I spoke to one of my stepfather's daughters, and she's on board about getting some extra help and support in. But it looks like I'll be the one finding the extra help and support. We went out to eat with her on Sunday, and I could see the pain in her eyes. She hates seeing her dad like this, and I don't blame her. He used to be such an active man, hunting, fishing, snow mobiling. Always busy. Loads of friends. Not any more.
To take my mind off this depressing scenario, I've been thinking about my first love. He lives in this small town, though I haven't seen him in 10 years or more. We had a summer of love more than 30 years ago. I remember his smell and his taste. His weather-beaten skin. His piercing blue eyes. He was so gentle with me.
He is a high school teacher and farmer now, like his dad, and has three kids. He's been married a long time, though I heard the marriage was in trouble.
I've been thinking what if. But what if would never have happened. The mothers wouldn't have been too happy. And this town could never contain my hopes and dreams. I could never have been the wife he has ended up with.
I usually only give him a fleeting thought when I'm here. Too busy with my family. But I have a bit of time while the old folks snooze to think. I won't seek him out. He is in his 50s now. I want to remember him as the tanned and muscled youth who turned my head. As each pickup truck passes me on my daily run, though, I wonder if he is inside. What does he think of me, if anything? Was the love affair as significant for him as it was for me? Even if it wasn't, I will always think of him fondly. He made my first sexual experience something to remember as pleasant and meaningful. I regret being so young, but not having it with him.
Back to reality. There are episodes of Mash to watch at full volume. Loads of laundry to wash. Dishes to be put away. Dog to be fed. Parents to be reassured. They would like me here permanently, but I can't be. I have a life and a family far away. Tomorrow is the colonoscopy. My mother is already worrying. What if she has a heart attack? What if she has to stay the night in the hospital? What if, what if. At least I will be with her.