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memoriesWe were all buzzing about our high school reunions. It was a conversation each of us had an opinion about. We were celebrating our 40th.

“I haven’t seen my old boyfriend in forever, well just on Facebook. I’m going for the kiss in the parking lot for old times sake,” said my buddy.

“Look at our reunion Facebook page, this was my old girlfriend, what do you think?” my friend’s husband showed us a hot looking 57 year old, looking damn good in her bikini. We laughed and teased him about her.

Old high school boyfriends (and girlfriends) were not on my list. I went to an all girls school and we were the first co-ed class – slim pickings. But college — well that was when I came of age.

On my gratitude list are my college boyfriends. They not only fill me with sweet memories, but I’ve even reconnected with some of them over the years. Happily married – I have no regrets that they never became my life partner – but I do love that they are in my memory bank.

Old boyfriend stories are fun. I actually know the names of many of my friends’ old boyfriends. Great visuals and stories of our wild times have entertained us on many a run and girls night out.

Those stories became an opportunity to share our wilder 20’s with each other. After all most of us had met as more “responsible” 30-somethings. As the kids grew up, they loved to hear stories of our past loves and travels and adventures (the edited versions),

My kids and girlfriends know my old boyfriends’ names and have time traveled through my past. Those stories have taken them to France and Japan and Colorado right along with me. I’ve drawn on experiences, escapades, and heartache to fill out the adventurous mom character card of my youth that my kids could only imagine. Exchanging details with friends of our “wild” sides is becoming even more fun as the years go on…the wilder the better and we own it like a badge of honor.

When I lost my first husband, I wanted to connect with my past — to talk to old friends. I trolled facebook and came across a few old boyfriends who I was out of touch with but two of them were not there. One was David Norland (if anyone knows his whereabouts, let me know), love to know what’s become of him.

The other is a boyfriend of 3 years who was my best friend at Georgetown. Glen was the guy I followed to Japan for 6 months, moved in with and bought the Yorkie who we named Roger, after the anchorman Roger Mudd. Our Yorkie was not the only hound in our home, Glen was an extreme news hound. He was obsessed and worked the newsroom’s night shift for Mudd in those early years. When he came home he watched even more news. He loved to retell the stories of his day especially if there was a crisis. He was brilliant with an easy laugh and a great raconteur. His passion would serve him well as news eventually became a 24 hour obsession for the rest of the world as well.

Our romance dwindled as it became clearer we were worlds apart in life style. He was an indoor guy and I was an outdoor nature girl – and so we broke up after 3 years.

We were always happy to see each other through our 2 shared friends at their events in the early years, but were totally out of touch with him for these past 15 years.

This week I learned that he died at 58 years old. I’m not sure exactly what happened, but he didn’t wake up — they think a heart attack or aneurysm. Scary stuff!

Sudden death news is brutal. No prep – no process – just dead. It sucks. I’ve had my share of that kind of death. My Dad, my first husband, my grandfather — all sudden. And now, this week, I learned about my old boyfriend.

I had no idea I would be mourning an old boyfriend the same week in May that I mourn my first husband. Go figure, oh curve ball of destiny!

When I shared this awful news with two girlfriends on a walk this weekend – the silver lining was the retelling of some highlights of my time with Glen. He will always hold the 21 to 23 year old space in my lifeline. And although I will never see him again real time, he’s got a permanent place in my heart’s memory.

My friend Meg shared the best quote ever about old boyfriends and love on that walk as she retold one of her great old boyfriend stories in commiseration….

“I can always stop loving you…but I can never stop loving the time I loved you. “

Since I got the news my memory bank unleashed, and the flow has been unstoppable. Memory is the gift that keeps on giving – and it puts a smile on my face when I think of how we don’t really have to ever say goodbye.

 

 

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