Stepping All Over a Kindness . . .
After four decades passed since I last saw an old flame, out of the blue he contacted me via the internet through my website. It was wonderful to hear that he had wondered all these years about me, and had been searching regularly to see if I could be found. And his first e-mail started with an apology for how he had treated me the last time we were together.
If that were not sweet and tender enough, he also shared with me am incredible act of kindness he had been anonymously performing over the years toward my family.
That e-mail brought immediate healing to my heart and happy tears streamed down my cheeks while reading it. We began to correspond ... not toward a reunion, but out of honest interest about our old friendship and our lives since then.
But I could not leave well enough alone and began to ask about the time, 40 years ago, when I was cut out of the picture and replaced with someone he now told me was a huge mistake he has chosen to put out of his memory.
Stupidly and immaturely unsatisfied with the information he did share with me, which he had no obligation and little desire to share, I began to use my investigation skills to research what had happened all those years ago.
While he had declared that he had escaped that relationship gladly and completely within a short period of time, I discovered that he had in fact married, divorced and remarried and re-divorced her again. I guess I was just too curious about what led him to do that, when now he was telling me that I was the girl he remembered most from that time in our lives.
At that point I should have been satisfied, even ecstatic ... but no, I had to "push." Such a stupid and sophomoric thing to do with this rekindled and very sweet friendship!
My last correspondence from him was a curt good-bye, worded in such a way as to be polite, even in the face of my stupid inquisition. And now I feel the need to apologize for taking what had been offered as only a sweet and tender closure and friendship, and tainting it with old jealousies and fears. Why did I feel the need to do that, and why couldn't I, at my mature age, not leave well enough alone?
They were not my memories to inquire about or ask to be retold, and he had been clear those memories were not open to discussion from the beginning. So now, with the broken past nicely repaired by his kindness, I have re-fractured it with my stupidity.
Can I repair this with an apology? I hope so, as I am working right now to pen a brief and conciliatory note to send to him, as I am sure he will likely never again read another e-mail. All I wish to do is say I am sorry that I stupidly stomped all over his kindness and ask for forgiveness.
It breaks my heart that I have left him with bad feelings where only good and kind feelings had brought us together again after all these years.