The author experienced a 16-year marriage and has looked over memories from that marriage from many angles. She shares what she learned.
Back row (left to right): son-in-law Joe Jeannin and husband James Flint. Front row (left to right): elder daughter Christa Jeannin holding granddaughter Reagan, myself, younger daughter Ashley Flint, and friend Wanda. Front (center): grandson Aaron Jeannin.
Monday, September 28, 2020
My dear James,
You once stated you couldn't remember anything about what we did together during our marriage. You have trouble remembering the date of our marriage, and you have difficulty fulfilling the one request I have made of you over and over again over the years, that is, to verbally express to me, "I love you!" The last card, a thoughtful memento, you sent postmarked September 4, 2020, was signed by you "J. P. Flint."
While it is true that the only real celebration of our marriage occurred August 23rd through the 27th of 1979 and never quite thereafter, I shall leave our downfalls buried and transformed out of the akashic records and celebrate those wonderful memories with you that I can recall.
Do you remember that day in San Francisco in the chambers of the Justice of the Peace? Eleven other couples were lined up with us at 12:00 noon before The Honorable Raymond D. Williamson, Jr. You couldn't get the ring over the knuckle of my left-hand, fourth finger, and I was teary-eyed while shivering like a leaf in a gusty breeze. Preceding the event was a desperate time in my life when I so much needed someone to whom I could give, and so I said, "I do."
We enjoyed a seafood dinner at Scoma's on Fisherman's Wharf. Our honeymoon movie was The Muppet Movie wherein Kermit the Frog sang "The Rainbow Connection."
What's so amazing that keeps us stargazing
And what do we think we might see?
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection
The lovers, the dreamers, and me
— Kermit the Frog referring to the Morning Star in Rainbow Connection Song
Do you remember our meals at The Hungry Mouth Restaurant or the Sunshine Café? The yogurt cream pie was our favorite at the first, and the soups and salads were outstanding at the second.
I loved listening to you while reading aloud A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin. When contented, you exuded a voice with such a soothing quality. I could listen to that unguent voice for hours while carefully ironing your shirts and pressing your slacks. We read all three volumes in that trilogy, didn't we?
Your mother and her friends had given us a cozy, unexpected wedding reception at your parents' home in Fullerton. You must still have that off-white comforter with the blue and brown leafy designs. I hope that comforter has kept you warm on cold nights.
Do you remember when I called you at work and announced that the pregnancy test was positive? I'll never forget your response, "That pretty much takes the sky off the roof." You had been designing housing for the Ely Indian Reservation.
Our move to Concord in the East Bay was an expedient one to herald the birth of our daughter Christa. Do you remember the midwives Susan and Virginia as they instructed you to cut the umbilical cord? We held that little one in our arms as if she were a love candle that would never extinguish. A part of our life together was balanced in that moment.
So much was centered around that first child--White Pony Meher School in Lafayette, our jobs, your never-ending Architectural Design Review Examination, the move to Fullerton, Christa's ballet training with Lois Ellyn, the eventual move to Torrance and Christa's synchronized swimming in Aquacade.
One Father's Day I had invited your dad and your sister Judy for a nice spread of fruit salad and snacks. I had rented A River Runs Through It starring Robert Redford, who finally caught that slippery trout by "thinking like a trout." That was a very special day for me because you verbally thanked me for giving you a nice day.
I'll let you on another precious little secret. When you came home with flyers to instruct the reporting of oil-polluting violators, I felt nourished and protected. As a woman of the elements, clean air was--and still is--a highly regarded treasure.
Do you remember our friends Bob and Mary? Their eldest daughter was Christa's friend in high school. We ate at that little Middle Eastern café and played "Amnesia" together. I shared some of the fresh produce from my garden with them; they especially enjoyed the lettuce.
We had pretty much had no thought for a second child, but when your mother passed to the higher plane, there seemed to be a void left in our family relationships. Lo and behold, a new soul came knocking for physical entry in late 1990. In spite of our many differences, we agreed on the name "Mathew Kendrick Flint" if the sentient being leaned toward an Alpha expression as a preference.
Instead, a girl arrived the morning of August 30, 1991, at Torrance Memorial Hospital. The guests at the alternative birthing center oohed and aahed when the name "Ashley" was read as a choice. (I guess "Maxine Inez" and "Randi Danelle" had to find an opportunity elsewhere.)
I shan't dwell on the gaps that occurred after 1996. What I will share, however, is that I have learned to become my own best friend.
If we are to follow the Golden Rule, we have to have a clear and correct understanding of "as you would have others do unto you." We are, after all, in the midst of eternity. As brief as life is, the precious little moments of peace, beauty, and contentment are what we store in ourselves first.
To make a relationship worthwhile and lasting, it has to be nourished at the level of the heart and shared. Disappointments have to be rectified in the flames of love and forgiveness.
I'll text you a shortened URL for this letter although I know you may never read it.
Auf Wiedersehen, Darling.
P.S. Aaron looks much like you must have as a little boy.
© 2020 Marie Flint
Marie Flint (author) from Jacksonville, FL USA on October 11, 2020:
My estranged soul actually read this article, people. Amazing! I know some of you have been praying for me, and it seems the prayers are working. We'll see what happens next.
Marie Flint (author) from Jacksonville, FL USA on September 28, 2020:
Dear faithful friends and readers,
No comments will be printed except for this notice. I will be reading them, however. I will also read any messages you wish to send through the "Contact Author" above. Thank you.
P.S. Should a miracle occur regarding this faded romance, I promise to add about any remarkable turnaround as a future comment.