Posted in the Delhi Forum
#1 Aug 11, 2007
I came from Cherry Valley to attend college in Delhi. I tipped my hat to her one day as she went by in a car. We met. In time I called her "Angel".
No-one before was called that. No-one since.
It was the summer of 1966.
I was entering what may have been the best year of my life, with "Angel" being a major part.
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#2 Aug 15, 2007
In all the years since, a month doesn't go by
that I don't think of her. More often, more.
Much more. What I lost by my foolishness.
What might have been if only....The summer of
67 I gave her "Sealed with a Kiss" by Brian
Hyland on a 45. Us oldsters know that a 45
wasn't a gun back then. Today, I can't hear
that song without a heavy heart. It's like a
hymn to me now. I have paid many times over
for my stupidity, my false pride and thinking I was so grown up when all I was, was a lost
boy. To be continued, as I feel a need to
purge my guilt and sorrow as I approach my
#3 Aug 20, 2007
In the Fall of 67 while at college in Delhi I
caught pneumonia and was sent home to recover.
While there I unknowingly at the time jumped into
what would become a 5 year nightmare. I met a
woman 12 years my senior who was oh so kind, but
so sadly, "dying" of leukemia. And only I could
make her last year happy. Oh how she appealed
to my vanity, my vast wordly wisdom and maturity.
I left college to do my good deed. We married.
A few months later, A MIRACLE, she spontaneously
got better! In the winter of 69 I had an
opportunity to re-connect with Angel. I don't
remember how it came about. By then I was so
deep into the blackest days of my life that
memories are sketchy and confused because of
all the lies and manipulation. But my "wife"
said she wanted Angel and I to get together, to
get her out of my system. But then she played
my buttons as skillfully as always. First the
"guilt" card, that I was less than thrilled that
she didn't die as scheduled. Then the marriage
card. Hadn't I been brought up to believe for
better or worse? Etc etc. The meeting didn't
take place. My last chance was lost. And I
would become even more lost as she manuvered
me away from friends and family. Perhaps I
will return to talk more about those black
years in the future. But right now I want to jump
ahead to 1973 when I finally began to see through
the lies and ultimately told her one day that
I didn't care who, but one of us would leave
the home the next day. When I got home from
work, she was gone. Divorce was actually easy.
I began to get mail from family, friends, and
bill collectors that had been prevously censored.
On the court date she was a no-show. I was
told that there were several warrants out for her arrest for fraud. There were rumors she was out of the country. I didn't care. While the nightmare was over, it would haunt me for years
as I learned more and more about just how big a fool I had been. And I would react to this new
found wisdom in ways I now am far from proud of.
I thought about Angel a lot in the mid 70s.
Perhaps the best thing I did in my life back then was not to try and find her. I thought, and
really hoped, that she had found someone. That
she was happy. My finding her would accomplish
nothing but perhaps more pain for each of us.
So I very consciously fought off the temptation
to try and re-find that which I had so carelessly
and foolishly pushed aside in 1967.
TO BE CONTINUED
#4 Aug 21, 2007
I thought I transmitted this once, but must have done something wrong. So here goes again.
In 1977 I married a woman 5 years younger than I,
and 14 months later we had a terrific son who
would become the focal point of both our lives.
However, shortly after we married we discovered
she SUFFERED from severe schizophrenia. While
mental illness was better understood in the late
70s and early 80s, it had not yet reached the
level of care and understanding that was to come.
In the mid 80s we divorced, but a very unusual
divorce it was to become. We lived a few blocks
apart and our son pretty much split his days
and nights between the homes.[She now lived
with her mother]. Whenever possible, we went
to school and sporting events together. The 3
of us went on picnics, to the movies, to restaurants, together. After my mother passed
she and her family made sure I was never alone on a holiday, having me join them at whatever home they were at. There were people in the town I
learned some years later, who did not know our history and thought we were cousins, so often
were we all together. In the mid 90s our son
felt it was time to seek independence and I
moved south, where I re-married [I know,#3,
though I really don't count #1], 10 years after
the divorce. My ex-wife and I however remained
in touch, by mail and phone. One summer my wife
and I vacationed up north. My ex-wife and her
mother had us over for dinner. Our son on
another night took mom, nanny, dad and wife, out to a fancy restaurant. About 20 years after the
divorce, in a very cruel, nauseating, ironic
twist of fate, my ex-wife became terminally ill
with leukemia.[sound familar, "wife#1"]. Our son flew up from the southern state where he now lived to be with her, and called us to join him
when the end approached. We immediately flew up.
Shortly after arrival, a family conferance was called to decide on removing the ventilator.
None of us will ever forget my wife taking the
hand of my ex-wife and saying "you all go ahead.
I'll stay with her so she won't be alone". My
eyes still mist with that memory. These were two
very special and unique women! Shortly after,
the ventilator and breathing tube were removed.
We stood around the bed touching her, talking to her, as she passed to a place without suffering.
Our "broken home" was not broken, and our son
has said on numerous occassions that despite
the problems we all endured with the chronic illness, he felt we were all closer than many
families that remained together. The divorce
was truely "no fault", neither blaming the
other and remaining devoted to each other and
united for our son. We are grateful that she
lived long enough to see him begin his march
to success with his home business.
A RETURN TO DELHI IN MID-80s
#5 Aug 26, 2007
SPRING/SUMMER FALL 67
It is natural for us to want others to see us in
a special light, and even more important for us to want to see ourselves in that light. In HS I
was a nobody. A social outcast. Passing grades
only by my teeth. Accepting companionship
wherever/however I could find it. Then, in my
senior year, 2 teachers took me under their wings
and inspired me. The Dean of Admissions at Delhi
told me that it was ONLY because of their recommendations and the recommendation of our family social worker that the College was accepting me, but that I probably would't survive
the first term. WRONG! Academically I soared to
the top 5 or so in my Major. From no HS activities I became very active and involved in campus activities. From a HS nobody I became a
"who's who" on campus. And Angel was with me
from the beginning. We met when she was a HS
Delhi student and I was just getting settled in
my new life at college. She accepted me as I was,
and saw me as I could be. And she watched me
change, become hung up on my own perceived importance. She tried to bring me back to earth,
back to myself. But I was too wise to see beyond
my growing wisdom. In short, Angel was far more
mature and wise than I. I was rapidly preparing
myself for the woman I would meet that Fall and
who had the skill to recognize my blindness and
foolishness and knew how to play me like a well
tuned, by her, piano.
I called no one Angel before her. I have called
no one since Angel. That pet name of affection
was well earned and deserved by Diane. And so
it has been a small conscious tribute to her
memory that I have called no-one since "Angel".
40 years have passed. So many downs, with some ups. But if I could get into a time machine,
and if i could remember what I know now, I would
try hard to be what you saw. I would have been
a better person. I would have been a happier
person. I would have devoted myself to you.
I know I didn't write about the mid 80s return
to Delhi, but I will. But I had to get this
part told, not as an excuse but as a partial
explanation of "why". While I do believe I still
have some time, 2 mild heart attacks and 3 stents with a severly blocked inaccessable coronary
artery, operation and treatment for cancer,
etc, causes me to become a little anxious as I
strive to purge my soul, even if it is never
seen by people who count.
#6 Aug 29, 2007
In the mid-late 80s my life was yet once again
falling apart. While my "new" ex-wife and I
were building a solid relationship for the sake
of our son [and ourselves], I was none-the-less
in a tail spin. This was further complicated by
the passing of my mother in 1985. Through the
years we had become friends, close friends, and
thus her passing made it doubly difficult.
The marriage probably came to an end at this
time, though we were still together. When my
mother passed my wife was in one of her psychotic
breaks. While not yet back in the hospital,
she was too unstable for me to bring her with me.
Within my mind I was able to understand and
even accept that when I needed my wife the most,
I was alone. Within my heart, when I buried my
mother without my wife there by my side, I
buried the marriage. That was not the plan.
But the wounds of those days never healed, and
about 7 months later, almost by accident, during
another psychotic episode, we seperated and
divorce procedings were begun.
A N Y W A Y.
So sometime in the 86-88 period I think,
I drove the 5 or 6 hours to Delhi. I drove
around the streets we used to walk, hand in hand.
To the stores we once went into together. I
drove by her old home. I'll never forget the
feelings of both hope and dread that I would
see Angel one more time. And if I did, would
I try to talk with her? I drove to a motel
in Oneonta where I spent the night fighting
with myself. Should I go back and play detective?
In the end, I decided as I did in the 70s. That
to re-connect, under any circumstance, held the
potential for more harm than good. Leaving,
I didn't even drive back through Delhi. And
that was the last time I was there. But obviously
20 years later, in some ways what feels like
several life-times later, Angel remains very
much a part of my life, if only hidden away
in my mind.
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