I met the real true love of my life at the same singles group where I had met Al two years before. Bob and I went out for coffee after a group barbecue, and when he asked if he could come over to my place I told him I had homework (I was taking a poetry-writing class at the local community college) to do, so it wasn’t a good time for company.
We lingered at the coffee shop talking for a long time. As the minutes ticked by, I realized that I really liked this guy named Bob. The homework could wait. I told him that I changed my mind. He could come over, the homework could wait, and I’d teach him how to play backgammon (he liked playing games as much as I did). Within a couple weeks, we were almost inseparable.
My new-found friend was not a drinker. About a month into our relationship I realized that I wanted to be ‘all there’ when we were together.
One day when I got home from work I asked my usual question, “How ’bout a glass of wine?” In response to myself I said, “Nah, a Diet Coke sounds better.” That was it — the turning point. I was in love and didn’t feel the need to find joy in a bottle. Love was the key that put a stop to my excessive drinking. If he had been a drinker, I don’t think love would’ve been the catalyst. I think the way it worked out, it was meant to be.
Bob was so different from Al. He wasn’t loud or boisterous. My friends liked him. He had a ready wit and sense of humor. He was easy to talk with, never judgmental. My self-esteem skyrocketed and I quit seeing my therapist.
No matter what little thing I did for him, he was pleased — never told me how it could have been better. That made it actually fun to do little things. He did nice things for me, too. Sometimes he brought me little surprise gifts, like a pair of earrings he had seen.
One late afternoon he came to my apartment, almost pulling me out the door, saying, “Let’s go watch the sunset.” He was still wearing his work suit. Off we went to the beach and watched the sunset.
I used to make jewelry and take it to craft shows to sell. He went with me for company and support. Nobody was buying my jewelry. On one occasion I had to go to the bathroom and he stayed to man the table. When I got back from the bathroom, he said he had sold a pair of earrings and gave me the money. I was so happy! After the craft fair was over, he showed me the earrings that he had put in his pocket. He had done that because he could see how disappointed I was at not being able to make a sale. He truly was my knight in shining armor.
Bob is not a figment of my imagination. He wasn’t perfect — he snored. Today I have a different perspective on snoring. At least he was breathing!
Now, 24 years later, I have a drink on occasion, but have no desire to get drunk. My best friend and love of my life died in 1991. He was very special and I still miss him sometimes. I thought we would grow old together, but God had other plans. I believe the old saying, “It is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all,” is very true. We had six years together and I have wonderful memories.