Thursday, July 17, 2008


Summer. 1983.

My first love.

I broke up with her in the most horrible, petty way – over the phone – over another girl – I was a louse.

25 years later.

I reconnected with Teresa through a miracle called the Internet and the first thing I did was apologize. I didn’t do it for her benefit. I did it for my own. I did it because I hurt myself with that act. I degraded myself and behaved as less than a man.

Now, we’re corresponding – and I can hear you out there. I can hear what you’re saying. “Ken! Sherryl and Cindy and now Teresa! How does Vicky handle you talking with all these ex-girlfriends of yours?”

I want to address this but let’s move Sherryl over to one side because she and I talk once a month; we’re more acquaintances than friends. Cindy and I are friends but Vicky’s met Cindy and knows there’s no threat there.

Now, Teresa. My first love. A girl I haven’t forgotten for 25 years. How can Vicky deal with my corresponding with her? Well, first of all, Vicky trusts me.

But enough about her. You’re wondering what I feel – I know I am. I was sitting on the sofa just now and that very thought fluttered by the landscaping of my mind. What do I feel?

First, I’m amazed. Life is so ripe with hope. It’s all around us. I mean, right here was someone I wronged, who has forgiven me, and is opening a friendship. It’s really amazing.

But who is this person? Is it Teresa? She sent me a picture of the girl I knew back in 1983 – almost like she was holding her hostage in a way, this other person who holds her name now in the present. I looked at that picture and felt pierced. Here was the face that I had etched into my brain as Teresa. That was her! Who was this person who sent me the picture?

Yes, who was this person? That’s the thing, really. She’s not the Teresa I knew. I’m not the Ken she knew. The most interesting thing about all this is that we both are total strangers, connected by a similar past. We may get to know one another and we may find each other completely wonderful – or completely annoying. The Teresa I knew exists only in my memory and I am thankful for that. This new Teresa may be my friend. I hope so.

Signs of hope in humanity don’t saunter by every day. I like to enjoy every single one.

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