Sunday, February 14, 2010
Ponsa ponsa time, way back before cell phones, CDs and IPods (1984, to be precise), a very nice man (Jim...can you guess?) directed a play at Sam Bass Theatre. A terrified would-be actress (me) showed up to audition. Much to my amazement, I was cast. I was cast as a rather terrified character, but still.
Friendship ensued. And ensued, and ensued...for quite a few years. Through a divorce each and several other relationships. Through his asking me to help clean up his house when he was about to sell it. Through my asking him to fix my front door when someone kicked it in.
We went out a few times, back in the early 90s, but as friends (in spite of my efforts to trip him and beat him to the floor). It wasn't until near the end of that decade that romance superseded friendship, and the whole "Jim and Ronni" thing began to rock. And rock it certainly did.
We had a lovely wedding, on Marriage Island, right in the middle of the San Antonio River Walk. Small and simple; designed for the least possible amount of stress. I had never felt anything so right. There I was, standing in front of a JP with the man I had loved (not so secretly) for so many years, promising to love, honour and cherish through bad times and good. And hearing him do the same. And believing him.
There were good times for quite a while, until his mother died. I think that, in some way, he lost his focus when he lost Addy. She kept him grounded, and I couldn't fill her shoes. I had my own shoes to fill.
I have to think that the age-old wedding vows meant something different to him than they did to me. Or maybe I just don't understand depression. Whatever depression is, he had it and I didn't know.
Then came that awful night when he walked out the front door with a gun and shot himself, leaving my seventeen-year-old son and me to find him and watch him bleed in the front yard. Because he killed his brain, but his body struggled on for long enough to allow the ambulance to take him to the ER and work on him to try and keep him a living vegetable. Eventually, they gave me the option to tell them to stop and let him go.
So, that's why I no longer believe in "romance." Because the one time in my life that it was so right, it all went so very wrong. All the hearts, flowers, diamonds and chocolate can't make up for that.