Dear Rose

byHenryDavidThoreau©

This is a (hypothetical) letter, in response to the Letter "Dear Alex", by "simply_cyn".

Simply_Cyn did not provide the name of the "writer," so I made it up. We know the other person's name was "Alex;" and we know the sender of the Letter wanted to see if, after some 5 and a half years (after she had transgressed against him and violated their commitment to one another), "Alex" was still nurturing feelings, hopes, and other romantic thoughts about her or for her.

I didn't think THAT would be a healthy thing, if by "healthy" we mean, generally speaking, as grown ups, we make mistakes but learn from them and move on quickly, always looking toward the future, the horizons, and NOT looking backward and wishing what could have or might have, been, etc.


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Dear Rose,

Thank you for writing. It's been five and a half years, yes. Time does fly, sometimes, doesn't it?

Not unlike you, I, too --- once in a while, even if just for a fleeting moment --- would let my mind wonder.

Lots of memories, yes.

Remember those days we used to go and hang out near those majestic cliffs by Torrey Pines Beach, watching hand-gliders soaring overhead?

Or watching a beautiful sun set?

Remember that one time when there was a school of dolphins swimming from Baja California, passing through San Diego, going north because the weather was warm enough in the spring months for them to swim north again?

I still remember as clearly as it was yesterday, althought almost 6 years have gone by, five since we've split up.

We didn't talk, but simply watched those beautiful mammals swimming by, having fun together. You turned to me, against a magenta sun-set, smiled in your usual perfect smile, touched my face with your beautiful, long fingers, and said:

"Like those dolphins and fish and what seemed to have been written in their genes about finding directions or spawning places... you are always my compass, Alex. No matter what happens, knowing that you are mine, that you'd stand behind me always, brings so much comfort and stability to my life... you are my life... I'm so lucky to have you. I will always love you and will never hurt you, because by hurting you I will be hurting myself..."

And then, touching your face gently, too, I said the same thing, professing my eternal love.

Perhaps we're too young, Rose. Perhaps we're too naive. Perhaps we're not able to see around the corner. I don't know, Rose. All I knew was, I had loved you deeply and completely. I thought I was going to die, that I could no longer be a complete human being, when you went away.

For almost a whole year, I would go back to those same spots we used to go and sit and watch the beautiful La Jolla-Torrey Pines sun-sets. I missed you so much, I hurt so much, sometimes I thought it'd be better if I simply walk pass those unstable cliffs....

Thank God reason prevailed.

As more months passed, and the realization that you had truly gone away from my life, for whatever reasons (and I'm sure you went away because I'd done something wrong, because I didn't love you enough, or because you'd found someone else whom you loved more), that I would likely never get to hold you again, I began to take stock of my life. It wasn't until another six months had elapsed that I started going out again.

By then, almost two years had gone by since you had left. I didn't believe that I would ever again love someone as much as I had loved you. I guess because I didn't want to get hurt like that again, it being so deeply painful.

And then Kathy came along.

Neither Kathy nor I was looking seriously for a relationship. Indeed, unlike you and I when we first met, I don't think Kathy even liked me when we first met. By then, as you might have heard, I was starting to work at Scripps Oceanography Institute as a fellow; you had come there with me a few times when we're dating.

Kathy was another fellow researcher, a year ahead of me. To say she's highly intelligent is not necessary; she's one year younger than I but she's ahead ahead of me in her dissertation.

Anyway, Kathy and I would occasionally work together on the issue of toxicity in jelly fish, some of which are found right there by the beach.

One day, out of the blue, Kathy asked me out.

I had thought she didn't like me. (I didn't find out until later, after she and I had gotten married, that she was as crazy about me as I was about her, but recent relationships made her more cautious when it came to men.)

We dated for almost two years before we decided we wanted to marry and build a life together.

By then she's finished with her dissertation, and I was also about to finish mine, too....

Anyway, I don't know how you might take this, but, Rose, I never stopped missing or loving you. You were the first person I had loved as an adult. It was not puppy love; it was a young adult love, an adult love. Even after all these years, somewhere in the deepest recesses of my mind, I guess I still go on loving and missing you. You took a part of me with you, when you went away from my life.

Perhaps I shall always miss and love you, or at least miss and love those good memories we created together, for those three fleeting years we were together.

And I'm not sure how you'd take this next confession, either. But I thought since I've been doing a bit of a confession here, I might as well not leave any thing out...

Kathy brought more love, excitement, and stability to my life than I ever thought possible. Strange as it might sound to you, I think you'd like her, if you knew her. She's not only my love and my life, but also the mother of my little beautiful daughter. You and I talked about each being the other's guiding compass years ago: I didn't truly know what it really meant until I met Kathy.

My life has meaning only because of Kathy and our little girl. For the past three and a half years, I wake up every morning thanking God that he made it possible for Kathy to come into my life, that I become a small part of her's.

And then we thank God, together, that he thought it fitting to give us a beautiful, precious little girl. She is truly our lives.

Anyway, sorry, it is a long response, Rose. I went on and on, partly because I'm so happy with my life these days, the past three and a half years. I hope you're happy for me, too.

I hope you the best. Cherish those memories you and I created together, however briefly. If you want. For me they were fond memories.

But as memories, they will stay...Never to be revisited.

Although I'm not religious or superstitious, I like this one saying quite a bit, because it is so fitting in our situation:

You and I were not meant to be together, despite the deep love we thought we felt for one another so many years ago. We didn't know it then; but we know it now...

The pains and sorrows we felt --- at least those I felt --- were meant to be some of life's most important lessons. They are lifes best teachers.

There's always a purpose to everything we do, as to who we are, even if we sometimes don't know it at a certain juncture of our lives. Sometimes we get distracted and/or delayed from going where our true destiny lies... But we do get to go there eventually, depending how good we are in learning life's unbending but invaluable lessons (i.e., not making the same or similar mistakes again and again).

The good times you and I had, Rose... let them stay simple, pure, and memorable.

However fleeting it was that we were together, I was profoundly happy to have known you, to have loved you. And, you're correct, I had loved you very very deeply. It was a love that was very pure, for me...

But I have moved on (as you probably know from your friends; and if they've said something else to you, now, you know my life completely, from me), and have built a life with someone very, very special to me.

Again, Kathy means more to me than my own life...

Every time I look at Kathy, every time I look at Kathy, I know what I've been looking for all my life. Her eyes... I never get tired of looking into her beautiful grey eyes ... it's like they hold all of the kindness as well as knowledge of the cosmos in her big, beautiful grey eyes!

I must be the luckiest man in all of the history of mankind!

And her simple smiles! Before knowing her, I didn't think it was possible for a human being to have such pure and uplifting smiles! Every smile she smiles is a treasure for me!

Love is never used up, I now realize. Nor are memories, whether they are happy or painful memories, to keep us locked up in some past that could never be retrieved, that is never meant to be retrieved...

You are a tremendous person, Rose, as I said, and I shall always remember you fondly. I know you will, someday, find a person who will not only share your thoughts, beliefs, and activities but who will also fulfill your needs, yearnings, and dreams... someone whose every smile has the power to transport you to another dimension, where only your "soul could reach, when feelings out of sight," as Elizabeth Barrett Browning would have said!

Kathy and I and our family wish you and your family and loved ones all the best and, again, thank you for your letter.

Best of Wishes,

Alex and Kathy

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