with a significant other.

I couldn’t answer the question because it has been so long. So much it felt like I have never experienced it. You look at something and try to capture what the image projects and wonder how it would be if it were you.

I kept looking at the photo and those of others and realized how I’m somewhat living my life through their eyes.

Johann has what I want to have: a spouse, family, home of my own, and even pets.

He’s surely a very lucky and fortunate guy and he probably doesn’t even know it.

And what can I do about it? I’ll just create my own mental photo of the guy I want and the place I want to be with him, and let the universe take care of it and ‘post it’ when it happens.

{September 2, 2013}   Take Me Back 19 – Sing it to me

This process of putting the pieces of the past together has been a great mental exercise. It’s still strange, though, that there have been bits missing. How is it possible that I don’t remember all about Johann when he was such an important part of my life?

I’ll tell you this. One day I was driving to work and the radio station played a song that woke me up more than my alarm does.

The song was one among many of the music that I had mailed him in the past. I don’t remember specifically about the rest, other than they were primarily love songs.

The lyrics of this one always reminded me of him. It sang about this man who constantly has to travel for work and this separates him from his loved one.

He knows that what he does is not how life with a significant other is supposed to be, but he reassures her that, no matter what happens, he will always be faithful to her.

The song continues in that he asks the same of her, to not stray, and that whenever he gets to see her again, he feels joy in discovering her over and over.

I identified with the song because Johann and I had a friendship and love for each other that was not the standard. He was always traveling and I would get to know him more with each new letter received. Even more, he was faithful to me all the time he was in the navy.

Using this song in the present, it was the ultimate joy that we got to reconnect and know each other again.

There are no expectations here other than to stay together as friends and that we may live our lives for others and ourselves accordingly.

The only part of the song that may not ‘repeat’ is seeing each other. That’s a hard one and will take a lot more than just singing the blues for it to happen.

The thought that I kissed Johann in the cab stuck on my head like a bad headache.

It literally did; I tried so hard to bring back the memory, my head starting hurting.

I’m still on denial don’t know why, because it was totally harmless. Even if it hadn’t happened, it wouldn’t have affected the friendship that evolved between us.

Maybe I reacted on impulse. Or, I probably realized that I wouldn’t get to have any contact with him again, so I went for it. Reality was nobody around me was going to know, so the ‘secret’ would be safe.

The other item that I’ve been asking myself is: have I met him in a later time of my life, would have I done the same?

I don’t see why not, but more cautious of not getting too emotionally involved, knowing nothing else was to happen beyond it.

How about if Johann and I have met each other and there was the possibility of being together?

That would have meant leaving the US to a place far away, to an existence completely new to me. I think he would have been a great husband and my life would have been fine.

So, would have I done it? Would have I hopped on the ship and sailed into a new world?

Let the adventure begin.

The memories continued and it was gratifying remembering them.

In another email I wrote about the day we went to the beach with his friend. Johann replied that they’re still friends and that the other guy still remembers me, and has asked about me from time to time.

Wow, that was nice to hear. It was such a great day only good thoughts can come out of it, and that one is included in them is even better.

What I read next really took me by surprise, as I had no recollection about it.

‘When we were in the cab,’ wrote Johann, ‘you kissed me. I didn’t see that coming. I was pretty shocked at what you did!’

‘No!! That’s not possible,’ replied I. ‘The only time we kissed was at my house. You’re making this up.’

‘Yes you did! I was brought up well and taught to respect women and doing anything inappropriate was not part of my mentality. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it, but never crossed my mind you would do something like that.’

I tried to wrap my mind around the thought that I behaved like that and didn’t fit. I kissed a guy I barely knew in the back seat of a cab and next to his best friend.

I know I was trying to come out of my shell back then, but this?

Was I more outgoing that I’m giving myself credit for?

We kept communicating via email as time went by. We didn’t do it often, but it was nice to talk about pretty much anything that pertained to us individually.

One day he sent me some pictures I’ve sent him that I had forgotten about.

There was one of me wearing my uniform at school, standing in front of one of the classroom’s door. I had a big smile on my face with my arms crossed.

It was taken with my camera and the photos were developed at a local drugstore at a walking distance from my home and school.

Every time I had a roll to develop, I would walk by myself to the store and drop them off. As soon as they were ready, I would write a letter to Johann and send them out.

The second one was a passport photo. I was wearing a white blazer, which was actually my father’s jacket in another time. I found it on my grandparent’s house and fell in love with it. I would roll up the sleeves and thought I looked really fashionable.

One thing I really forgot about was that, not only did I write notes on the back of the photos, but also would always sign them, ‘Love always, Emma’.

The writing on one of these photos conveyed a feeling that I didn’t know where our lives would take us or what would happen to our friendship, but that I would always remember him as having a special place on my heart.

Yes, that’s who I was back then, a hopeless romantic, writing all these things as if they were taken out of a romantic novel.

I wrote these words with no expectations for anything in the future, not knowing how much they would impact our lives and, even less, if I would get to read them again.

They were certainly those of a teenager who had no idea that these thoughts would transcend time and would still be felt the same way today as they were more than 20 plus years later.

Time may pass, but feelings don’t.

“I’m fine,” said Johann. “How long has it been since we last spoke?”

“My last memory was you telling me in your card that you were getting married and couldn’t write to me any more,” said I.

“Actually, it was my wife who told me to do that. I was upset about it, but what could I do? I’ve always regretted it.”

“Well, if it gives you any comfort, I got rid of most of your letters when I got married. I regretted it too, especially after he left me. But, you and I did what we thought we had to do for the sake of our relationships.”

“I’m sorry that happened to you. You know, I was really into you. I wanted to finish my education and fly out to see you again. I would have had a relationship with you, even taken it to the next level, have I been given the chance.”

“What, for real? We were so young! How did you know I was the one for you when we weren’t even living in the same country?”

“That’s how much I had feelings for you.”

“Well, I will say this: life sure has a way of taking care of things.”

Wow! I did have lots of feelings for him, but I think part of them were of being ‘enamored’ with the long distance aspect and he being a foreigner in the navy.

But it was now that I learned how serious he had been about me. What he said was a very powerful statement.

Johann didn’t have a lot of time to talk so we wrapped it up. It may have been brief, but so much was said (and felt).

I couldn’t get off my mind the fact that had there been the opportunity we could have ended up together.

It’s ironic to think that my ‘x’ said to me that he knew he would marry me after our first date. I questioned him about it and he kept saying, ‘I just knew’. It sounded romantic at the time, but after all I went through, it later felt he really didn’t put much analysis into this, if that.

What about me? What relates to men, I thought I had it all figured out when I got involved with him. I knew being married wasn’t going to be easy, but felt confident I could make it work.

Still, how much guarantee do we have of anything working out, no matter at what age? Answer is, none.

But, like I told Johann, life took care of things because it protected us from a situation it wasn’t meant to be.

If I am right about this, why didn’t it take care of that other guy?

What have you got to say now ‘life’?

Johann and I kept corresponding by email and it was just like when we used to write each other, except we didn’t had to buy stamps or wait endlessly for the next envelope to arrive.

It’s great to think how much technology has allowed for people to reconnect so, why not take it to the next level?

‘Is there any way we can actually talk, either via the computer or by phone?’ I asked him on my email. ‘It would be great to hear your voice again and seeing you, even better.’

He replied that as much as he wanted to do so online, his personal situation made it impossible, but going mobile was an option. He was going to try to find a day and time and would let me know.

About two weeks later he wrote saying he was going to call me on a Saturday morning my time.

I was so excited about talking to him I woke up early that Saturday just to make sure I wouldn’t miss his call.

When the time came, I sat next to the phone and even plugged it to make sure the battery would he charged.

At exactly the time he said he would call, he did.

“Hi Emma, it’s me, Johann.”

“Oh, my, I can’t believe I’m talking to you…” I got very emotional and chocked to the point tears were coming down my eyes, and almost couldn’t talk.

I have gone through so much, I had forgotten how really much he was part of my life and had meant to me.

I needed this phone call so badly and couldn’t have happened at a better time.

‘Hi Johann!! I can’t believe it’s you!’ I replied to the email. ‘Would you believe I have been looking for you? You were nowhere to be found. So glad you reached out to me. What’s going on with you?’

I summarized my life from when I last knew about him until now, leaving all the negative aspects out and concentrating more on how happy I was that we had reconnected.

He replied the next day expressing surprise about my search and was equally happy that he had found me. He was still married and has three children, all pretty much grown up. He is still in the navy and living in the same place.

I got the sense that his life was well and stable, that he hasn’t had that much disappointments or difficult times. It was the same feeling that he used to convey when we used to write each other.

Thinking about that made me feel envious of him. It has been years since I’ve had a happy moment or interesting experience to remember.

He had everything I strived for: a family, home, tranquil life. I have none of that and haven’t had a relationship since becoming single again.

What’s his secret? Why can’t I have a life like that? At least I am glad that one of those who have a good one is he because he deserves it.

He was a great friend before and now knowing that he was actually looking for me makes me feel good. It’s wonderful to know that he’s one of many whom I touched their loved before, never forgot me, and now want me back into their lives.

It’s another validation that this journey of finding myself again has been all worth it. Hey, it’s a work in progress, but can’t wait to get there.

Hopefully now we won’t disconnect again.

et cetera