He even wrote me a song, sung in his deep and honeyed voice, a going-away gift. I treasured that song and put it away for safekeeping, but at some point over the years I forgot where it was.
One of the things that summed him up best was his response when a beautiful, renowned boyfriend-stealer threw herself at him right in front of me. That was the first time I took a step back and realized with a small shock that he was physically lovely as well. Virtually every other guy I know would have flirted back at the very least, but he was cool to her and a little disgusted. When she finally backed off and left, I fished. Didn’t he think she was pretty?
He was careful. He hesitated, felt for the right words. He finally said, “I’m sorry, but I don’t think she’s pretty on the inside.”
Goodness, how I loved him then, and forever, in a way that didn’t end when I married someone else. I will forever think of him not just as someone I loved, but as one of the people I admire most in the world. And now I admire him even more because I’ve lived enough to realize how rare he really was.
Some people continue to uplift and inspire us, as I said in another post, and some comfort us. He did both. Does both. When I look back, I realize it wasn’t that the timing was wrong. I wasn’t ready. And I can’t regret. Knowing that people like him exist in the world is enough. Having known him at all is enough.
The other day I was looking for some paperwork for a project, and there was the song, just in time for Valentines Day. This time the timing was perfect; it sings to me again after all these years. But then again, love that comes from the soul is timeless.
Happy Valentine’s Day.