Week of February 7th 2015: Love

What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Posted:Sun, 15 Feb 2015 23:00:02 GMT

Telling stories about love is not simply the same as telling love stories. Love comes in many forms. It’s the earliest emotion we feel, the one that moves us the most, for better or for worse. This week, as we always do, we’re talking to people. And the tie that binds all of this week’s people is their hearts. Everyone has a story of the heart. It’s the most common of threads in the enormous tapestry of life. Sometimes our hearts tell a happy story, sometimes it’s a sad tale. Sometimes our stories involve putting our pieces back together and moving on. 
Each day… a different person… a different story…. a different reason… a different heart.

picnowYOU’VE RECENTLY GOTTEN SEPARATED. HOW LONG WERE YOU MARRIED?
“We were married for 18 years. And he finally moved out 2 weeks before my 50th (January) birthday. It was a big celebration.”

HOW DID YOU MEET?
“We actually met online, on an adult BBS board where people would chit chat and play games and what not. People from the board were getting together to meet in person for one of the girl’s birthdays and that’s the first time I met him and we’ve been together ever since. That was June 16, 1997.”

DID YOU GET MARRIED RIGHT AWAY?
“We ended up getting pregnant 9 months after we started dating. So to get on his insurance, we decided to get married. We were going to get married later, but this kind of sped things up. We got married on February 28, 1998 and I miscarried the following day, March 1, in the morning. And we never ended up having kids. They say everything happens for a reason, and here we are. So the only custody deal we ever had was for the furry kids. And all is well with that.”

WHEN DID YOU START TO NOTICE THINGS WERE NOT WORKING OUT?
“To be truthful, it was when I found out he was having an affair and in love with somebody else. And then after I found out that, I found out more truths of him cheating on me. Things just got way too ugly and it ended up being better for us to separate and work on ourselves and go back to being best friends instead of husband and wife.”

HOW LONG AGO WAS IT THAT YOU FOUND THIS OUT?
“It was right after his car accident in 2013 and we were in the hospital. My friend and I were standing there and he was getting ready to be wheeled up to x-ray and I asked him to give me his cell phone and he was like “No, no, no, I’ll keep it with me”. I looked at my friend like “uh huh”. Then I went Charlie’s Angels on his ass and that’s how I found out. Now, two years before that I had found a picture of him and his girlfriend. I confronted him back then and he said it was just somebody he met and blah blah blah. I continued on with this dream I was living, that he would change and things would be different and it just never turned out that way. I just couldn’t live like that anymore. And in September (of 2014) I told him that he needed to call her ’cause I was done. I was done being mistreated and verbally abused. He’s going through a lot of emotional stuff and everything so, that’s why I just chose to end it and he’s moved out. It’s the best thing we could’ve done for each other. We’ve already gone back to being friends. We’re better friends than we are a couple.”

WHAT KIND OF TOLL DID THAT TAKE ON YOU?
“It’s not the first time it’s happened. It’s happened over the years, here and there. But we were always able to work it out. I was always able to turn my feelings off and still dream that dream. And it just never happened. Him being a controlling person and me being…I’m not assertive in any way. I don’t have an inner ‘bitch’ in me. I never would stand up for myself. I don’t like to fight. I don’t like screaming and yelling or anything negative. But it just became too much. It was taking a toll on me. I didn’t even know who I was anymore. I lost myself a long time ago. And when I started singing again, three or four years ago, that literally saved my life. It restored my soul. I had not sang in 20 years! He would never allow me to do that kind of stuff. Even during these last few years, he was envious and jealous of my friends and me singing.”

WHY DIDN’T HE JUST JOIN YOU OR GO ALONG? OR AT LEAST BE PEACEFUL WITH YOU DOING THOSE THINGS IF HE DIDN’T WANT TO?
“Nope. That’s not his thing, whatsoever. To be honest, I swear he’s got NPD, Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I was just over his place visiting the other night. He made me dinner and then I was waiting to leave until his girlfriend showed up (I’m actually starting to be friends with her). She doesn’t know if she can do it. She thinks I’m a saint for putting up with it all these years. ”

HOW DID YOU PUT UP WITH THAT ALL THOSE YEARS?
“Because of how I was raised, who I was raised by. I have the patience of a God. I’m a good person and even though all of the horrible things he’s said and done and broken my heart over and over again, I still love him. I’m not in love with him as a husband. But as my friend, I’ll always love him. That’s what he’s afraid of, of losing his best friend. I told him I’m not going anywhere or I’d have done it years ago.”

I FIND YOUR ATTITUDE AMAZING. I DON’T KNOW IF I COULD CONTINUE LOVING A PERSON OR HAVING A FRIENDSHIP WITH THEM AFTER BEING TREATED THAT WAY. IT’S ADMIRABLE.
“Everybody says that to me. My family, everybody. Cause a lot of people don’t even wanna see him cause they’d beat the shit out of him. They’re angry for me. But, I told everybody this is how I’m handling it. I’d appreciate it if when they see him in person that they don’t come down on him. Everybody has their own issues and crap that they have going on in their life. It’s just the way things worked out. And in my heart of hearts I always knew that I deserved better and that it was gonna happen this way, but like I said, I was living in that dream. I loved him so much and I lost that best friend and he lost that best friend in me and we’re working on getting that back. That’s what’s most important.
It’s the way I had to do it. I love my in-laws and will still go visit them with him. We have friends that are coming into town soon and we are meeting them in the Poconos and spending the night. If he’s still with his girlfriend, she’s meeting up with us in New York, ’cause she knows that area well. So they’ll get to meet her too. This is the way we’re handling it.
He’ll never be able to put me down again, call me names again, yell and scream at me again. I’ve become so comfortable with hanging up on him which he’s done to me for years which I always found so rude. And the name calling? I never, ever, ever called him a name. I’m not gonna do that to myself anymore, to my mom…
I lived with my parents for God’s sake, and they had to deal with listening to him yell and scream at me and not be able to do anything about it. It broke my father’s heart because he was bedridden and told my mom to tell him to stop yelling at me. He couldn’t get out of bed. She told him they couldn’t interfere.”

THAT’S WHY I’M SO SHOCKED THAT YOU WOULD STILL WANT THAT FRIENDSHIP.
“Well, my God, we spent so many years together. I would never….
I see his personalities like Jekyl and Hyde. When he is Dr. Jekyl, he is awesome. Fun to hang out with, talk to, this and all that. But the Mr. Hyde…the negative, nasty, screaming is just….
And the narcissistic is kind of annoying too. You try to talk to him and share your story of your day and get instantly cut off by something totally random about his day. He never listened to what I had to say over the years. The past couple of months has opened my eyes, like “Oh my God, he’s been like this all along!”

HAVING THAT TYPE OF RELATIONSHIP AND BEING TREATED THAT WAY MUST DO A NUMBER ON YOUR SELF ESTEEM, THOUGH YOU DON’T SOUND LIKE IT HAS. HOW DO YOU NOT LET THAT GET YOU DOWN?
“It definitely was (a problem). I packed on the pounds over the years and kept those pounds on. I was suffering from depression. After I miscarried, I didn’t go back on my Prozac ’cause he told me I didn’t need it. So for years, he did different things to me. Cheated on me, broke my heart, brought me down again, this and that. Time would go on and of course I’d forgive him. I’d dream that dream that things were gonna change. Things would be going good for a little while and then maybe a year later, he’d do it all again. It was a vicious cycle. When it came to the physical side of the relationship; I had never been in a relationship before him. I was 32 years old when I met him. Before that I was single. I had a lot of fun, a lot of lovers over the years. I was raped when I was 10 years old and always had that bad self-esteem happening. The whole being naked in front of another person. Even in school, I couldn’t handle it. And I don’t know how I did it, but I got out of going to gym in high school. He was expecting me to be the one to initiate. I was like. “Why don’t you? I’m the one that’s hurt here.” It just never worked out that way. Cause he’s got NPD on top of drug and sex addiction. How about that!? Big time with downloading the porn and craigslist and all that…”

RECENTLY?
“Oh yeah. In the past and recently. He had an affair with our good friend when we lived in another state. And I thought that was the closest we ever were! And here he was fucking her. That was when he went on Cupid.com and met his now girlfriend. I found all of this out after that car accident and 10 days before my dad’s memorial. My mother and father in law were coming into town. Talk about being a good actress. I had to fake my way through that one. It’s been a really rough year and a half. With all the heartbreak and the letting him go. Instantly though, my house is happy and mellow and peaceful. Even the dogs are peaceful. They were even stressed out by his stress. I definitely miss sleeping with somebody else. After sharing a bed for 17/18 years, it’s hard.”

SO HE MET THIS GIRL HE IS WITH NOW ON CUPID WHILE HE WAS WITH YOU. DID SHE KNOW HE WAS MARRIED?
“He introduced himself as married but in an open marriage. She just thought I didn’t give a shit since he was available every Friday. She had wanted to call me. And finally, after the accident, I couldn’t take it anymore. He was sleeping and I answered his phone and said “is this the chick that’s fucking my husband?” She was like “um, yeah”. We were on the phone for about 45 minutes. I instantly liked her. She was dealt a bad hand. He lied to her too.”

WHY IS SHE STAYING WITH HIM?
“She doesn’t know if she can. He does love her and she cares about him. She sees how much pain he’s in. They’re just dating at this point. I just told them that no matter what happens, at least they’ve found a new friend in each other.”

DO YOU REGRET THE MARRIAGE?
“Not at all. I don’t regret anything in my life. I don’t regret being raped. I don’t regret anything ’cause it’s made me who I am today.”

I FEEL THAT WAY TOO, BUT I DON’T KNOW THAT I’D HAVE THE SAME OUTLOOK ABOUT BEING RAPED.
“It is what it is. It happened. Like I said, it made me who I am today. My life wouldn’t have gone down the path it’s gone. I wouldn’t trade that for the world. I wouldn’t know you. I wouldn’t have gone to California and done two Americas cups. There’s so many things that wouldn’t have been if that hadn’t happened. I wouldn’t change it. It is what it is and everything happens for a reason. I’m the reason I guess.”

LASTLY, WOULD YOU WANT TO BE MARRIED OR IN A RELATIONSHIP AGAIN?
“Definitely yes to a relationship. Married, I’m not sure. We’re not getting a divorce right away. I don’t know. If he were really super rich, god damn right. (Laughter)
Actually, I should say yes because you know, I didn’t have the wedding that I always wanted. My dad was able to walk me down the aisle and that was the most important thing to me. But I didn’t have the dress, the wedding, the reception party. I never had a honeymoon. And he was never a gift giver, would forget Christmas and birthdays and Valentine’s Day. I mean we’d go to dinner and whatever, but it was nothing like what traditional couples do. It broke my heart in the beginning and made me sad but I kind of grew used to it. I guess I was in such a depression and still dreaming.”

SO DO YOU STILL HAVE THE DREAM?
“Oh, yes and always will be a dreamer. The dream has changed, that’s for sure. As far as me being happily together with a man that loves and appreciates me and treats me well…treats me like my dad treated my mom and us, I would love for that to happen. But if it doesn’t, then that’s ok, I got my girls.”


Funny How Love Is…
Posted: Sun, 15 Feb 2015 16:00:02 GMT

Telling stories about love is not simply the same as telling love stories. Love comes in many forms. It’s the earliest emotion we feel, the one that moves us the most, for better or for worse. This week, as we always do, we’re talking to people. And the tie that binds all of this week’s people is their hearts. Everyone has a story of the heart. It’s the most common of threads in the enormous tapestry of life. Sometimes our hearts tell a happy story, sometimes it’s a sad tale. Sometimes our stories involve putting our pieces back together and moving on.
Each day… a different person… a different story…. a different reason… a different heart.

kateanddebWHEN DID THE TWO OF YOU FIRST MEET?
“April 9, 1998.”

WHERE DID YOU MEET?
“Sisters night club downtown.”

WAS IT A LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT SITUATION?
D: “Um, no (laughter). I actually showed up at the bar by myself. It was my sister’s birthday, Holy Thursday. Went down there ’cause I was bored. I was sitting at the bar and she was there with a bunch of friends sitting next to me at the bar. I leaned over and asked her if that was a man or woman sitting across from us.”

WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?
K: “We just had a conversation. It was a nice night, talking to each other. She left by herself and I went off with my friends, but in the meantime I asked for her phone number. We exchanged phone numbers, just in case we wanted to go out or something. Just hang out. That’s what we did. It wasn’t anything else other than that. Just two people hanging out. We did go out on one date and I told her that I didn’t want to date her. I said I wasn’t impressed and I left it at that. I was dating other people. We would go out occasionally. We’d go to the movies or just hang out and stuff like that. Then we got to talking. That’s when we found out we had a mutual friend. I knew our friend through the world of politics and she knew her from another friend from years ago. I was with our friend at something. “D” came and met us and we were like “Wait a minute. They know each other?” It was really weird. We really didn’t date. We were just friends. Then one night we were out and one thing led to another. That was November 7, 1998. We’ve been together ever since.”

WHAT MADE YOU REALIZE THERE WAS SOMETHING MORE THAN THE FRIENDSHIP?
K: “I really don’t know. I think it was just “D’s” entire personality. Her goodness, her kindness and the fact that she put up with me, even then. I guess that’s it. When it comes down to it, she’s a great person, an all around wonderful person that, over time, I just have fallen more and more in love. I know, she’s choking here cause she thinks I’m knee-deep in it. (Laughter)”
D: “She forgot her shovel.” (Laughter)
K: “I don’t know…it’s just been that way. I know this is a statement that’s been used over and over, but she gets me. She really does. She understand my insanity. She puts up with a lot of shit from me. At the time, there wasn’t a lot of her family around. There were nieces and nephews, but not the great nieces and nephews. They didn’t spend a lot of time together. I’m a family person, grew up in a very close-knit family. Sometimes she’ll tell you that it’s TOO close. People need to know too much about you. We’ve found ways around that. We just grew together. She puts up with my family (God bless her), which is a good thing, cause they’re an interesting bunch. Then, I wanted her to be with her family too. So I started pushing a little bit. At the time she was in the world of non-profit. Giving a lot back to society. A lot of running, a lot of politics. I’ve been to more political functions than I can shake a stick at. Seeing the same people two nights in a row, weekends on end. But we kind of clicked. It was a gel, ya know.”
K: “The other day she calls me and goes “How long we been together?” I said “16 1/2 years almost”. And she said ‘Happy Anniversary’. It took me a minute and I’m like “You’re wrong. It was yesterday.” She said “No it wasn’t. It was the day I moved in. Feb. 4, 2000″. I thought it was Feb. 5. We weren’t your stereotypical lesbian couple that goes on a couple of dates and the moving van shows up. It took 2 years for her to actually move in.”
D: “Year and a half.”
K: “Ok, a year and a half. But before that we were constantly together.”
D: “I was there on weekends all the time.”
K: “Then we knew that we wanted to be together.”
D: “Everything isn’t always peaches and roses. It’s a natural relationship and anyone that wants to say our relationship is any different from a husband and wife has another one coming.”
K: “I have a small family. Let me clarify. My oldest brother is deceased. Both my parents are deceased. I have one living brother, sister- in-laws, 6 nieces and nephews and now a grand total of 6 great nieces and nephews. So my family has expanded. We didn’t always see each other but when the great nieces and nephews came, there was more of a push to be with family. And I love that we now have gotten to that point. The kids are a riot. They all call her aunt. There are times where I think they like her better than me. (Laughter)”
D: “I kind of feel that if we ever broke up that they’d keep me.”

HAVE YOU EVER DEALT WITH ANY OPPOSITION FROM YOUR FAMILIES, FOR BEING A LESBIAN COUPLE?
D: “Not for that reason. My father, when we first got together, told me she was too old for me.”
K: “D” is 45, I am 60. I just turned 60 this past December. That’s what it was with her dad. “Isn’t she too old for you?”
D: “But my older sister had something to say about that. My older sister, who passed away, was 13 years older than me. My brother’s 11 years older than me and my other sister is 9 years older than me. They are the closest in age. Then my cousins on my fathers side are all within a year of each other at the top, so I’ve always been around older people. I never grew up in a young household cause everyone was always older. My sister got married when I was 7. I was an aunt at 9. So it’s always been an adult world to me.”
K: “I’m the youngest. My oldest brother is 12 years older than me. My other brother is 6 years older than me.”
ARE YOU MARRIED?
“No.”

IS THAT SOMETHING YOU WANT TO DO OR ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THINGS THE WAY THEY ARE?
“We are going to do it. We’re just not sure HOW we’re gonna do it. And I’m gonna be honest, I never expected this to happen in my lifetime. When this all happened, I was in total shock. It was just unbelievable. Here it is now, 36-37 states are allowing it, Pennsylvania being one of them. A funny story about the day it passed in Pennsylvania. We expected the Governor to send it through all sorts of legal issues and when he passed it, it was Election Day! We have 3 election boards in our voting area (we both work the polls) and they were all planning our wedding after they found out it passed.”
“We will eventually do it. I think we’re just kind of waiting. There’s those people that totally expect us to have that grandiose wedding, and we’re just like “Let’s get married and then have a gigantic party afterwards”. Not the reception thingy. To be honest, that’s just friggin expensive. That’s a down payment on a house! It’s unbelievable. My best friends wedding, she spent between $25,000 and $30,000! That’s $150 a person and that was 13 years ago! It’s ridiculous. Granted, it was beautiful, lovely. I was in it. It was down on the Parkway. But I can’t see spending that much money for a party. I’d rather throw an all out bash. You have more fun and everyone doesn’t have to get dressed to the nines. I don’t want black tie. It’s not me.”

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY TOGETHER, SO FAR?
(Laughter) “That’s a good one. We have quite a few, probably.”
K: “One of my favorite things, and I hate to say this, but “D” tried to cook for me. Let me just say this: I like to cook. I am a fairly decent cook. She is a baker. At Christmas time, my whole take on baking was Pillsbury slice and bake cookies. That’s what I think baking is. “D” on the other hands will make you chocolate chip cookies from scratch and whatever else. Baking is not my forte. ”
D: “My grandfather was a baker for a living. Until the day my sister died, my mother still made lumpy potatoes. (Laughter)”
K: “So, I can cook. She cannot cook. She can make a grilled cheese much better than I can and she can make a fried egg. Great. Ok. So I get sick and she decides that she wants to make me dinner. She wants to make chicken and spaghetti. I’m laying on the couch and she comes out and asks if I can check the chicken. She doesn’t know if it’s done. She’s trying to cook for me and I still have to check the food. Then she’s making the spaghetti. She gets that all perfect. Then she’s using Ragu sauce. I am not a straight, plain, Ragu right out of the jar person. Nothing in it. If you’re gonna use it, try doctoring it. I’ll admit, I’ve used it but I’ll put Italian seasoning in it, oregano, some green pepper in it to give it some flavor. She tried. That’s all I’m gonna say. She tried. It was awful.”
“My other favorite was one time, and this is about food too. “D” was cat sitting for a friend in Jersey. The woman would go away, she would cat sit for a month. And we were dating at this point. So she invites me to come over there. This is before I knew about her cooking skills (or lack of cooking skills). She wants to make me tuna steak. So, ok, fine. She wants to do them on the grill. She neglects to tell me she doesn’t know how to do it. Come and have dinner….cook your own. So there are funny cooking stories.”
D: “For her 50th birthday, I decided to throw a huge bash at my sister’s house. I knew I would never be able to surprise her, so I threw it a month ahead of time. Hard birthday 3 days after Christmas. So I threw it the week before Thanksgiving. At the time my friends and family helped me plan it. My sister offered me her house. The first deal was that I had to go clean it. My family was kind enough to help me. The premise I gave was that we were having an early Thanksgiving dinner cause my niece would be in for the weekend (she lives in Chicago) and couldn’t come in for the actual holiday. It made perfect sense. So with holiday meals, everybody prepares something and brings it. They always stick her with green bean casserole because one year she made the turkey to bring to my aunts since she was sick at the time, and we took the holiday to her. So everybody cooked, we brought the turkey. At the time “K” had a broken hand. She got the cast off the day before. She was also sick at the time, she had a cold. Everybody was fine with the turkey except “K” made the stuffing and everyone in my family loves stuffing. It’s the best part of the turkey! The stuffing was so bad that no one wanted to take it home with them or eat it. We took it home and she threw it out. She put too much poultry seasoning in it.”
K: “It was because of the cold. So I had her mixing it because of the broken hand and I’m tasting it and I’m thinking it needs more poultry seasoning. No, it didn’t. It was because I had a cold. It was a disaster.”
D: “They always make fun of about it. It’s the running joke of the family. But to be honest, she actually redeemed herself this year. She made the turkey, the stuffing and everything for Thanksgiving. Everyone was happy. It was delicious. But for her party, I told her she had to make green bean casserole as if it was Thanksgiving dinner. So we arrived at my sister’s house. Thank God her neighbor across the street is lit up like a lighthouse cause there were so many cars riding in the neighborhood. We drove up and my sister met us in the driveway cause we were running a little bit late. My sister leans over after and tells me “You owe me and you’re cleaning the house afterwards.” I had 80 people walk in. She was flabbergasted.”
K: “It was unbelievable. I looked at her and her friend and called them son of a bitches. They managed to pull this off without me figuring anything out! It was unbelievable.”
D: “I shipped everything to his (friend) house.”
K: “A pre-requisite for this party was; at the time I had this running joke with one of our neighbors about pink flamingos. Our neighbor had a trailer in Ocean City that they would go on the weekends. I would jokingly say “Hey, do you have pink flamingos out there?” And she would say “I hate those things!” I made “D” drive every back road to the shore till I found these things. We got them and came home and put them in our backyard just to drive our neighbor crazy. This was a good neighbor, a friend, who has since moved. We miss them dearly. So somehow people got the idea that I was in love with pink flamingos. So you had to come to the party with some kind of a flamingo theme or wear pink. Imagine 80 people showing up like that. People had pink flamingo glasses….it was bad. (Laughter)”
D: “By the way, my sister took the string bean casserole from “K” and they served it. She cooked for her own party (laughter). The food was catered otherwise.”

DO YOU HAVE ANY SPECIAL PLANS FOR VALENTINES DAY?
“Not yet.”

DO YOU TYPICALLY DO SOMETHING ON THAT DAY OR IS IT JUST ANOTHER DAY ON THE CALENDAR?
“We’ll do something. Usually go to a movie, out to dinner, something like that.”

WHAT DO YOU THINK MAKES YOU COMPATIBLE?
D: “She’s very list oriented. When it comes to holidays or functions that we’re doing, she has a list for everything. I just roll my eyes as soon as I see it. Cause I know if there’s manual labor on it, that portion of the list is usually mine. The cooking side or decorating side is her. She’s much more that way. I’m not a fly by the seat of your pants type person. Sometimes I can be, but I’m very organized.”
K: “I believe in the list, but I’m also a fly by the seat of your pants type person.”

I WAS GONNA SAY THAT IT’S INTERESTING THAT SOMEONE THAT IS A LIST PERSON WOULDN’T BE A FLY BY THE SEAT OF THEIR PANTS PERSON TOO.
K: “I’ll take the list and go “OK, this is what the basics are. How can we improvise it too?” It just works that way.”
“But why does it work for us? I think it’s just because we work it out if it DOESN’T work.”
D: “We won’t tell you there’s not a battle that won’t be had. There will be. But an hour later we’re fine.”
K: “Yeah, like “OK, I realize I was stupid and said such and such. So…I’m really sorry.” We realize that we’re better together than alone. I guess if you put us together and threw out our faults, we’d be one perfect person. That would be a scary thought.”
“We like to decorate out front. We have a rock garden and yard in the back. The yard out back is large. It 168 x 18, so it’s a big yard. I like to decorate, she likes to mow the lawn. That works for us. But during the holiday season, wee decorate the front starting in the fall and then for Christmas. I have the plan for it, she is usually the one that has to put the whole thing together.”
D: “D” does the manual labor! She can’t climb in the rock garden because it’s actually a little precarious. I’ve fallen out of it before and it gets slippery. So, this just works, the way we handle that.”
K: “I think it’s the knowing when to say you’re sorry. Knowing which ones are really the major battles for us. Talking it out. And I think our favorite words are “We’ll figure it out”. And the best part is, we usually do.”

image


Love the One You’re With…
Posted:Sat, 14 Feb 2015 16:00:01 GMT

65years1

Happy Valentine’s Day! 
We hope you’ve been following along all week as
we’ve delved into ‘matters of the heart’. 
After talking to people in love, people getting divorced,
people pining for love lost, we thought who better to
feature on a day that symbolizes all things love,
than a couple celebrating 65 years together.
No, that was not a typo.
So join us as we continue our journey…
each day… a different person…
a different story…. a different reason…
a different heart.
One love.

65years4HOW LONG ARE YOU MARRIED?
“65 years.”

WOW! WHERE DID YOU MEET?
“Clem: After WWII, I got discharged from the army in 1945. Six months later I enrolled in Pierce Business School, which is now Pierce College. That was January of ’46. I met some other GI’s there. I was in a class of 16 returned veterans that were all taking accounting. I’ll jump to September of 1947, and that’s when I first met Liz. I met her at Pierce. They had a cafeteria in the basement. Sitting in the cafeteria, I eyeballed her across the tables where we were having lunch. Then I followed her, she was going up the steps. I started at the shoes, up the ankles…..”
Liz: “He was a nice Italian boy and he’s not married. That’s a no no. So he was actively looking for a female.”
C: “I was 25 then, when I first met her.”
L: “I was only 18. He scared me a little bit. Cause the war was on, there were no men around while I was going to high school. So I go to Pierce College. My father decided that was what was best for me. I saw all these men! They’re men, not boys. And I went crazy! I liked him. He would come on the steno floor, cause that’s what I was taking, and tease my instructor. She was an officer (a lieutenant). After he would leave the room, her face would get violently red and she’d giggle. But there was something about him that was so likable that when he started to flirt with me, I listened.”

WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?
C: “Well, that was ’47, then in ’48 I graduated. I was dating Liz in the meantime. She’d invite me down to her parents house in Glassboro (NJ) for Sunday dinners now and then. I’d go down on the weekend and stay overnight and her father would give me jobs to do around the house, like painting a fence and whatever. So we got engaged. And on November 26,1949 we got married. (Pointing to the plate pictured in this article): a next door neighbor in Glassboro made that for us.”
L: “It’s faded (laughter).”
C: “Then we rented an apartment in Germantown, across from the high school. We lived there, had one child there. The other day he turned 62. We used to drive up Route 1, they used to have a drive in theater there and then found out about Levittown. We bought a house, a rancher, on Coral Lane. We had a couple of kids there. Then we moved here (their current residence) in 1959 and have been here ever since.”
L: “Can I backtrack a little bit? Do you know how long it took us to save $100 to put down on the Levittown house? That particular style was most inexpensive, with a GI bill. It took us a year just to save it! I mean, you know you live hand to mouth. We didn’t starve or anything like that, I don’t mean to say that, but in those days, that’s how long it took.”
C: “Then when we went to settlement, and needed $900 (on the current house). I was doing some accounting work on the side. So I borrowed $900 from a client of mine. We’ve had 5 kids; 3 boys and 2 girls. Now we have 16 grandchildren; 8 boys and 8 girls. 13 great grandchildren; 6 girls and 7 boys, or the other way around. One granddaughter is due any day and another granddaughter is pregnant and due in March. So that’ll make 15 great grandchildren.”
L: “We lost one great grandchild and a grandson to a motorcycle accident when he was 23. Our great granddaughter had a heart condition nobody knew about. She was 4. Within a month of each other. We only met her once. They live in Portland, Oregon. They were here for my husbands 90th birthday. And every year we rent a house in Ocean City so all the cousins can see each other and that year they came to that. I want them to always get to know each other.”

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE SECRET TO STAYING MARRIED 65 YEARS?
L: “He was so busy, number 1.”
C: “Extremely busy. I’ve always done accounting work. I had a full-time job. When we lived in Germantown, I worked for Segway gas station in Philadelphia. Then when we moved to Levittown, I traveled from there in a VW to Bryn Mawr on City Ave for about five years. Then I decided to come up here (current residence) and I started my accounting practice. Then in the 70’s I got a job at the county controllers office. I worked there for 7 or 8 years. I’m a Republican and I worked for a republican controller. Then the democratic controller came in and when he was sworn into office on January 5, I was fired, because I’m a Republican. But you live by the political sword, you die by the political sword. But luckily, I had my own accounting practice. I’ve been a public accountant for all these years. I’ve still been doing it until this year, and now I’m semi retired.”
L: “Ok, so she wants to know why we’re still living together after 65 years.”
C: “She tolerated all my being away from home on evenings and weekends and that kind of stuff.”
L: “Ya know, it was tough. He was gone day and night. But he always came home for dinner. And I liked that. People don’t do that anymore. Then he went out again. He just did it. When we were in Levittown, I remember those days. He put an ad in the paper and got a lot from that. As far as the businesses were concerned, he knocked on doors. That’s how he built it up. That and word of mouth. But he did it, a lot of leg work. I was very grateful, especially after he was fired, that he started his own business on the side.”

AND YOU STAYED HOME WITH THE KIDS?
L: “Yeah. He wouldn’t let me go to work until four of the kids were all in high school at least. Then when our youngest came, which was ten years later, there was always someone here when he got home from school. So he was never left alone.”

DID YOU WANT TO WORK AT THAT TIME?
L: “Yes. It would’ve just made things easier. And the kids were gonna be in college and I just felt that I wanted to do that. I mean we didn’t pay for the whole thing (college). I mean, they had to help themselves. They all helped themselves. The kids always had jobs.”

WHEN THEY WERE YOUNG, DID YOU WANT TO WORK?
L: “I did cause I thought it would make things easier. But he absolutely refused.”
C: “When our youngest was in kindergarten, Liz had a part-time job. Then when he went into first grade, she worked for the health department part-time and then she got a full-time job there. She was there for 30 years. That’s when we were living off of my accounting work. I was paying all the bills. And then most of her money went into retirement money. So that’s why today we don’t have to worry too much about the finances part of it. I was also on the school board for ten and a half years. In the meantime we were my two favorite words: frugal and prudent.”
L: ‘To answer the question, he’s involved in all these things. He’s busy. And I was so busy. I would never think of (not being together). He made me mad every once on a while, it was really over the kids more than anything. But I’d rather have him than not have him. He’s always been good and worked hard. He needs a rest but he doesn’t know how. ”

IT SEEMS LIKE A LOT OF PEOPLE NEED THAT. TO STAY PRODUCTIVE.
L: “You do. I think that’s very important cause it keeps his mind sharp. He read a lot. But he doesn’t have any real hobbies. He calls himself “semi-retired”. For him to give it all up…he can’t do it. That’s okay. ‘Cause his office is out front and this (the other side of the home) is all mine. (laughter)”
C: “We don’t wanna have 24/7 together all the time. She has 12/7 here and I have 12/7 in the office.”
L: “He loves people. And the people were coming in all the time . I don’t care if they were there for business or just chatting. He needs that.”

IT SOUNDS LIKE FAMILY IS VERY IMPORTANT TO YOU BOTH?
C: “Just for a little background; I come from a family of 11. 6 girls and 5 boys. Now our family, we like getting together. About a month ago, our son from Seattle who is a motivational type speaker, was in the area and spent a couple of nights with us. So in the meantime, we got all the kids here…the two daughters and two of the sons, and some of them have their kids. So 13 of us got together at a restaurant in Newtown. They say, “We love coming to your dinners grandpa”. And I said, “I love taking you out and spending your inheritance” (laughter). So we like family. The last two Christmases we had here. We had gone to Seattle for Thanksgiving and when we came back, my son and his wife and my two daughters had the house all decorated for Christmas when we came back.”
L: “We hadn’t had Christmas in a long, long time ’cause they all had families and what not. I’m always talking to the girls and saying “When I die, take this and what not”. Two years ago, my one daughter puts in an email “”Since Mother says she’s not gonna live for another year, we decided to have Christmas at their house”. And that’s what they did. They came in and decorated. And when I found out they were gonna have Christmas here I almost had a stroke. I’m not gonna cook for all those people! So what I did was called a caterer and it was great. They did everything. I just picked up the food. I did that again this year cause they decided I lived, so might as well…”
C: “Going back to my family: Every year we have a family reunion up state since 1947 the Saturday of Fourth of July weekend. This year will be our 69th consecutive reunion. Cousins, and nieces and nephews show up. The 50th reunion, we had 230 of us there. Now there’s about 100 cause out of the 11 of us, there’s only me and my younger sister, who’s only 87, left. That’s why we like to get our own immediate families together a few times a year.”
L: “It’s really interesting to me how his mother and father immigrated to this country and how everything just progressed. And the 11 kids had their kids and so on.”

OTHER THAN FAMILY GATHERINGS, WHAT OTHER THINGS DO YOU LIKE TO DO TOGETHER?
C: “We’ve had some nice trips. We went to Italy, Mexico, England, Alaska, Bermuda. We’ve had some nice trips.”

HAVE YOU EVER TRAVELED SEPARATELY?
L: “I went to England once by myself, well with my daughter. That’s the only one. But that was a busy time for him. I went for a wedding.”

WHAT’S YOUR FONDEST MEMORY?
C: “Just being together and sharing things. We like having a big family. The fondest though: the day we got married.”
L: “I was going to say that. At the time, I really wanted to leave home. My family was cold. They were good parents but they were cold. I guess I just always wanted somebody to love me. I think that’s one reason when I saw him, you saw that warmth. You did. It sounds crazy maybe. From the time he came in and was teasing my instructor, there was just something about him. It was a “feeling”. I can still see myself sitting there and grinning. When he turned around, he had a bald spot on the back of his head and I thought “oh, he’s an old man!” (laughter).”
L: “He gave me a birthday party at the Brick Hotel in Newtown. We went there and all the family came and I said to the kids “Eat, drink. Daddy’s paying for it!” The one (grand) kid, the one that lives in Italy now….”
C: “…got the most expensive whiskey at the bar. $12 a shot! 2 of them!!”
L: “There were hors d’oeuvres and what not. There was a porch around it and it was quite nice. So the bill came and he looked it over, went into his pocket, he didn’t bring his credit card. So I paid for it. After I told all these kids to eat, drink!”
C: “I had paid my auto insurance (earlier) with my credit card and I left the wallet and all behind after the phone rang. I left the office without it.”
L: “He’s been very colorful through the years.”

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY WAS THE ROUGHEST PART IN YOUR MARRIAGE?
L: “I think finances were probably always it. I gotta tell you the truth, he doesn’t worry. He says there’s no point in worrying. He says people that worry are wasting their life and their time. That if something goes wrong, you fix it the best way that you can. I’ve never known him to be down.”
C: “We went for a lot of years of living, as they say, paycheck to paycheck. We kept up with the bills as best as we could. If we couldn’t pay the whole mortgage or another bill (we paid cash for anything, we didn’t have credit cards)…we only bought what we needed. We always seems to have enough to buy what we needed.”
L: “You see, that becomes a habit. He likes to spend and I don’t. If I want something, I know I can get it, but I don’t want to. Why do I need it? I’m 85 years old. I’m gonna die pretty soon. (laughter)”
C: “When? (More laughter) That’s another thing: for years we talked about who’s gonna leave first, what’s gonna happen? I know for my side, God forbid, if Liz should leave first, I’m going to Woodriver Village. I love that place.”
L: “We already have that planned cause he can’t live by himself. He needs help. I mean he does most everything for himself but I’m always afraid he’s gonna fall or something like that. He can’t stay here. For me, I haven’t made a decision. It’s easier to stay in your own home than it is to move to one of the retirement places or what not. Then I thought “What if something goes wrong? Do I have to get a new roof?” I’d have to do it. So you don’t know. I’m not gonna worry about it. If I’m still in relatively good health, I’ll make a decision later. And I don’t wanna go to a place where all those old people are ’cause they think old.”

DO YOU HAVE ANY VALENTINES DAY TRADITIONS?
L: “That’s another story.”
C: “Tell her about that!”
L: “He’s been sending me the same card for over ten years. All he does is put a new date on it.”
C: “And a $100 bill. You know what I do? I give it (the card) to her, I give her 3 seconds to read it and I hold out my hand to get the card back. (Laughter)”

DO YOU GO OUT SOMEWHERE SPECIAL FOR VALENTINES DAY?
L: “No.”

DID YOU EVER?
L: “We might’ve. I don’t really remember.”

WHAT DO YOU THINK HAS BEEN AN IMPORTANT INGREDIENT TO STAYING HAPPY IN YOUR MARRIAGE?
L: “We laugh at everything. Especially now cause we’re a little crazy. We’re getting old and will do dumb things like “Where are my glasses?” And he’ll ask if I tried looking around my neck. It’s stuff that happens.”

65years2C: “If you say “What is love?” At our age, it’s reliving these beautiful memories that we have. How we met, how we enjoyed things. How great the kids are. How some are pains in the asses. (Laughter). The thing is, we’re able to communicate. Good, bad or indifferent. We like to talk about it. We don’t always agree.”
L: “I think the only time we disagreed about anything was with the kids. Sometimes I thought he was a little too strong, verbally. Anymore, when you get older, you wanna preserve each other. I don’t want anything to happen to him. It’s a part of life that one of us is gonna face, but I’m not ready to accept that. I’m really not. My one daughter says “you’re gonna be a basket case if anything happens to daddy”. Well, maybe that’ll be so, but you’re never gonna know it.”
C: “One thing too, is that when we go to bed at night, it’s always a kiss and when we get up in the morning it’s a kiss or touch or whatever. And even if we’ve had a discussion before we go to bed, we still have a touch. And then the next morning when we get up, we don’t even remember what the discussion was about.”
L: “Our minds can’t remember that much (laughter).”
C: “And on my bureau there’s an envelope and you open it up and there’s a card that says “I love you”. Ain’t that sweet?”

THAT IS SO SWEET! AND AFTER ALL THESE YEARS!
C: “I blow a kiss to it every morning. It’s the little things. You don’t just wait for big things. All the little ones add up to something big.”

DIVORCE IS A LOT MORE COMMON THAN IT WAS WHEN YOU GOT MARRIED? WHY DO YOU THINK HAS CHANGED ABOUT PEOPLE’S ATTITUDES ABOUT MARRIAGE OVER THE YEARS?
C: “I think society has changed. It’s loose. I don’t think people care about that kind of stuff anymore. The family unit has gone to the devil. And I think it’s become easy. Back in our days when we were growing up, a family unit was a family unit. All my friends, I knew their families and I don’t know any of them that got divorced. None.”

THE ONLY GOOD I SEE ABOUT THE EASE OF DIVORCE, IS THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE THAT ARE IN BAD RELATIONSHIPS THAT NEED TO GET OUT.
L: “Well, that’s different. For the sake of their kids, they should get out of it cause it makes the kids awfully unhappy. Kids are affected one way or another.”
C: “You know when I think things really changed? The 60’s. When people were taking on mortgages and they would consider the wife’s income. So they weren’t taking care of the kids. (Liz was here for them when they were going to school.) And then the woman’s income was considered in order to get a mortgage and they worked full time and didn’t have time to spend with their kids. That’s when I saw it starting to go downhill.”
L: “I also think women going into the workplace made some sidetracked. Maybe they found somebody better than they had before. That happens in offices. I worked in plenty of them.”

DO YOU FELL THAT WOMEN SHOULD JUST STAY HOME OR WOULD YOU HAVE BEEN OKAY HAVING THE WOMAN BEING THE BREAD WINNER?
L: “I’ll tell ya something about him. He’s the kind that if I made a lot more than him, he would’ve been happy to stay home. Right?”
C: “Yeah. I stayed home when I was doing accounting work.”

65years3WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE THAT IS JUST GETTING MARRIED?
L: “I would hope that they were mature enough and looked at all aspects. I didn’t really, but I was lucky. I would look at who he is, is he dependable, going to keep a job, be lazy, a good father? And that takes a while to figure out. Not just knowing him a couple months and then marry him.”
C: “The age you get married has something to do with it. If you want to live with them first, then fine. But some of them do it for like 5, 8, 10 years and then get married and then six months later they get divorced. You know why? ‘Cause when they were single, they had their separate nights out with their girlfriends or guy friends and then they get married and still want the same thing. You don’t. You’ve got companions now. I think they forget that. Right away, they get their wife pregnant and she’s home with a kid and he still wants to go out a couple nights a week and bowl or a night out with the boys or something like that. And what does she do? All her girlfriends are gone, she doesn’t communicate or anything. So it’s a hardship on the woman I think.”

ANY FINAL THOUGHTS ABOUT MARRIAGE?
L: “I really feel like lot of people don’t wanna be alone and when they get older they’ll realize they don’t wanna be alone. A lot of widowed ladies kill their men off and I’m bound and determined to keep him alive.”
C: “Thank you.”
L: “I don’t care if he’s deaf. I don’t care if he can’t walk. I’d rather have him than not have him. That’s the way it should be. Unless they’re married to a son of a gun, then fine. But I don’t ever wanna be lonely. Maybe when you’re young, you don’t care, but when you get older, you’re gonna feel a lack in that. I see too many miserable people.”
C: “You know, when you’re together for 65 years, there’s a lot of stuff that’s happened. Good stuff, bad stuff, things you don’t wanna think about anymore. I can’t remember any of that Liz.”
L: “Me either Clem.”
C: “Thank you.”

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Let Love Rule…
Posted:Fri, 13 Feb 2015 17:00:01 GMT

Valentine’s Day is near. It is simultaneously, one of the most loved and hated days of the year. No matter how you feel about the day itself, this time of year just lends itself to talking about matters of the heart.
Telling stories about love is not simply the same as telling love stories. Love comes in many forms. It’s the earliest emotion we feel, the one that moves us the most, for better or for worse. This week, as we always do, we’re talking to people. And the tie that binds all of this week’s people is their hearts. Everyone has a story of the heart. It’s the most common of threads in the enormous tapestry of life. Sometimes our hearts tell a happy story, sometimes it’s a sad tale. Sometimes our stories involve putting our pieces back together and moving on.
Each day… a different person… a different story…. a different reason… a different heart. One love.

PIC1VALENTINE’S DAY IS NEXT WEEKEND, HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE DAY?
“I have no issue with it. I mean if people like it and want to use it as an excuse to show affection towards others, I guess that’s a good thing, right? I mean the commercialization of it is ridiculous, and I don’t think you should have to wait for a certain day, once a year, to show or tell someone how you feel, but hey, whatever works for you I guess.”
ARE YOU IN LOVE?
“I am in love, but it’s complicated. We’re certainly not celebrating Valentine’s Day. Not that I ever really celebrated it anyway.”

COMPLICATED HOW?
“I am in love with someone, but we are not together.”

SORRY TO HEAR THAT. DID YOU WANT TO SHARE WHY?
“Sometimes thing just don’t work out the way you hope they will. Our timing was off. He was with someone when I was available. I was with someone when he was, and so on.”

HAVE YOU TWO EVER BEEN TOGETHER?
“Yeah. We had a great relationship but it ended. I didn’t really realize that I would regret moving on from that. By the time I realized the mistake we had made, it was too late. He had moved on and was in love with someone else.”

THAT HAS TO BE PAINFUL. IS HE WITH THAT PERSON?
“Oh it is. It’s horrible. He’s not with that person anymore. But we’re still not together.”

CAN I ASK WHY?
“He doesn’t want to be.”

HAVE YOU TRIED TO GET BACK TOGETHER?
“Oh yeah. I’ve taken on the role of the hopeless romantic. I have tried everything. I’m like that annoying guy who has a crush on you when you’re young and tries to pull out all the stops to “win” you. Sending flowers and leaving notes on your car and all that nonsense.”

IT SOUNDS SWEET. BUT I GUESS YOU HAVE TO BE ABLE TO DRAW THAT LNE BETWEEN SWEET AD STALKER (laughter)?
“Yes! I feel like that all the time. When someone asks me out and I say I’m not interested, typically that’s the end of it. But sometimes you get that persistent guy who keeps calling, texting, etc. and you’re like, “okay enough already stalker.” But for some reason when you’re in it, when it’s you and you are blinded by your desire to be with someone, it doesn’t seem quite so weird.”

SO DO YOU THINK HE THINKS YOU ARE BEING STALKER-LIKE?
“I don’t think so. I mean, I’m not camped outside his house or anything. He is just someone that I love, that I have always loved and I feel like I need to prove that to him.”

WHY WOULD YOU NEED TO PROVE IT?
“Because, he doesn’t believe it. If this were some random guy I met and fell for and he told me, “no thanks I’m not interested”, and I kept on trying and trying then I would be walking that line between weirdo stalker and heartsick puppy (laughter). But, we’ve been together. We dated. And he’s told me he does care. But again, our timing sucks.”

SO ARE YOU HOPING TO BREAK HIM DOWN WITH THESE ADVANCES, THAT HE’LL CHANGE HIS MIND?
“Loving someone who you can’t be with is excruciatingly painful. We’re not together because he doesn’t believe my feelings are true. I want him to know and understand that I do love him, that I’m not just doing this on a whim, and that just by saying he doesn’t want to be with me it is not going to make me love him any less.”

YOU CAN SEE THOUGH HOW THAT MIGHT SOUND UNUSUAL TO SOME, RIGHT?
“Well when I say it to you, yeah, it sounds weird. Like I’m parked in a van out front of his apartment with night vision goggles. Oh my God (laughter). It’s like this, a part of me thinks, screw this. I love this guy, he doesn’t love me back, I need to move on and find someone else. Plenty of fish in the sea. I’m young, cute I think, smart. Who needs this? Then the other side of that is that I feel like I see something in him, something special, and I think he feels it too. And I think he is afraid. Of commitment and of being hurt. So, I go back and forth between trying to prove over and over again that I am not going anywhere, and that I’ll be here when he realizes that he loves me too, and is willing to take a chance.”

WHAT IF HE NEVER DOES? HOW LONG WILL YOU WAIT?
“I just don’t know. I really love him. How do you decide when it is unreturned love and you need to walk away or when it is just something you have to work for, to prove?”

THAT I DO NOT KNOW. WHAT DO YOU THINK?
“I once had a guy ask me out like 30 times in a month. Almost every day on average. I didn’t think it was weird really because, for the most part, you can tell if someone is harmless and genuine, or if they are a whacko. I told him no. A lot. But, he kept asking and kept being nice and sweet and his theory was that I just needed time to come around. I needed to see that he was genuine, that he really cared about me, and that he wan’t going anywhere unless I specifically said, get lost!”

AND DID YOU? TELL HIM TO GET LOST?
“No. I was nice to him. I talked to him. I was friendly, but I kept saying no to more than that.”

AND WHAT HAPPENED?
“We wound up, after about 4 months, getting together and staying together for 3 years.”

SO YOU’RE HOPING THAT WILL BE THE CASE HERE?
“Something like that. I mean it’s a little different. But he knows my heart is true. He knows I am not going to give up on him. I’m not going to be crazy or psychotic. I will date other people and live my life. But he is the one for me. I know it. I feel it in my bones. How can you give up on that?”

SOME MAY SAY THAT IF HE HAS MADE HIS FEELINGS CLEAR, THEN YOU HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO GIVE UP ON IT. I TAKE IT YOU DISAGREE?
“I have to respect his wishes. I can’t be crazy about it. But, I can’t help my feelings. The heart wants what it wants. I am going to be myself, live my life, and continue to do things that I think will make him see me in that light. Things that will make him look at me and go, oh yeah, you know what, she does love me, and you know what, I love her too.”


All You Need is Love…
Posted:Thu, 12 Feb 2015 16:00:02 GMT

Valentine’s Day is near. It is simultaneously one of the most loved and hated days of the year. No matter how you feel about the day itself, this time of year just lends itself to talking about matters of the heart. Telling stories of love is not simply the same as telling love stories. Love comes in many forms. It’s the earliest emotion we feel, the one that moves us most, for better or for worse. This week, as we always do, we’re talking to people. And the tie that binds all of this week’s people is their hearts. Everyone has a story of the heart. It’s the most common of threads in the enormous tapestry of life. Sometimes our hearts tell a happy story, sometimes a sad tale. Sometimes our stories involve putting our pieces back together and moving on.
Each day… a different person… a different story…. a different reason… a different heart. One love.

widowinterviewpicWE’RE TALKING ABOUT LOVE THIS WEEK. UNFORTUNATELY, LOSS IS SOMETIMES PART OF LOVE. YOU, SADLY, HAVE EXPERIENCE IN THIS AREA. WOULD YOU SHARE YOUR STORY?
“Well, first and foremost, while the ending is tragic, I feel extremely blessed in regards that I was fortunate enough to find my true best friend and true love and soul partner. When I was a teenager, my “high school sweetheart” got me through. I was going down the wrong path and he helped get me straightened out. After we got married and got our house, we got pregnant and miscarried and then we got pregnant again. When I was 8 weeks pregnant he surprisingly asked away. Luckily, I didn’t miscarry and had our daughter, who just turned 10. He definitely lives on in her. The whole nature/nurture part thing, the nature part is real.”

DO YOU MIND SHARING HOW HE PASSED AWAY?
“That’s fine. He had an accidental prescription (from the Dr.) drug overdose. After the fact, we learned, he had a lot of health issues. When he was a child, 11 I believe, he had Hodgkins. And when they found out, he had a tumor the size of a softball in his chest and it was all in his lymph nodes. They gave him 24 hours to live. It was a miracle that he survived. They radiated and chemotherapy’d the hell out of him. Back then, they didn’t know the side effects and everything, what all the negative aspects of the chemo and radiation were. Even to this day, that usually doesn’t get talked about. But, it does do a lot of damage and it did a lot of damage to his organs. His heart was that of somebody in their 80’s.”

SO THAT CONTRIBUTED TO HIS DEATH?
“Yeah, the medicines and the doctors not talking to each other, coupled with the heart…it took him. The way I sleep at night, is that I think that God went and saw his fight and had him survive to help save me and get me on the right path and get pregnant with our daughter and then it was time for him to go home.”
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HOW OLD WERE YOU AND HOW OLD WAS HE WHEN THIS HAPPENED?
“I was 26 and he was a month, to the day, away from his 31st birthday.”

SO HERE YOU ARE, 26, PREGNANT AND YOU TRAGICALLY LOSE YOUR HUSBAND, HOW DID YOU GO ON?
“Obviously, a lot of support from friends and family. I think the biggest thing was knowing that I was pregnant and knowing that it was so early and very easy for me to miscarry since I miscarried that December before. I knew I had to stay calm, that all would work itself out and after I delivered I’d truly grieve or have my mini meltdown. That still hasn’t happened. I think if I wasn’t pregnant, I don’t think I would’ve had my head on straight.”

HOW DO YOU KEEP HIS MEMORY ALIVE WITH YOUR DAUGHTER?
“It might sound nuts, but actually, not so much lately, but when she was younger they would have conversations. He’s told her things that there’s no way anyone else would’ve told her, and she’s flat out told me “Daddy told me”. For instance, we were adopting a rabbit. Well, before she was born, he and I had pet ducks named Ashley and Rhianna. I never talked to her about the ducks because then she’d want ducks (laughter). When I took her to the pet store to get the rabbit, my mom was with me, and I asked my daughter what we should name the bunny. She said “Ashley”. I was stooped down in the doggy pen, cause I didn’t wanna touch the floor, and I fell back and was like “huh?” My moms face just dropped. We were like “Okay, Ashley it is”. A little time went by and we asked her where the name Ashley came from. We didn’t know any Ashley’s. I even asked if there were any Ashley’s in her class and there wasn’t. She said “Daddy told me to name her Ashley.” Little things like that.
A song would come on the radio, a random song that isn’t typically played, and she’d be like “This is one of daddy’s favorite songs.” I’d try to not crash the car (laughter).
It’s kind of hard because she’s special needs (Down Syndrome) and she has a hard time…she knows he’s in “heaven” and things like that and would recognize him in a picture. But, telling her funny stories and what not, she doesn’t really get it. So that kind of sucks to be honest. But I guess, that old saying “You can’t miss something that you never had”…..so she can’t.
She did kindergarten twice. The first time she didn’t say anything. The following year, being a year older, she was very adamant about me going (to special events with the Dads) saying “you’re my mommy and my daddy. You do it all.”

SO SHE UNDERSTOOD IT BETTER AT THAT AGE?
“Yes.”

NOW THAT SHE’S 10, DOES SHE STILL GET THOSE MESSAGES?
“She hasn’t really said anything recently.”

NOW THAT IT’S BEEN 10 YEARS, WHAT IS YOUR OUTLOOK ON FINDING LOVE AGAIN? YOU SAID HE WAS YOUR SOULMATE. ARE YOU OPEN TO FALLING IN LOVE WITH SOMEONE ELSE?
“I’m dating now. I’ve been with someone about a year. And I’ve had other long term relationships over the years. I’m definitely open to it, and I don’t wanna say I compare anybody that I date with him, but he was just so….and I’m not putting any of the guys I dated down….unique in and of himself. He brought the best out in me. He encouraged me, and not that I don’t get encouraged now, but….
And there was no jealousy. Like, if me and the girls were going out, it was a non issue. We had so much fun, and again, not to say I don’t have any fun now. But things are different now too. I’m a single parent with a child with special needs so we can’t just say “Hey let’s go to New York for the day!” I don’t know how much that is (a part in it). There were times where I was honed in on finding a partner, craving for more kids and stuff like that, not wanting to get much older. But then, in reality, and time, it wasn’t meant to be.
One guy I dated, we went looking at houses together and stuff like that. Maybe it was me, I stopped it with a reality check or not. I don’t know.”

HAVE ANY OF THE MEN YOU’VE DATED OVER THE YEARS FELT LIKE THEY COULDN’T MEASURE UP TO YOUR LATE HUSBAND?
“Yeah. Uh huh. Whether you’ve never been married, or even a teenager and just starting to date; you compare the second boyfriend to the first. I think it’s always in the back of someone’s head. And I’ve done it too, comparing to their exes or what have you. I’m not closed minded about it though(finding love). Like the relationship I’m in now…I’m just going with the flow. Wherever it goes, then so be it.”

image


Love Is a Battlefield.
Posted  2/11/2015

Valentine’s Day is near. It is simultaneously, one of the most loved and hated days of the year. No matter how you feel about the day itself, this time of year just lends itself to talking about matters of the heart. Telling stories about love is not simply the same as telling love stories. Love comes in many forms. It’s the earliest emotion we feel, the one that moves us the most, for better or for worse. This week, as we always do, we’re talking to people. And the tie that binds all of this week’s people is their hearts. Everyone has a story of the heart. It’s the most common of threads in the enormous tapestry of life. Sometimes our hearts tell a happy story, sometimes it’s a sad tale. Sometimes our stories involve putting our pieces back together and moving on. 

Each day… a different person… a different story…. a different reason… a different heart. One love.

lovepic3YOU’RE GETTING READY TO BE DIVORCED?
“Correct. I’m the process of divorcing my wife.”

WHEN DID YOU GET MARRIED?
“About 19 years ago.”

WHAT MADE YOU MARRY YOUR WIFE?
“Truthfully, I wanted to live together to see how things would be, but two or three months into our living together, she became pregnant. I felt I had to step up to the plate and get married. So I pretty much rushed it.”

WHEN DID YOU START TO NOTICE THAT THAT WASN’T THE BEST DECISION?
“About 20 minutes after I said “I do”.”

WHAT MADE YOU REALIZE THAT?
“Just looking around in the church at everybody and just realizing that this was a bad decision.”

HOW MANY KIDS DID YOU HAVE DURING YOUR 19 YEARS TOGETHER?
“Two.”

OVER THESE 19 YEARS, WERE THERE OTHER TIMES YOU CAME CLOSE TO DIVORCE?
“Yes. Approximately 7 years ago, and as little as 5 (years ago). Twice this road’s been traveled to a degree but this time it’s full-fledged.”

WHAT WAS DIFFERENT THEN THAN NOW?
“My kids were a bit younger and I didn’t want to put them through the hardship. Just bite the bullet and continue.”

IN HINDSIGHT, DO YOU FEEL THAT WAS THE BEST THING FOR THE KIDS SAKE?
“Right now, it’s a 50/50 call only because my son is no longer a minor and my daughter is. But she’s old (or young) enough to be completely manipulated. I have no say or control. I’ve lost all of that. So she just goes by whatever her mother says cause that’s her best friend.”

IT’S ENDING BITTERLY, IT SOUNDS. WHAT HAPPENED TO PUSH YOU TO THE POINT OF GOING THROUGH WITH THE DIVORCE?
“We both have had affairs in the past, but I only had one, where she had, I’m told, more than one. She had one with a specific person for about the last 5 years. When I found out about it, it was actually on Valentine’s Day night.”

SO YOU’RE PROBABLY NOT A BIG FAN OF THIS “HOLIDAY”?
“I wasn’t a huge fan of Valentine’s Day anyway ’cause I think it’s a Hallmark thing. It’s a bullshit holiday and shouldn’t even be considered a holiday. I mean, for the amount of money that people spend on Valentine’s Day, they should give it to our veterans, to way better causes. Ya know, cure for cancer, Down syndrome, Alzheimer’s, you name it, in my opinion. It’s nonsense. The same restaurant that you frequently go to, all the sudden, for that day or those four days your eating off of a set menu that’s priced twice as high and it’s the same food you’d get any other time. A dozen roses that would normally cost $30 now cost you $67. Along with everything else that goes with it. It’s meaningless. If you’re in love, a Valentine’s Day is every day, not February…whatever the date is.”

I LOVE THAT YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT DAY IT IS (laughter).
“I’ve always felt like it’s a bullshit holiday. Even since high school. It’s a made up day. ”

GETTING BACK TO WHAT YOU’RE GOING THROUGH, WHAT HAVE YOU HAD TO DEAL WITH DURING THIS PROCESS?
“It’s a lot of stress. A lot of mental anxiety. I’m dealing with someone that’s not level headed. Selfish and worried about themselves. A sociopath in one way. Valentine’s Day never meant that much to me, but it did bother me that she did cheat on me on Valentine’s Day.”

WHAT HAPPENED WHEN YOU FOUND OUT?
“We had an argument. She was already out of the house anyway. I had gotten her an apartment for six months so she could “get it together”. And wasn’t so much for us to get it together (as it turned out) as it was for her to be able to have her affair guilt free. When you’re sleeping with somebody else and coming home to somebody every day, it psychologically affects you. I get it. I’m not saying I’m not guilty, I’m just as wrong. But you don’t tell somebody that they’re forgiven and you take them back and you go and do it yourself and then use it as the excuse on why you did it. Only to find out that they never really stopped anyway. Because I’ve spoken to the ex-boyfriend. I have 167 conversations with him (in text). Which the attorney has all of them. And according to him, it wasn’t just him. There was other people she’s been with too. Even girls. Which I didn’t know. I never knew that my wife was bisexual.”

THAT’S GOTTA BE TOUGH; BEING WITH SOMEONE THAT LONG AND FINDING SOMETHING LIKE THAT OUT. THINKING “WHO THE HELL ARE YOU?”
“It’s mind blowing. The fact that I’ve been with somebody for 19 years and I really have no idea who they are. It’s way worse than I ever imagined.”

YOU MENTIONED LOSING SAY AND CONTROL OVER YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR KIDS. SO YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THEM HAS SUFFED OVER THIS?
“Absolutely. I have no relationship with my daughter over this, at this stage right now. She was included on the restraining order against me. She didn’t care for me anyway because I won’t give her everything she wants like her mom does. I have guidelines. My son is affected in general. He doesn’t wanna choose sides, but he really knows, deep down, what’s going on. It’s hard for him. I don’t get to see him as much right now, cause I can’t live in my own house. Under a complete lie.”

lovepic2MEANING THE RESTRAINING ORDER?
“Right.”

SO SHE GOT A RESTRAINING ORDER, THAT YOU CLEARLY THINK IS BOGUS. WHAT EVIDENCE DID SHE PROVIDE TO OBTAIN THE ORDER?
“None! How she got it was, when you go down on the weekends or nights, they give you a master, who’s an attorney. The city of Philadelphia is afraid to get sued because God forbid, something could happen. So you can pretty much say anything, and all you have to say is that you are in fear for your life and they’ll hand it to you like a piece of candy. It’s easier to get a restraining order at night than it is to get a pack of cigarettes at Wawa where they’ll card you even if you look 80 years old. That’s how pathetically easy it is to obtain one in this city. ”

I GUESS ON ONE NOTE, IT’S GOOD TO BE ABLE TO OBTAIN ONE IF YOU TRULY NEED IT. BUT FOR SOMEONE THAT DOESN’T REALLY NEED IT, THAT’S TERRIBLE TO BE ABLE TO OBTAIN ONE SO EASILY AND RUIN SOMEONE ELSE’S LIFE, WITHOUT CAUSE.
“It’s a disgrace because it’s abused. Unfortunately, and I don’t mean to classify this as a “woman” thing, but women know how to abuse the system. Men do too, but it’s done more so by a woman than a man (in this case). Once one girlfriend talks to another girlfriend, and you’re in a lower class of mindset, it’s real easy to do. It’s all about conniving at the end of the day. Let’s lie and tie things up longer so we can live for free. I’m paying for a house I don’t live in right now, all the bills.”

DOES SHE WORK?
“Yeah. She works, but her money’s for her and nothing to do with anything but herself. Although she does pay our daughter’s tuition because she goes to catholic school. I refused to pay for that because she has a learning disability, and they don’t have a program for her. They just modify her work and acknowledge it. That’s not really helping her, I don’t feel. She needs to go to a school that has specific programs to help her learning disability. I’m so wrong, but her teacher even wrote a letter for me to present to the courts that she needs more one on one help, and not in a classroom setting.”

WHEN DOES IT LOOK LIKE ALL OF THIS WILL BE BEHIND YOU?
“I wish I could put a timeframe on it. I don’t know. It just gets deeper and uglier and uglier. I’m probably gonna have to go through every phase imaginable to have this done. Either that or I’m just gonna have to pick up and move to another state. And I’m told I’d be able to obtain what they call a no fault. Which is something I’m contemplating.”

IF YOU HAD IT TO ALL OVER AGAIN, WHAT WOULD YOU DO DIFFERENT?
“I would’ve never gotten married. I would’ve just had my child out of wedlock. And probably that would’ve been it. We probably would’ve lasted no more than two or three years. Had my visitation, took care of my kid, paid support like I did with my other child (from another relationship). I never had a problem in the world with my ex. Never went to court. That’s probably the one I should’ve married, looking back now.”

DO YOU REGRET THAT YOU DIDN’T MARRY HER?
“To a degree, yes. But at the same time I never would’ve had my other children. I wouldn’t want to lose that.”

lovepost1DO YOU THINK YOU WOULD EVER GET MARRIED AGAIN?
“It would have to be the right person. I mean really the right person. Somebody completely different than who I was with for 19 years. I don’t mean to sound like a Neanderthal, but I mean, I’m interested in a woman that is interested in how my day went, what I want, what makes me happy and vice versa. Someone that’s domesticated. I’m not saying someone that cooks 7 days a week but maybe 3-4. I cook 2-3, I have no problem with that. But she’s not leaving EVERYTHING on my shoulders.
I also have certain other restrictions. I’m not interested in going out with somebody that has young children. I’m not being mean, but I’ve already raised my kids. I don’t want to have to deal with that many personalities. Cause who’s to say that the father doesn’t have a wife or a girlfriend! I mean it could be all lovey dovey like it was with my ex. We were all always very cool, never problems or confrontations.”


From This Moment
Posted 2/11/2015
loveblog2

Valentine’s Day is near. It is simultaneously, one of the most loved and hated days of the year. No matter how you feel about the day itself, this time of year just lends itself to talking about matters of the heart.
Telling stories about love is not simply the same as telling love stories. Love comes in many forms. It’s the earliest emotion we feel, the one that moves us the most, for better or for worse. This week, as we always do, we’re talking to people. And the tie that binds all of this week’s people is their hearts. Everyone has a story of the heart. It’s the most common of threads in the enormous tapestry of life. Sometimes our hearts tell a happy story, sometimes it’s a sad tale. Sometimes our stories involve putting our pieces back together and moving on.
Each day… a different person… a different story…. a different reason… a different heart. One love.

loveblogWHEN DID YOU GET MARRIED?
“October 17, 2014.”

HOW LONG WERE YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND TOGETHER PRIOR TO YOUR WEDDING?
“This Valentines Day, funny enough, is our “legit” 10 year anniversary. So at the time of our getting married, we had been together over 9 years.”

SO YOU STARTED DATING ON VALENTINE’S DAY?
“That was the date he realized we were together.”

HE DIDN’T REALIZE IT BEFORE THEN (laughter)?
“He realized it because I was so irritated that we weren’t spending Valentine’s Day together, and that he had to make it up to me. He was, at that time, in the restaurant industry and he brought me dessert that night and then he said “Wow! When did we go from being just friends to being married?” And that was how he realized that we were together.”

HAD YOU BEEN DATING PRIOR TO THAT?
“We were seeing each other a little bit off and on. But that January we were getting more on the serious side of seeing each other. Then on Valentine’s Day I was like “What do you mean you have to work the whole night?! That’s like one of the biggest nights of the year!” I was really bummed and he felt really bad about it and realized this was really legit.”

HOW DID YOU TWO MEET?
“In eighth grade I was dating his best friend, who was actually one of his groomsman (it was eighth grade so it was like puppy love). We met cause a bunch of friends went bowling and he was there. The guy I was dating was kind of rude to me that night, and later, my husband emailed me and said, “I’m really sorry (my friend) was so rude to you last night. He’s my best friend but I feel really bad he was treating you that way.” I was like “Who is this kid?!” We were in eighth grade! So then we started being friends. Then we actually dated for a very brief time in ninth grade, for like 3 months. I never stopped having feelings for him and then we got back together in senior year.”

WHY DID YOU STOP DATING IN NINTH GRADE?
“I think it was too serious for how young we were.”

WHAT BROUGHT YOU BACK TOGETHER AGAIN?
“Me. I was like “I love this kid! I’m getting back together with him.” I really sought after him. The year before, at junior prom, I really wanted to go with him and he had this thing with this girl we went to high school with. He really wanted to go with her and wound up going with her. But he ended up spending the whole prom with me. The next year is when we really started dating.”

WHAT MADE YOU FALL IN LOVE WITH HIM?
“I don’t know. He was just so different. He’s so honest and genuine and he’s a really caring person and he’s not afraid to show it. There was just that feeling. You just can’t shake it.”

WHAT DO YOU THIINK MAKES YOU COMPATIBLE?
“We’re definitely like yin and yang. That’s a good thing for us. We just honestly balance each other out. Where he is very much safety and security, very crosses his T’s and dots his I’s, so methodical and analytical, I’m more impulsive and a risk taker. I’m a super passionate person and he’s very thought out. I think the fact that we’re so different. It is awesome because we balance each other out. Where he falls short, I make up and where I fall short, he goes above and beyond.”
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WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY TOGETHER, SO FAR?
“This one night we went camping. It was our first actual, little vacation. We went to the beach and it was pouring rain. Our tent started to leak and we just laughed the whole night. It was so funny. We cuddled to stay warm and laughed. I always think about that because it was our first time together. It was just the two of us and everything was going wrong but we had so much fun just being together.”

loveblog3SOME COUPLES ARE VERY SPECIFIC, METHODICAL IN PLANNING THEIR FUTURE. HAVE YOU BOTH SAT DOWN AND MAPPED OUT WHAT YOU WANT FOR YOUR FUTURE?
“No. We do have a little family right now. We have our dog and our cat and consider that our family. Just recently we started talking about what we want in a year from now. Making progress towards that. Not necessarily saying we’d be buying a house in one year. Like what do we want to make happen this year so we can make awesome things happen in 2016. So in 2016, we do wanna start the possibility of purchasing a home. To be candid, I do not have the itch to have children. Neither does he. So either it happens, the itch starts to happen that “Boom! We’re gonna have a kid”. We’ll raise that (issue) more when I’m like 32. I’m 28 now. That’s kind of where I see our future in terms of kids. We’re not the “let’s have a bazillion kids” kind of people. But we do have a list of places that we do want to travel over the next couple of years, just the two of us, ’cause that’s important. So, yeah, we do wanna buy a house and we wanna travel a ton. We’ll probably have a family in the future but that’s not something that we’re itching to do now.
I hope that the “itch” (for a child) does happen for me at some point because it kind of scares me that I might not ever get the itch. I know that that happens to some people. They just never feel the need to have a kid. I hope that I do, cause I know that I probably do want to have a child one day. I don’t want the itch right now, but in a couple years, sure I hope that does happen ’cause otherwise I’ll stay in indecision and question whether or not I wanna have one.”

SOCIETY PUTS SUCH A PRESSURE ON WHAT PEOPLE ARE “SUPPOSED” TO DO NEXT. ONE WAY IS NOT FOR EVERYBODY. I ALWAYS HATED THAT PRESSURE.
“I do too. People I went to high school with: they went to high school, they got a degree from college, get out of college, get married pretty much within 2 years and then, some people I went to high school with (we’re coming up on our ten year reunion) are on their second kid, third kid. One girls on her fourth kid. That is so beyond me. I don’t even understand that at all. I mean more power to them for wanting that right out of school. For me, we both have never been like that.”

YOU SAID IT WOULD SCARE YOU NOT TO GET THAT ITCH. WHY WOULD THAT SCARE YOU?
“I either want to know for sure that I want something or know for sure that I don’t want something. So to not know really what I want for my future in terms of something that impacts another human being, bringing another human being into this world, and not know for sure freaks me out. To be like “Oh yeah. Let’s just see if it happens”. There’s people that do that and I commend that. I’m an impulsive person but when it comes to another human being, I’m not. So I wanna know for sure either way. Otherwise I’m freaked out.”

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE MOST IMPORTANT INGREDIENT TO A GOOD MARRIAGE OR RELATIONSHIP?
“Trust, honesty. Trust for sure. I think loyalty is also important. Because he is my number one and I’m super, super close with my family, especially my sisters. It was definitely a pivotal point, when I went from being more loyal to my family and my sisters and that kind of thing to “He is my number one and if that’s not gonna gel…” I mean it was always fine, it was never something that was ever an issue but there was definitely that pivotal point where he became my most important person above everyone else. So that loyalty is super important.”


What About Love
Posted 2/9/2015

Valentine’s Day is near. It is simultaneously, one of the most loved and hated days of the year. No matter how you feel about the day itself, this time of year just lends itself to talking about matters of the heart.
Telling stories about love is not simply the same as telling love stories. Love comes in many forms. It’s the earliest emotion we feel, the one that moves us the most, for better or for worse. This week, as we always do, we’re talking to people. And the tie that binds all of this week’s people is their hearts. Everyone has a story of the heart. It’s the most common of threads in the enormous tapestry of life. Sometimes our hearts tell a happy story, sometimes it’s a sad tale. Sometimes our stories involve putting our pieces back together and moving on.
Each day… a different person… a different story…. a different reason… a different heart. One love.

lovestuffARE YOU NOW OR HAVE YOU EVER BEEN MARRIED?
“No. I’m not married and I never have been.”

ARE YOU IN A ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIP?
“Not really. I was in a relationship for like 8 years and another for 5 before that. My last relationship ended about a year ago and I’m not seeing anyone right now.”

EIGHT YEARS IS A LONG TIME, WOULD YOU WANT TO SHARE WHAT HAPPENED TO END YOUR RELATIONSHIP OR IS THAT TOO PERSONAL?
“I don’t want to go into details because it wouldn’t be fair. I’m not the easiest person in the world to live with, I’m sure. I work a lot. I am not very forthcoming with my emotions. I do the best I can, but things just stopped working I guess. I’m not sure it was ever even possible for it to work so I guess 9 years was about 8 longer than it probably should have.”

WHAT MAKES YOU THINK IT WASN’T POSSIBLE FOR IT TO WORK?
“I don’t do relationships well.”

WHY DO YOU THINK THAT IS?
“I’m very set in my ways. I am very stubborn and I never admit when I am wrong.”

WELL YOU JUST ADMITTED THAT YOU NEVER ADMIT IT SO THAT’S SOMETHING AT LEAST.
“(Laughter) I guess.”

SO EVEN IF YOU KNOW YOU’RE WRONG, YOU’D RATHER LOSE SOMEONE YOU CARE ABOUT THEN ADMIT IT?
“Pretty screwed up isn’t it? I’ve lost a lot of people in my life. Some left on their own, some I am sure I had a hand in pushing away. There’s a few that I would have liked to have stopped from leaving, but I just couldn’t. I couldn’t ask them to stay. I had to let them walk.”

SO THERE HAVE BEEN TIMES WHEN YOU DIDN’T WANT THE RELATIONSHIP TO END BUT YOU LET IT END BECAUSE YOU WEREN’T ABLE TO ADMIT THAT YOU DIDN’T WANT IT TO END (THAT WAS A MOUTHFUL!)?
“Something like that. Just too proud, too stubborn or whatever to say, hey, I really don’t want you to go.”
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SO YOU’D LET SOMEONE YOU LOVE GO BEFORE YOU’D ASK THEM TO STAY?
“Basically.”

WHAT IS ABOUT ADMITTING YOU’RE WRONG OR ADMITTING YOU MADE A MISTAKE THAT IS SO AWFUL FOR YOU?
“I don’t know really. I had a lot of relationship disasters. There were a few that just cut so deep, so hard, that mark is still there. Letting myself be that invested, being the one who goes all in so to speak, has gotten me hurt, badly.”

SO ARE YOU KEEPING YOUR FEELINGS AT BAY TO AVOID GETTING HURT?
“Probably. I mean, I haven’t really been able to give 100% emotionally in a very long time. If I am with you then I am in it 100%. There is no one else but you and I will give you all that I have. But, all that I have is a lot less than what it once was. And it’s a lot less than what some people want for sure.”

DO YOU THINK THAT WILL EVER CHANGE?
“Unlikely. I’ve been this way for years. I do okay like this. It’s a little late in the game to change the way I am in relationships.”

BUT IS THIS WAY WORKING FOR YOU?
“I guess it depends on what you consider working? If your narrow view of life is that to be happy you have to get married and have kids and all that, then I guess it’s not working.”

IS THAT YOUR VIEW?
“It was at one time. That ship sailed a long time ago, so I make due with what I’ve got.”

SOME PEOPLE MIGHT SAY THAT IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO CHANGE, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO LOVE. DO YOU DISAGREE?
“I don’t disagree that people can change. I disagree that I can change. It’s just not in the cards for me. I know what I am capable of.”

FAIR ENOUGH. AS LONG AS YOU ARE HAPPY. ARE YOU HAPPY?
“Depends on when you ask. But I don’t believe that happiness is defined solely by love.”

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TRULY IN LOVE?
“Yes.”

AND WHAT WAS IT LIKE FOR YOU?
“It was great. While it lasted it was incredible! And when it ended it was painful, soul-crushing torturous pain that I thought would ever end.”

SO DO YOU THINK IT’S THE FEAR OF EXPERIENCING THAT PAIN AGAIN THAT KEEPS YOU FROM MAKING THOSE EMOTIONAL CONNECTIONS?
“I’m not really afraid. I just know what works and what doesn’t. For me, my emotions have never gotten me anywhere but into trouble. I find it’s best if I keep emotion out of all major decision making on my part.”

lovestuff2DO YOU THINK YOU’LL EVER FALL IN LOVE AGAIN?
“I don’t know. Don’t know that I want to. I’ve been there, done that. Any time I have ever been in love it has failed miserably. I think I’d rather just work, have fun, and steer clear of women that want any kind of relationship.”

AND YOU REALLY THINK YOU CAN LIVE THE REST OF YOUR LIFE LIKE THAT?
“I’ve definitely done harder shit.”

YOU SAID YOU ARE STUBBORN AND NEVER ADMIT WHEN YOU ARE WRONG- IS THAT WHAT YOU ARE DOING NOW- NOT ADMITTING THAT YOU WANT MORE. OR HAVE YOU GENUINLEY GIVEN UP ON LOVE?
“I haven’t given up on love. Love is great. I’ve given up on me and another person ever being in a relationship that involves that level of commitment that every woman I know wants and I refuse to give.”
SO I TAKE IT YOU NEVER INTEND TO MARRY?
“Definitely not.”

AND YOU DON’T FEEL LIKE YOU’RE MISSING OUT?
“Oh I’m sure I am missing out on a lot. But it’s nothing that fits in to my life any way, marriage, kids, the summer house, all that. It doesn’t work for me. It’s not meant for my life. It doesn’t fit in with the choices I have made.”

AGAIN I HAVE TO ASK, BEING DEVIL’S ADVOCATE HERE, IF YOU REALLY WANTED IT, YOU REALLY FELT LIKE YOU WERE MISSING OUT ON SOMETHING, COULDN’T YOU MAKE CHANGES IN YOUR LIFE TO ACCOMMODATE THAT?
“Could. I guess. Won’t. But I guess I could.”

HAVE YOU NEVER FOUND ANYONE WORTH CHANGING FOR?
“I had someone worth changing for. I had someone worth living for. But she left me. And I moved on and made something else out of my life. That’s who I am now. I don’t want to have to put in all that work. I don’t need to. I’m fine the way things are.”

DO YOU KNOW WHERE SHE IS?
“Who?”

THE ONE WHO LEFT YOU?
“Yeah. I mean not right this minute, but yeah.”

IS SHE MARRIED?
“Yeah.”

IF SHE CAME BACK, WOULD SHE BE WORTH CHANGING FOR?
“Worth changing for, maybe. But I still wouldn’t go there.”

DO YOU STILL LOVE HER?
“I’ll always love her.”

SO WHY, IF SHE CAME BACK, WOULD YOU STILL SAY THAT YOU ARE DONE WITH LOVE?
“I never look back. There’s no point. I’d rather keep looking forward and be alone. It sounds nuts, I know. I’m never said I was sane.”

DO YOU THINK AT THE END OF YOUR LIFE YOU’LL LOOK BACK ON THAT CHOICE AND REGRET IT? WISH YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN MORE FLEXIBLE?
“I don’t really do regret. I already regret letting her go so easy the first time. I think one regret per life time is enough. That’s why I’ll never go there again.”


Reunited, and it Feels so Good…
Posted 2/8/2015

Valentine’s Day is near. It is simultaneously, one of the most loved and hated days of the year. No matter how you feel about the day itself, this time of year just lends itself to talking about matters of the heart.
Telling stories about love is not simply the same as telling love stories. Love comes in many forms. It’s the earliest emotion we feel, the one that moves us the most, for better or for worse. This week, as we always do, we’re talking to people. And the tie that binds all of this week’s people is their hearts. Everyone has a story of the heart. It’s the most common of threads in the enormous tapestry of life. Sometimes our hearts tell a happy story, sometimes it’s a sad tale. Sometimes our stories involve putting our pieces back together and moving on.
Each day… a different person… a different story…. a different reason… a different heart. One love.

ringsYOU RECENTLY GOT MARRIED, RIGHT?
“I did. I got married on December 29th. Which is weird I know because it was a Monday.”

WHY A MONDAY?
“It was a special date for us and since we had approximately 15 people attending we weren’t really concerned with inconveniencing people. We knew that that was the date we wanted no matter when it fell.”

WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE DATE”
“We were together a long time ago and split up for a bunch of reasons that were really out of our control. I went on and lived my life, he went on and lived his. We wound up reuniting after a lot of years apart. Luckily things worked out for us the second time around. The 29th was our anniversary.”

HOW LONG WERE YOU APART?
“A long time. 25 years.”

HOW WERE YOU ABLE TO RECONNECT?
“Facebook. I know it’s cliche. I was going through a divorce and he wasn’t married. I saw his name come up as a mutual friend on a friend’s page.”

WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION? HAD YOU BEEN IN TOUCH PRIOR TO THAT?
“Not really. I mean, I had run into him from time to time through the years. There was no bad blood or anything. Things just didn’t work out for us. I always cared about him though. Thought about him from time to time. When I saw his name come up, I just thought, “why aren’t we friends already?” and I clicked “request”. I really had no expectations at all.”

SO WHAT HAPPENED?
“He accepted my request and we started talking. Not about anything important at first. But then we wound up meeting in person and talking. I think it just brought back a flood of emotions. At first it was like, of yeah, this is nice. It was nostalgic. But then we both realized that we had a lot of emotions going on and we needed to sort through them. I was afraid that I was reacting too quickly because I was in a weird place emotionally, having just gone through a divorce that was not even final yet.”

SO HOW DID YOU SORT THROUGH IT?
“The idea was to take some time apart. I figured that he would realize that it was a mistake and I would realize that I was just rebounding and things would go back to normal.”

OBVIOUSLY THAT IS NOT WHAT HAPPENED?
“No. We made it about 4 days. I was miserable. He was miserable. The funny thing is that we were both trying to hold out longer. So one night we both went out to the same place, with a group of people we both knew. As soon as he walked in and saw me, he got the biggest smile. I knew at that moment that it was not a fluke. I knew that our second chance was really meant to be.”

HOW DID YOU GET FROM THERE TO GETTING MARRIED ON A MONDAY NIGHT IN FRONT OF A CROWD OF 15?
“It just happened. After that night he told me that he wasn’t going to let me go again. And that’s when I got really freaked out. I hadn’t even signed the finalized divorce papers. But when I thought about the idea of losing him again, it was just crippling. I had never felt like that. Not even about my husband of 18 years. Not about anyone. Like, the feeling that there will never be enough time to spend with that person. Like no matter how many years we get to have together, I will still pine for the 25 that we lost.”

BUT YOU WERE LUCKY ENOUGH TO GET THAT SECOND CHANCE, A LOT OF PEOPLE DON’T EVER GET THAT?
“I know. I am so grateful. It’s so cheesy to say if it weren’t for Facebook… but it’s true. I mean, I believe that no matter what or how, our paths were going to cross again. If it hadn’t been from his name popping up on my Facebook, it would have been somewhere or something else. We were meant to be. I don’t know if we were too dumb to see it the first time, or if we both just needed to grow and figure our own stuff out. As much as I hate the 25 years that we lost, I look forward to the next 25 more than anything I have ever looked forward to in my life!”


Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough…
2/7/2015

We wrapped up stories of Mardi Gras yesterday with the last tale of crazy times down in New Orleans. You can catch it here if you missed out. Today though, we’re switching gears. From those “crazy” things people do for fun, to the “crazy” things people do for love, we’re kicking off our Valentine’s Day week-long ‘Matters of the Heart’ series with this woman’s incredible story about giving up seemingly everything for love. There’s something for everyone this week, even those who don’t even believe in love! So, don’t be afraid.
These are not your mama’s love stories!

loveyYOU’RE MARRIED FOR THE SECOND TIME IS THAT RIGHT?
“That is correct.

AND HOW LONG WERE YOU MARRIED THE FIRST TIME?
“Almost 12 years. We were together 17.”

HOW DID YOU GUYS MEET?
“We met through a mutual friend. It was a bowling fundraiser for his soccer team.”

DO YOU HAVE CHILDREN TOGETHER?
“Yeah, we have 2 children.”

WHEN DID YOU TWO DIVORCE?
“Back in 2011.”

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN MARRIED TO YOUR CURRENT (SECOND) HUSBAND?
“Since March of 2012.”

DO YOU HAVE CHILDREN TOGETHER AS WELL?
“One child.”

YOU KNEW YOUR CURRENT HUSBAND WHEN YOU WERE MARRIED TO YOUR PREVIOUS HUSBAND IS THAT CORRECT?
“I’ve known him since I was about 11 years old.”

WERE YOU TWO EVER ROMANTICALLY INVOLVED BEFORE GETTING TOGETHER AND MARRYING IN 2012?
“When we were younger we dated for a short period of time.”

SO HOW DID YOU WIND UP COMING BACK INTO EACH OTHERS LIVES ALL THESE YEARS LATER?
“We actually stayed friends, mostly through letters, all these years. My ex knew all about it. We were pen-pals. We’d get together, as friends, once in a while. Before I left my husband, I had been unhappy for a long time. One day, the last time we got together, I opened up to him about it, and it just exploded from there.”

DO YOU THINK YOU HAD FEELINGS FOR HIM THAT YOU WERE REPRESSING WHILE YOU WERE MARRIED TO YOUR FIRST HUSBAND?
“Yes, I think I always had feelings for him but I don’t think I realized it. I knew he always had feelings for me, but he didn’t tell me, I just knew it. I had feelings for him but I don’t think they were always as strong as they became in 2011.”

lovey2WHAT DO YOU THINK CHANGED?
“I think being so extremely unhappy in my first marriage for so many years and not admitting it to anyone, not even wanting to admit it to myself. I finally couldn’t deal with the lie I was living inside my own head anymore. I wasn’t in love and I couldn’t make myself be in love. I was being unfair to not just myself but to my ex husband. I felt like I was cheating him.

HOW WERE YOU ABLE TO TELL YOUR EX HUSBAND THAT YOU WERE NO LONGER HAPPY?
“It was the hardest, scariest thing I ever had to do. I think I actually got the strength and courage from my husband now. I got the courage to tell him; to sit down and just tell him that I am so sorry but I am not in love with you anymore. It was eating me up so bad, it had gotten so stressful that I was getting sick from it, like physically and mentally sick from it. And I just finally built up the strength to talk to him.”

WHAT DID YOU INITIALLY SAY TO HIM?
“It was late at night and I had just come home. He was playing video games. I told him that I had to talk to him, and I just told him something to the effect that I was not happy in the marriage and that I didn’t think it was working and that we needed to separate. It’s kind of all a fog.”

WAS HE SURPRISED?
“I was actually surprised at his reaction. I guess I thought he’d fight me on it more. He was a little surprised but not like I thought he’d be. After we talked, I thought it was gong to be hours and hours and it actually wound up being only like an hour, and after we talked, he went back to playing his video game. So, I was a little surprised!”

WHAT WAS YOUR LIFE LIKE WITH YOUR FIRST HUSBAND?
“It was, I think, what most women consider a fairytale, what every girl dreams of. That’s what made it so hard for me to admit that I was not in love. It was such a happy relationship. We rarely fought. We had a nice home, 2 beautiful children, took vacations together, always had nice holidays together, always had fun with friends together… It was a very trusting relationship. I never questioned my trust for him. It was just very happy.

YOUR CURRENT HUSBAND, WHAT S YOUR RELATIONSHIP LIKE?
“It’s a very troubled marriage. It’s very unstable. We fight about money all the time, we fight about the kids, we fight about trust issues, but, we are completely head over heels in love if that makes any sense.”

WHEN YOU ENDED YOUR FIRST MARRIAGE, AND ENTERED INTO THE RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR CURENT HUSBAND, DID YOU HAVE A SENSE OF WHAT YOU WERE GIVING UP VS. WHAT YOU WERE MOVING TOWARDS? DID YOU SEE THE DIFFERENCES IN THE TWO RELATIONSHIPS?
“Yes, I did know what I was giving up. I totally knew what I was giving up and what I was getting myself into. My now husband has had a very troubled life. I thought that that life was over. I truly truly thought that that was over, or else I wouldn’t have gotten into the relationship. But, I couldn’t help my feelings. I thought that that part of his life was over, but I was wrong. I thought that he could change.

YOU CAME FROM A SEEMINGLY IDEAL LIVING SITUATION, WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT LIVING SITUATION?
“I live in an apartment with my 3 children. My older 2 I have every other week. My husband is in and out of our lives.”

YOU STILL SAY THAT YOU ARE HEAD OVER HEELS IN LOVE WITH HIM THOUGH?
“Crazy right?! I know that he’s an awesome person and he has good intentions and a good heart when he is in the right place. I always hope that things will change and he will be able to stay in the right place. I mean yeah, I am head over heels in love with him. We have a lot in common. When things are good, we click extremely well together. So yes, I am still head over heels in love with him.”

HOW DID YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY REACT WHEN YOU TOLD THEM YOU WERE GIVIG UP BASICALLY EVERYTHING, A SEEMINGLY PERFECT LIFE, FOR THIS TUMULTUOUS SITUATION YOU ARE IN NOW?
“Most of my friends and family were extremely surprised. Nobody knew my lack of love for my first husband. I hid it for so many years. Nobody knew because on the outside it appeared as though we were the perfect family. I really didn’t confide in anyone- maybe two people, and I’d only confide little pieces. My family was angry. They loved my first husband. They thought we had the perfect life. They hated my current husband. My friends at first were supportive, but then our mutual friends, who at first gave me credit for letting him go, decided that I had moved on too quickly, and gotten married too quickly, and had another child too quickly. A lot of them couldn’t be fiends with me anymore. The few that stayed are still supportive, but they do tell me how it is. They hope I’ll wake up one day and realize I made a mistake and move on. They want me to be happy even if it’s alone.”

DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU MADE A MISTAKE LEAVING?
“I don’t feel like I made a mistake leaving my first husband because I was not in love with him. I couldn’t make myself be in love with him. It was bad. It got to the point where after we had sexual relations I’d go in the bathroom and cry because I felt so bad for not wanting to be with my own husband. I would think of every excuse not to be affectionate. I wish I could have made myself be in love with him. I wish there was a magic pill I could’ve taken to make myself feel it, because it was a great marriage, he was, is, a great guy. So, no I don’t think I made a mistake leaving, but I do feel like I moved on too quickly. I think everyone was right that I let everything happen too fast.”

YOU SAID THAT YOU CAN’T HELP WHO YOU ARE IN LOVE WITH. WOULD YOU IF YOU COULD?
“Absolutely. I think anybody would want to be in love with the person who is going to treat you the way you deserve to be treated. Yeah. I mean, if there was that magic pill out there to make you love the “right” person, I would take it, yeah I would.”

DO YOU BELIEVE IT’S OKAY TO JUST SAY, OKAY I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS PERSON, BUT WE’RE JUST NOT THE RIGHT FIT FOR ONE ANOTHER. IS IT ALRIGHT TO TURN YOUR BACK ON THAT LOVE AND JUST LET IT GO?
“It’s okay. I mean I know that it’s okay, but it’s hard, really hard to change your heart. Its hard to make yourself think with your brain and not your heart. I mean your brain knows the “right” answer, but your heart can’t let it go. With the heart, the pain is just too severe, too much pain to let go. You just want to try and try and not give up when you feel like you’re with your soulmate, even if your brain says it’s not right for you. But I do think everyone comes to a breaking point and can only take so much. With my current husband I am hoping that one day, if things don’t change, I will reach that breaking point and be strong enough to say okay maybe love is not enough.”

SO WHAT DO YOU THINK YOUR BREAKING POINT IS?
“I don’t have an answer to that question. I don’t know. I haven’t gotten there yet.”

SO DO YOU THINK THE FACT THAT YOU TWO ARE SO IN LOVE, AND THAT YOU DO BELIEVE YOU ARE SOULMATES, AND THAT YOU HAVE GIVEN UP SO MUCH, WILL ALLOW HIM TO GET TO A POINT WHERE HE SAYS “OK I NEED TO CHANGE FOR HER OR I AM GOING TO LOSE HER”?
“We do talk about that often. I mean, he promises all the time. He says he’s going to get his shit together, that we are soulmates, that he doesn’t want to have a life without me, that he has no life without me, so his intentions are there. But again, his life, the damage he has had in his life, he needs help. You can’t force someone with an addiction to get help. With him the addiction takes over. I know that it’s not him when he’s in that place. It makes me so angry when he chooses that addiction over me, but I know it’s not him. I know it is a sickness. It’s like me having depression. It’s a sickness.

PEOPLE DO CRAZY THINGS FOR LOVE. SOME MIGHT SAY YOU GAVE UP A PERFECT SITUATION TO GET NOTHING IN RETURN. BUT SOME MIGHT SAY YOU JUST DID WHAT YOU HAD TO DO FOR LOVE. THAT YOU CAN’T FIGHT FATE, YOU CANT FIGHT SOUL MATES. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT? DO YOU BELIEVE THAT NO MATTER WHAT THE SITUATION MIGHT HAVE BEEN, THAT SOMEHOW, SOMEWAY, YOU WOULD WIND UP TOGETHER? DOES LOVE CONQUER ALL?
“I used to believe that love conquered all. And now I don’t know. I don’t have that faith in love, I don’t have that faith in a lot of things. I know that money (contentment, security) doesn’t buy happiness, because I had that. But then, I don’t know if love buys happiness either. So, I don’t know if I think love can conquer all.

DO YOU TALK TO YOUR FIRST HUSBAND AT ALL?
“Only about the kids.”

WHAT KIND OF TERMS ARE YOU ON?
“Well, we’re not friends. I wish we were but he doesn’t want to be. I’d say we’re civil. We do it for the children.”

IS HE WITH SOMEONE ELSE?
“Yeah”

DOES HE SEEM HAPPY?
“Yes. he is extremely happy and I am very happy for him. He deserves it.”

IF YOU HAD TO DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN, WOULD YOU DO IT THE SAME WAY?
“No! (no hesitation)”

WHAT WOULD YOU DO DIFFERENTLY?
“I think I would try counseling again, even though it didn’t work at first. I would have tried longer. I would have talked to him sooner. I would have tried harder. Again you can’t make the heart love someone it doesn’t, but I would not have made a decision so quickly. I mean even though it was years building up, it all happened so fast once it was in motion. Even if I were still going to leave, I would just get my life on track first- my life and my kids lives.”

IF YOU HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO GO BACK WOULD YOU- CLEAN SLATE, FRESH START, ALL IS FORGIVEN, WOULD YOU GO BACK?
No. I mean, I have thought about that. But you can’t force yourself to love somebody, even though you know you would have all of the happiness, all of the security, money, whatever in the world, you can’t make yourself love someone. It wouldn’t be fair to him. He’s more like a friend or a brother, thats how I felt about the relationship. It would just be too unfair to let him be unhappy, and I would be unhappy.”

SO IF YOU HAD TO CHOOSE AGAIN , YOU’D CHOOSE LOVE EVEN IF IT MEANT UNCERTAINTY AND BEING LESS COMFORTABLE, THEN CHOOSING THE LIFE OF PEACE AND CONTENTMENT AND SECURITY IN A LOVELESS RELATIONSHIP?
“I would choose being alone. I’d rather be alone than have anyone else be unhappy because of me.”

IS HE THERE NOW, YOUR HUSBAND?
“No”

DO YOU TALK?
“Yeah. Every day. We still have a child together.”

SO YOU’RE STAYING TOGETHER?
“It’s harder to leave when you have a child together. I mean not that I want to leave. I mean, sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. It just makes it ten times harder when you have a child together. It’s hard no matter what, but children make it that much harder. I just can’t bear the thought of breaking up another family, even if it is already broken on some level.”

I GUESS SOMETIMES LOVE REALLY ISN’T ENOUGH.

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