I finally got to say “I’m sorry”

June 4, 2007

It’s been twenty years. Twenty years since I last saw him… spoke to him… hurt him… and said goodbye. Twenty years of regret, of wanting to take back the pain I caused him. He didn’t deserve it. I was a foolish child. He had become a man.

I was only 15 when I met him. After school, I worked the drive through at McDonald’s in Greenville, SC., and he would come everyday, at 4pm, and order two cheeseburgers and a Dr. Pepper. It was the same order, every single time. He was so damned gorgeous, with his wavy mop of golden blond hair, deep blue eyes, and dazzling smile. You could feel the electricity in the air as soon as I opened the little window…feel the heat from it… and sometimes I even thought I could hear it crackle, just a little bit.

One day, I glanced out the window and saw him pulling up to the menu board, and I quickly said “that’ll be two cheeseburgers and a Dr. pepper, right?” He looked so dumbfounded. He finally stammered out a “uh… yeah…” and pulled up to the window slightly red, head tilted to the side, looking like “who the ???”. I met him with his order and a huge smile (reminiscent of the Cheshire Cat, I’m sure). That was the day he asked me out for the first time.

Two years later, we were engaged. He graduated high school and went into the Army as an Infantry Paratrooper for the 82nd Airborne. I went to a Christian Academy in Mississippi for my senior year. It would be a little more than a year before we saw each other again.

I’ll never forget how he looked the first time I saw him again. My God, he was so handsome… but then, he always was. He had changed though. He’d spent time in Honduras, where he broke his leg during a jump. He’d been places and seen so many things, and he was no longer the carefree boy I knew. He’d become a man, and I wasn’t ready for that yet. I was in awe of him, and afraid of him too. I was still a virgin, and had been in a Christian school for girls. I wasn’t ready for the man before me… the man who now touched me differently… kissed me with so much passion… unsettled me completely.

I told him the night before he was to catch his plane that I wanted to break up with him. I don’t even remember the lie I told him… too embarrassed to tell him the truth of it. The next morning, he kissed me just before he boarded the plane, and told me he would always love me. As I watched the plane pull away from the gate… I knew I had made a mistake. I wanted to run out onto the runway… to stop the plane…. to tell him I didn’t mean it…but it was too late.

The airport was an hour and a half from my home. I had decided I would call him as soon as he had time to get home, and beg him to forgive me. When I got home, however… those plans would change. My mother met me at the door. He had called his mother from the plane… she had called mine. My mother tore into me for breaking his heart. She said such hateful things… I couldn’t call him after that. She made me feel like I got what I deserved…. that I wasn’t worthy of him in the first place….and he was better off without me.

It never changed the fact that I always wanted to say “I’m sorry for ever hurting you”. He deserved better. He was a good man. I started trying to find him a few years later, to tell him so. By then, he was out of the service, I was in Arkansas, his family had moved, and I couldn’t find him. I have looked for him for 20 years now. I never stopped looking for him.

Last week, I found him. He is a police officer now, and I found his picture and biography on his P.D.’s website. I just sat there… reading and re-reading his bio over and over. It chronicled his life from the time he was in the army til now. All those years… all the regret… the only person I had purposely hurt in my entire life…there he was. I took out my photos of him… from when we were young… and placed them next to the current photo of him I had before me on the monitor. Yes, it was him. Older of course… the wavy mop of hair was no more… but to me… he looks the same. He has the deep, sparkling blue eyes… the same slightly crooked smile… so I sat… and stared… and remembered.

Last night, I wrote him a letter. Last night, I finally told him I was sorry. Last night, I was able to let go of my one great regret. Last night, I was finally able to make peace with myself, for something I’d done so long ago.


My Friends “To Do List” for When I Die

January 31, 2007

OK… so most of you know this already, but it never hurts to reiterate, since we were probably drunk when we had the original conversation…

When I die, do NOT bury me, CREAMATE me. I’d prefer a huge funeral pyre blazing on a make-shift wooden raft right around mdnight in the middle of a picturesque lake located in a beautiful valley and surrounded by rugged mountains, and thanks for asking. Yeah, yeah, yeah….. I know… how often did I ever get exactly what I wanted out of life, and why the hell would I possibly expect it to be any different after I’m dead?

Do NOT put me on some somber display and mourn my death. Don’t cry, or try to be quiet with murmurs and whispers in what some call “respect”. If you love me, and know me at all, then you know I’d hate that. Instead, build a bonfire by the afore mentioned lake, party like you’re 21 again, plaster my picture on one of the kegs or coolers, and celebrate my departure. Be happy for me, ’cause i’ll FINALLY be far away from Wynne, with no chance of ever having to return. I’m pretty sure Amanda can supply you with the appropriate photo. She displayed it on her mom’s fridge for YEARS. Try to do it on some private property somewhere, with permission of the owner, of course, so the cops can’t bother you.

For the music, grab my cd case and crank up the volume. Sarah and Steve know my favorites. Hell, Sarah still has my absolute favorite cd, and Steve has copies of my top 50 tunes. LOL! But for the very last song… the epitaph… the eulogy… the final farewell… I want you guys to raise your glasses, flick your bics, smoke a fatty if ya wanna, and play “I’m moving on” by Rascal Flats. It fit me the first day I heard it, it fits me to this day, and it will still fit me when I’m gone. And yes, kimmie, I’d be thrilled for you to lace a hog-leg with my ashes and smoke me up, so I could be with you “forever and ever”. It might just be the sweetest, smoothest smokin’ thing you ever toked on!

Don’t think for a second you have to talk about “the niceties” of my life, or the rougher times I made it through. Instead, tell the stories of the stupidist things you ever remember me doing. Talk about my dumbass ideas, hair-brained schemes, off-beat ideas, and the goofy quirks I had. I once read “you are only as strong as the tables you dance on, the drinks you mix, and the friends you roll with”, so party hard, drink hard, hugg each other hard, and remember that i loved you, and would do anything for you. I’ll be with you always, and you’ll know when I’m there. I’ll be the thought that makes you laugh out loud in the middle of silence . When you trip over your own two feet, or lose sometthing you just sat down in front of you… that would be me fucking with you. When your watching porn and need to suddenly turn down the volume or go to a black screen because someones suddenly walking in unannounced, I’ll be the reason you can’t find the remote, the volume suddenly blairs and the power button is stuck. When you just can’t believe something that stupid happened… I caused it. I’ll also be the tune you find yourself humming, the $20 you didn’t know you had, and the dumb-luck that saved your ass.

So… don’t miss me when i’m gone, ’cause I won’t be!

I Was Wondering…

January 18, 2007

Instead of talking to your plants, if you yelled at them would the still grow? Only to be troubled and insecure?

If I break the laws of Physics do I go to jail?

Will you die if you get scared half to death twice?

If quitters never win, and winners never quit, than who is the fool who said, “Quit while you’re ahead”?

Sooner or later doesn’t EVERYONE stop smoking?

Why can’t we make newspapers that don’t smudge?

Why doesn’t onomatopoeia sound like what it is?

If you choke a Smurf what color would it turn?

Whose cruel idea was it for the word lisp to have a s in it?

If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is it considered a hostage situation or a murder?

Why does the psychic hotline ask for your credit card number? Shouldn’t they already know it?

Why do they lock gas station bathrooms? Are they afraid someone is going to clean them?

Why are there flotation devices under plane seats instead of parachutes?

What’s another word for thesaurus?

If you throw your pet cat out the window of your car does it bec0me cat litter?

Why is it called a TV “set” when you only get one?

How did a fool and his money get together?

Why is it that when you are driving and looking for an address you turn the radio down?

Why do we drive on parkways and park on driveways?

Why is it that when you transport something by car it is called a shipment but when you transport something by ship it is called cargo?

If you have an open mind is there a chance your brain might fall out?

If the entire world is a stage, where is the audience sitting?

Why in a country with freedom of speech are there phone bills?

Why is it that when you tell a person that there are 400 billion stars in the sky and he’ll believe you, tell him a bench is wet and he has to touch it? ,

How do I set my laser printer on stun gun?

Why do fat chance and slim chance mean the same thing?

Who really took the bite out of the Apple logo?

Why when you say a color a lot does it start to sound really strange?

How many licks does it really take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?

If 75% of all accidents occur within 5 miles of home, why not move 10 miles away?

What was the best thing before sliced bread?

If there is no God, who pops up the next Kleenex in the box?

If the cops arrest a mime do they tell him he has the right to remain silent?

Isn’t the best way to save face to keep the lower part shut?

If it is zero degrees outside today and it is supposed to be twice as cold tomorrow, how cold is it going to be?

What does Geronimo yell when he jumps out of a plane?

A Few Favorite Quotes

January 18, 2007

Nothing lasts forever… so live it up, drink it down, laugh it off, and avoid the bullshit. But never, EVER, regret, because at one point, everything you did, was exactly what you wanted.

Life is too short. Grudges are a waste of perfect happiness. Laugh when you can, apologize when you should, and let go of what you can’t change.

Love deeply, forgive quickly, take chances, and never regret. Life’s to short to be unhappy.

Always forgive, never forget, learn from your mistakes, but never regret.