A dear friend wrote in her blog about old cards and letters. I started thinking about the box I had that belonged to my mother and got them out again and looked through them. I found a photograph from long ago that I had missed the other time I went through them. It was of my father's best friend and my first love.
This started my memories flowing back to the time when I was in my late teens and, as young girls are likely to do, had a crush on this man. By most standards he would not have been considered good looking and I suppose the best word for him was just plain nice. A deep friendship developed between us. As he was divorced I naturally hoped to marry him when I was old enough. He did not encourage me to feel this way and in fact discouraged it, but it was there nevertheless. At one point we did consider marriage but he decided that it wouldn't work as he was so much older. So we parted as friends.
I went to work for the same railroad that my father and this man worked for and for 14 years I was in the same office with him. He was the boss in that office. He remarried and we still remained friends. When my circumstances changed I moved back to my home state and we kept in touch by letter and an occasional phone call. When he retired he and his wife moved to the Gulf Coast to a retirement village. We still kept in touch.
Once Aubrey and I went to see them but by then they had both been moved to a nursing facility. She had Alzheimer's but he was as alert as always. He asked me if I was happy and I told him I was. He said "All I ever wanted was for you to be happy".
After his retirement and move to the retirement village I always sent roses on his birthday. One day his wife's cousin called me and told me not to send them that year as he wouldn't know they were there. Shortly thereafter she called and said he had passed away. So the roses went to the funeral instead.
I have wondered through the years if I had gone on and sent them to him if somewhere in his mind he might not have known that someone still cared about him. His wife had passed away several years before and he had no family left.
I feel that no matter who you love, even if you love them more, you never seem to really forget your first love.
So my dear old friend, these roses are for you with fond memories.