Tell LRJ I Love Her

UNLESS AT LEAST 2 WEEKS HAVE PASSED TO AN UNANSWERED E-MAIL OF YOURS, YOU SHOULDN’T BE READING THIS.

Dear Laura,

I’ve never known what to say or what to do what it came to you and when it came to us.

You once told me not to over-think things and then you added that maybe it was best not to think at all.

That was probably the best piece of advice I had ever received. If only it had come much, much earlier and if only I was smart enough to have listened.

It didn’t and I probably wasn’t smart enough to know then, what I have now known for a long time.

But I always knew that I had to let you know how important you have been in my life and how I have always adored you, even when it didn’t look or feel that way.

The hardest decisions I ever made in my life were all about you and I failed at every one of those decisions. That’s what happens when you think.

While I didn’t mean for this letter to be one of apology, it’s hard to go on without telling you how very, very and truly sorry I have been for my behavior and cowardice. For too many years I’ve wanted to reach out to you and beg for even a moment of your time, but I could never find the words or the courage to do so.

If I had been able to find the courage to swoop up the most wonderful person I have ever known, the rest would never have come to be.

I’d have been with you someplace enjoying you, our lives together and everything we had built together and for one another.

I’m so grateful to you, though, that you reached out. For too many years birthdays were empty without you, but 64 took on special meaning.

By now, if this letter has made it to your hands, one of my final wishes will have come true even as we will never be able to look into each other’s eyes or to share another thought together.

I asked someone whom I trusted to deliver this letter to you once that time came.

She knew how I felt about you and I always knew that I should have listened to her and done what needed to be done to have a chance to be with the great love of my life.

As sad as I was sometimes to not be with you, that was always eclipsed by the knowledge that I knew what true love was, because of you. How lucky to have had that feeling and how lucky to have had whatever brief time we had to express that love.

Without having had that feeling of true love, you can never know what it truly missed and I truly missed you and the glow that came with you and in everything you graced.

I don’t regret many things in life, but it seems that what I do regret revolved around you.

I should have pursued you. I should have done whatever it took to keep you by my side at so many different stages in life.

At one time, back in college, I hated myself for having told you that I was in love with you, because I thought that ruined our friendship. What I later hated was that I didn’t show you how deeply I felt when I had the opportunity to do so.

I never knew what to say and I never knew what to do.

But what I knew from the day I met you was that you were beautiful.

Then it became clear just how funny you were.

And smart.

And full of life.

And thoughtful.

And loving.

You were, always were, beautiful on the inside and on the outside.

You proved, over and over again, what a good person you were. There were never any provisions for your humanity. You were always consistent in being the best person there could be and I was so lucky to have had the experience of you in my life.

You created the ideal that I prayed my children would find in their lives and would then work hard to keep, maintain and see flourish.

When I think back to all of the smiles you gave me, I have one memory that surpasses every other.

It was a day in August 2004 and I was at the airport awaiting your first trip to Boston.

But my excitement turned to sadness when it seemed you weren’t on that plane. Just as I felt frozen in place, feeling abandoned and shot down, there you were and there was my smile. Maybe one of the biggest ones I have ever had.

But that’s not the memory I was thinking about.

The memory, the one that put the biggest smile on my face happened just a few minutes later, when we walked, spontaneously hand in hand, down the terminal.

I thought about that moment and that walk so many times over the years.

For me, it was pure joy.

Warm, electrifying, soothing joy.

I never felt so connected to anyone as it did during those moments. I never wanted to let go of your hand.

And then there were the hugs.

I still remember a hug from 40+ years ago when we were walking to Fenway Park to see a baseball game.

But still, I can never begin to tell you how sorry I was for the way I behaved and treated you. Yet despite more than 13 years of silence later, your warmth and kindness, even for me, were still so obvious. I could never begin to tell you how happy you made me with even a single email.

That excitement continued with each additional email and with each text message from you.

I don’t know if you ever knew how special of a person you were.

My head would spin whenever you asked what it was that I saw in you, when it was I who thought that I was the luckiest person in the world just to be along the path of a shadow you might cast.

As I first wrote this years ago and now have added some new thoughts, my mind is in so many places and my face hurts from the smiles that even simple thoughts of you can bring.

I can never do justice to telling you how wonderful you have always been and how I have valued every second in your presence.

All I can do is to let you know how much I have always loved you and been in love with you for nearly 50 years.

Had I been as good of a person as you were, we would have been together for that time and we would have had a wonderful life together.

I hope that you can forgive me for this intrusion and for my lapses.

Thank you so very much for being such an important part of my life and for never turning your back on me.

I will love you through eternity.

June 10, 2018

 

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