I know it’s hard to believe, but once upon a time I had a cute girlfriend who loved me unconditionally. I was but 19 years old and in college when I began dating Jane. In retrospect, I probably should have married her. Certainly, I wasn’t gonna do any better. But that’s all water under the bridge now. If I ever thought “Maybe I should look Jane up and see how she’s doing. We should hang out”…I can forget that now.
For what reason I can’t recall, just this past Friday, I decided to Google an old college roommate. Arnie has a very common name but I knew if I placed “MD” after that name I might find him. And sure enough, there was Arnie, a colitis and Chrone’s disease specialist, working at a hospital in Washington State – and still married with 4 children. In fact, I went to the wedding!
Dialing back in time 45 years, I also recalled sharing a room with my senior year apartment mate on the wedding weekend – and how Mark and I had sex with our respective girlfriends in the same room with but a few feet separating the two beds. Such was familiarity in those college days.
My partner was Jane on that occasion and naturally, I Googled her next to see what I could find. And what I found was an obituary! Jane H., born just one day before me, had died of cancer in January of this very year! It wasn’t a fun moment. Nor was reading the obit. There was no mention of surviving spouses or offspring. I knew that at age 40 (the last time I saw her), Jane had not yet married. Clearly, she never did.
Somehow, the obit seemed stark and empty what with no mention of family. Only that she was a devoted mental health counselor and loved her 4 Italian Greyhounds. And to think I could have changed all that. And how she wasn’t just one of my favorite old girlfriends – but my favorite old friends as well! Who knows? Maybe we’ll get to reunite in the hereafter. Not likely. I’ll just have to live with the memories and wish that I’d spoken with her before she died so I could have told Jane what a significant part she played in my life. And now it’s too late – and too bad.