Lora H.’s Story of Hope
Written by: Lora H.
Thought I'd tell Jonny and my story. Hopefully it may help someone who is having difficulties in a relationship, marriage or whatever. I hope it’s helpful!
Everyone has one, and we usually look upon them with fond memories the entirety of our lives. I'm talking about a first love. Though the story books would have you believe that love ends in "happily ever after", most of us know that that is not always the case. I'd like to share a story of one such love; one that for 36 yrs I thought would end WITHOUT the happily ever after.
The year was 1976, the end of November to be exact. A very insecure young lady anxiously awaits the arrival of her stepmother, who will transport her and her younger brother to their first day of Sunday School in the small town where her father and stepmother live. The young lady knows NO ONE beyond family in this little town and being at that awkward age of 12 isn't confident that she'll be able to make friends in this new setting. Eventually, her step-mother arrives and the three of them head for the church. Upon arriving at the church, the step-mother insists on taking each of the children to their respective classrooms. They first deliver the brother to his classroom, before heading downstairs, where both the girl and step-mother's classrooms are located. Reaching the girl's class first, the girl makes one final attempt to convince the step-mother that she doesn't need to follow her into the class, a plea that fails.
Embarrassed beyond all reason, the young girl steps into the class. As the threesome was running late, the class has already started, thus when the girl first walks in, the entire class turns to see who the newcomer is. The young girl, wishing the floor would simply open up and swallow her looks at the floor as if expecting it to happen. The next thing she hears is a voice from the circle that is the class as "I suppose you have something for the offering, don't you?" The girls looks up, meeting the eyes of the most breathtaking young man she's ever seen. She stands transfixed for what seems like forever, before the step-mother pops her head in the door checking to be certain everything is as it should be and that the girl is in the right place.
Released from her stupor, the young girl, realizes that the teacher is indicating that she should have a seat next to him in the only open chair. Once the typical "round the group" self introductions, the class resumes. During the course of the class, the girl keeps feeling as if someone is watching her. Each time she summons the courage to look up, she seems to catch the breath taking you man quickly looking away. Finally, the class concludes, and as she walks out the door, the breath taking young man, walking directly behind her, asks if she'll be staying for church. Answering in the negative, she quickly escapes out the door to retrieve her younger brother. After collecting him from his class, they return to the downstairs classrooms to wait for the step-mother.
That afternoon, the girl is so distraught over the events of the morning, that she does something completely out of character, she offers to help the step-mother clean up after lunch. As the girl and the step-mom work together in the kitchen, the girl relates the events of the morning, hoping that the step-mother can give her advice about how to get a hold of her racing emotions. Before the step-mother can respond, the phone rings. The step-mother answers, speaks briefly with the caller, eventually saying, "Yes, she's here." This statement sends the girl into a tailspin, as she is the only other "she" in the house, and since she only spent 1 day a week with her father, she NEVER gave her friends his telephone number. The girl first thinks maybe something has happened to her mom, so when she sees the step-mother holding the phone out to her with a goofy grin on her face, the girl is very confused. Reluctantly, the girl takes the phone, hesitantly saying "hello". She instantly knows the voice on the other end; it belongs to the breath taking young man! Yes, as it turned out, his parents had gone to school with her parents, and it being a small town, it didn't take too much to look up her dad's number. Thus began an odyssey that has taken 36 yrs to fulfill.
Yes, folks, I was that insecure young girl, and the breath-taking young man, was my GP'er, Jonny! We "went together" for about 6 months that first time, but being in two different school districts, not having common friends and our tender ages (12 and 13) the inevitable happened and we eventually drifted apart. Over the intervening years we again dated on and off, eventually married others, dated again when we were both divorced the first time, again going our separate ways, each of us venturing into second marriages, doing our best to make those marriages work, but ultimately failing. During those last marriages, we'd lost track of each other, and hadn't had any contact with each other in over 15 yrs, when about 2 yrs ago, I dreamt of Jonny, so vividly that I couldn't shake the feeling that something was terribly, terribly wrong with him.
Despite having made multiple attempts over the years to find him via the internet with no luck, I again did a search for him on MySpace and Facebook, and again failed to find him. Several days later, when talking with a friend that I consider an "adopted" sister, I suddenly saw his name appear in the "people you might know" section. It never occurred to me that she had gone to the same school with him, that she would know him too! After much thought and consideration (and at least 5 re-writes) I sent him a PM - the last time we'd separated, the circumstances weren't the best, and I wasn't certain of my reception from him. For a week, I stressed, not knowing whether he'd respond and if he did, what his response would be.
Finally on day 8, I opened my FB to find a reply! Though surprised by my message, he was thrilled to have reconnected. It was then that I learned of his situation - diagnosed with GP, suffering from ITP after being treated for cancer, his 2nd marriage on the rocks, unable to work any longer due to the GP and ITP and seriously depressed. I too was in a marriage that had been dead for the past 5 years, had a herniated disk in my back, fibromyalgia, high cholesterol and a long term battle with bi-polar. Our only saving grace was that we both (Jonny and I) are Christians, and as such we were both committed to doing everything we could to make our marriages work. For 10 months, we corresponded via FB as strictly friends.
Last year his wife walked out, filed for divorce and left him homeless and devastated. I was still struggling with waiting for God's direction in regard to my failing marriage. My back had gotten to the point that surgery was necessary to try to relieve the pain. My then husband was NOT for my having surgery and did everything within his power to keep me from having it. When I did end up having it, he dropped me off at the hospital and aside from calling me incessantly, he NEVER stepped foot into the hospital. In fact the next day, as I was awaiting release, he called me 30 times in 2 hours, getting increasingly angry with me, because I hadn't been released yet!!! He even argued with my doctor over the phone over the fact that the doctor refused to allow me to ride for 3 hours in a car back to where we were staying at the time. He dropped me at my sister in laws house, telling me as he left "Don't be a pain in the ass!" When even my sister in law (his sister) was telling me that I should get the heck out, I knew I needed to do something.
I left 3 weeks later - as soon as I could safely travel. Jonny and I continued to correspond with one another, growing closer as we helped each other navigate the ups and downs of processing a divorce. Several months after my separation, I gathered the courage to tell Jonny how I'd always felt about him. I did this via an e-mail, and in my anxious state over his possible response, I COMPLETELY forgot the fact that I could access my e-mail on my phone! LOL! I was away from my computer for the greater part of that day and was going nuts wanting to know what, if any response there may be!! I FINALLY managed to get online again around 10 pm that night, and to my utter shock and happiness, I learned that he too had always had strong feelings for me, but had also thought he'd blown his shot with me!!! From there, things happened rather quickly. Jonny was becoming dangerously depressed because of all the factors of divorce, GP, not knowing what was going to happen, having no income, etc. So I finally convinced him to let me come out to him to help take care of him. I arrived here in mid July, thinking I was coming out for only a month or so. (He had surgery scheduled and that was the deciding factor for my coming as he'd need someone with him 24/7 for a week or so.) It didn't take us long to realize what GOD knew all along, that we were meant to be together!!!
We have some obstacles to get over first, but with God's help, we'll be married in the near future. Like I tell Jonny all the time, God knows what's best for all of us, but sometimes we're either to dumb, hard-headed, or just plain obvious to see HIS plan; that's why we go thru a lot of the turmoil that we experience in life. God is also in control of everything that happens to us, and while I can't say that I understand why He's chosen some of us to suffer the way those with GP do, I do know that there is a reason, and that HE is with each and every one of you as you live day to day!!
I tell you all of this to encourage each of you that reads this to keep on, keeping on! Despite all the years, all the heartaches, all the hurt that gaining and losing Jonny caused over this time, I ALWAYS held onto HOPE that one day...one day we'd get our chance to be together. While I wish we'd gotten smart sooner, I awake each day thankful that God has given me this time to be with and enjoy time with Jonny! We are that extremely rare, often never found, the "other half", WE ARE TRUE SOULMATES!