I was 20, and just had moved back home after a disastrous 1 and a half semesters at Utah State University. I thought I was moving in my final direction in life, but in retrospect I was just trying on another personality- one of several I would eventually discard in favor of truth.
Iris was my very best friend. We had been through junior high hell, young women camps, puberty, boys, girls, homework, principal’s office, you name it. We even lived together at USU. When we came home, tails between our legs, I needed to take a step away from that life, and that included her.
She had been my constant since 8th grade so I was frightened. But I had to break the cycle. No more dance clubs, no more random guys, no more Hostess snoballs and Dr. Pepper. But what did I have?
Well, my brother. His friends had never had much patience for me. I was hyper, flirty, kinda stupid, and a poser to the nth degree. Regardless, he still invited me to go see David Sanborn at the Arts Festival. It was held at Triad back then- before Gateway was even a concept.
Warm night, short shorts (gotta make the most of those legs) and optimism.
Jeff was there. I had known him since Jr. High- he was a year older- and he was a musician. He had just returned from his mission and was finding his legs in the real world. There was instant chemistry.
It was early December when I realized that chemistry wasn’t enough to build a marriage on and we broke up. But not before he had a tremendous impact on me.
I had never met someone who was so honest and true to himself. He knew who he was and what he wanted. He wanted me, but not as much as he wanted to make music. It was because of his honesty that I could believe him when he told me how great I was. When he was holding me and had an urge to play something on the piano, he would break away and sink into his music- with no mind to anything else.
After we broke up I wrote him a poem. I wrote a lot of poetry back then. (I thought it was incredible poetry, but it is now embarrasing to read- isn’t that how it always is?) It was a pretty good poem, actually, which I hope conveyed to him the way he dusted me off and helped me see the positive path that lay ahead of me. It was because of him that I was “ready” when Husband and I met.
I got an email from Jeff today. He put my poem to music and recorded it in his home studio. (He was sure to add that his wife really liked it and thought he should share it with me. Yay Mrs. Jeff! I’m all about keeping things above water.)
Jeff isn’t the best musician around. His style is rather meandering, and leans heavily on folky riffs and impromptu melodies. BUT- he is talented.
My apprehension in listening to his rendition of my words was unfounded, and my heart just melted in listening. I cried because of the beauty of the purity of my words. I cried that someone would do something so tender and wonderful with something I created. I cried at the memory of the young, innocent love that we shared.
I love being just a little bit further down the road and able to see what the steps I’ve taken have built. I love being able to look at that relationship and not feel guilty that I still have a memory of loving someone. Each relationship I have had has built me up in some way, has made my ability to love greater.
My heart is swelling with gratitude for Jeff and the time we had together. It wasn’t meant to last forever, but it lasted as long as it should have. I am so glad I had the privilege of sharing with him.
(on second thought, I’m going to forego linking to the song. If, for some unknown reason, Jeff decided to google his link, my blog post would pop up. We don’t want that happening now, do we. But, if you can’t sleep at night without hearing it, I would be happy to email it to you. Now don’t all email me at once!!!)
(actually, now that it has been posted, the link to this page is set in cyber-stone. hmpf. so, here it is. Jeff- if you’re reading this, call me! I’ve got some explaining to do! Http://files.me.com/guffman204/kl0on5.mp3