Now and Then: a forty one year retrospective on a very important day

Now and Then: a forty one year retrospective on a very important day

August 14th is a very prominent date in my life, always has been. Or I should say at least since I was a 14 year old girl, in between my freshman and sophomore years in high school. That was the day that I went on my first date. With a boy. In a car. August 14, 1972.

This was not just any boy. This was in my heart at the time, THE BOY. He was two years older, brownish hair, dreamy blue eyes. I was going on a date with a senior!! The joy of it all! We were headed to Ravinia to see the group Chicago, which at that time was still  in it’s infancy. To clarify, we were not going to see them at all – we had lawn seats.

So Aaron M. picked me up in a car. I remember that feeling as if it were yesterday. My heart racing, my excitement could be bottled. I’d met him only a couple of weeks earlier and we had seen each other every day. I was IN LOVE. Bonafide, gushing, can’t sleep, can’t think of anything else but him kind of love. It was my first.

So there we were, at Ravinia. I remember crawling around the pavilion fence to try to get a better view of the band as they played “Saturday in The Park”. I also remember the exact spot we were in when we were (sorry Dad) kissing under our blanket. More love, more gushing. He was my dream.

We went out for a bite to eat after and that was a first for me as well. A boy taking me out to eat. Nerd that I was when the check arrived I picked it up to look at it. Sometimes I wonder why I remember such little things. But, he did pay for it and I felt like a super star. Then about three days later, he dumped me.

He told me we were getting too serious, too fast. Two nights earlier he had been at my house and a commercial on television had a line in it “Falling in love in Chicago”. His response to me was he was: “Falling in love in Niles”. (That’s where we were, duh). So, how could that be happening? All that love and then nothing? I was beyond devastated.

I must admit that I wrote some of my best poetry during that time of the break up. How’s this Haiku for the heart wrenched:

“You brightened my world,

Now all is dark.

Sunshine is gone.

And you.”

Not bad for a 14 year old. There were many others. Songs like “These Eyes” and “Everything I Own” were my standard tunes for when I wanted to have a good cry. Actually every song by Bread. God, I’m old.

Aaron and I did date again my junior year when he was a freshman in college. Again it was short lived and this time I got over it quickly. Ironically on August 14, 1982, I ran into him in the parking lot of a Jewel. Cue music by Dan Fogelberg, “Same Auld Lang Syne”. (Met my old lover at a grocery store….) We had a cup of coffee together. He had already been married several years and had kids. I was glad that we had broken up.

I write about Aaron today as this very date has new meaning for me. At 11:34AM August 14, 2013 I began my first chemotherapy treatment of four. While I sat there I thought about the last 41 years. How fast time has gone – in the blink of an eye. FORTY ONE YEARS. How did that happen?? How can I recall so clearly the details of that night?

There is so much that has happened in between. I did not know during our time together that I carried this BRCA genetic mutation. Had I ever married Aaron, he would have been the one to deal with my having two cases of breast cancer. And that would not have been good.

The man that sat with me today, for  nearly 5 hours was the man that I was meant to be with. The man that I have spent 27 years with. The man that I could not be going through this ordeal without. The man that is my rock, my best friend and the one. Yes, THE ONE. Not Aaron, not all the others in the years between 1972 and 1986. He sat with me, his heart broken watching these drugs being pumped into me. He wishes he could take it away.

Then he took me out for bagels and lox because he knows that’s my favorite. He came home with me and we took a nap in our yard in our beautiful home. I must get through this and resume our lives together. I must be at his side when our girls marry. We must be together for the birth of our first grandchild. We MUST grow old together. It cannot be any other way.

This is MY Man. THE ONE. Cute, ain't he?

This is MY Man. THE ONE. Cute, ain’t he?

So, August 14, 2014 I plan to have a little celebration. I will be healthy again. This whole episode will be over. I will have shorter hair and perkier boobs. But most important, I will have my life. And that my friends, is all I ever want.

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