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God the Matchmaker or How I Met My Husband 3
These are musings about my faith~~
Please note: This is my corner where I talk about my faith and things related. If you're not a person of faith, time to click to another web page. I'm pretty much a straight talker. These are some of my faith-stories I'm writing down as seen through the eyes of someone who loves Jesus Christ.
I fail Him every day, but I still endeavor to see everything with His eyes and His heart.
I was so very much in love with JC and falling deeper and deeper every day. Yet despite how well he treated me, despite the look in his eyes that seemed to say he was as taken with me as I was with him - something wasn't right. There was nothing I could put my finger on and since I had such low self-esteem, I was befuddled and confused, yet knew I loved this guy as I hadn't ever loved anyone before.
Homecoming weekend is a huge weekend at West Point. The entire weekend is filled with social events to include a formal dance and of course, the home football game. I was dying for JC to ask me officially to the weekend, expecting he would.
It was only two weeks before the big event and he still hadn't asked. I was worried. We were on yet another date in Grant Hall, sitting near one of the windows. He presented me with a big yellow teddy bear - and this night, JC looked uncomfortable. I asked him if anything was wrong and he told me that he couldn't ask me to Homecoming, although he really wished he could. I sat stock still in silence. My heart fell at my feet. He said he had already asked a home town former girlfriend from Florida and had asked her long before he met me. He apologized all over the place and hoped I'd understand.
I was confused, crestfallen and upset. I tried to be understanding, but I could't fake it. The rest of our date was flat and I went back to the dorm earlier than expected with him apologizing until I left.
Chris and I had remained in touch while I was dating JC, and I'm not clear as to how it all came about, but Chris found out JC wasn't taking me and asked if I wanted to go with him. I jumped at the chance.
Ladycliff College was so very tiny. My graduating class was 80 strong. Every single weekend if you didn't have a date with a cadet or at least went to one of the many social dances they held, you went home because if you stayed in the dorm, it would be you and the nuns. The dorm buildings would be absolutely empty otherwise. I dreaded the thought of not having a date. Even though I was a short 2 1/2 hour drive from home and I had my own beat up little orange Vega to drive - it would have depressed me to have been without a date and then to return to the dorm to hear about everyone's wonderful weekend at Homecoming.
So even though Chris wasn't JC, I was so grateful he asked and I had a date for the entire weekend. What I didn't realize was how hurt I'd be seeing JC with his date. It just didn't cross my mind we'd run into him when I enthusiastically said I’d go with Chris.
Somehow, it seemed everywhere we went, JC was there with his date. She was a very plain looking blond. As low as my self esteem was, I felt I was at least a little prettier than she was. It also appeared to me that he was not having a good time. He certainly looked miserable. I also noticed to my despair, every time I saw him, he acted as if I wasn’t there. He looked right through me or turned away.
I was devastated. I wondered why, if he wasn't interested in this plain-Jane – as he assured me he wasn’t—he didn't at least come over and say hi?
Chris was very sweet and understanding and did his best to cheer me up the entire weekend. I refused to even give a hint of being upset about JC outwardly, but Chris knew. Yet we danced and laughed and had a really nice time and by my actually acting as if I had a good time, I ended up having a terrific weekend.
JC called me in the middle of the day Monday explaining that Cindy (not her real name) was a childhood friend and was madly in love with him so that was why he didn't go over to me during the weekend. He told me how beautiful I looked and that he was tormented because seeing me with Chris made him jealous.
He had me eating out of his hand by the end of our 20 minute phone call. While that weekend should have alerted me to so many things, I stuffed it all and let my heart swell with this unbridled passion I felt for the guy. I was hopelessly, helplessly in love.
JC took leave and came home with me to meet my mother and grandmother some weekend later. That was when the Tyrone Powers comment came about. He charmed their socks off. I even visited a high school girlfriend at Skidmore College where she was attending on a full scholarship that same weekend. I was so proud of JC I wanted her to meet him. We all got together on the Skidmore Campus at a cafe' type of place and Nancy brought along a half dozen of her girlfriends. We sat around this huge round table and I was able to see how every single young woman at that table was captivated by JC. He was telling some story and I sat back just observing. They too saw something dynamic in him - I could see it in their eyes as they hung on his every word. Just the way I did. He was quite the charmer that guy! Yes indeed!
As JC and I drove back to West Point and Ladycliff that Sunday, the usual dread I felt leaving him began to rise in the pit of my stomach. He said he hated the weekend to end too. Then he said something that nearly made me drive off the road - he said he thought he was falling in love with me.
He took my breath away and I couldn't say anything. He knew how I felt. He had to see the adoration in my eyes every time I looked at him. When I was with him, time went so fast that hours melted into minutes. Time stood still in that moment though as I tried to act calm and cool. I think I made a joke to lighten up the situation, and we didn't speak of it again.
In those days - snail mail was the way to communicate by the written word. JC wrote me a letter usually once a week. He now would sign his letters, "Love, JC" or "With love, JC." As important as my education was to me, it was intensely difficult for me to keep my mind on anything else other than JC. Thank goodness my grades didn't suffer too much - but it was only because I had worked so hard to get to that school and to help pay for school. I sang in the rock band - babysat for the Officers on West Point and worked off a college grant loan in the library. I had worked too hard to fail any class, but it took an act of will every day to absorb what I was supposed to be learning in my classes. I lived for his letter, his phone calls and the blessed weekend when I'd see him again.
Before I knew it, Christmas vacation was approaching and Ladycliff's vacation time coincided almost exactly with West Ponts. JC was headed home to Florida - he absolutely hated the cold weather, and I was headed just a little north to Albany, New York to be home with my mother and grandmother. I dreaded saying good-bye to him - Christmas leave for the cadets was only two weeks but the idea of it felt like years. In those days, long distance was expensive, but JC said he'd call me anyway. I clung to that hope.
The day to say good-bye arrived. I wasn't leaving until the next day. I'm not really clear how we arranged this but I just remember a blinding snow storm and saying good-bye outside of my dorm on Ladycliff property. He brought along another cadet with him who happened to be from his hometown. Chuck (not his real name) was a Plebe (freshman).I was stunned by this. We awkwardly said good-bye with his little friend standing there watching. JC just gave me a quick hug and peck on the cheek as I remember. It was all so uncomfortable as the wind and snow knifed right through our clothing. Most of the memory isn't clear to me, but I definitely know there was no passionate “parting is such sweet sorrow” type of good-bye and I was crushed. Despondent is another word that comes to mind.
I waved good-bye as they drove away in the car they borrowed, fighting back the bitter tears of disappointment.
I went home for the holidays and counted the hours until JC would call as he promised he would. Every time the phone rang my heart would race.
But he never called. In those days, my mother brought me up to believe that a girl didn’t call a guy (unless you were returning a missed call). So I never called him. And day after day, he never called me.
He didn't call until he got back to West Point 15 full days later. It was one of the worst holidays I can ever remember having. I found myself waiting by the phone almost the entire two weeks. When he did finally call my house in Albany - he was back at the barracks and sounded distant. I was totally befuddled and tried to drag out of him why he didn't call and what was wrong. He gave some lame excuse about how busy the holidays had been and that he just didn't get a chance. He refused to be drawn out any further and made an excuse to get off the phone after only speaking to me about ten minutes.
I was shocked. The love of my life had suddenly gone cold for no apparent reason. My Christmas vacation was ruined and worse, it wasn't over yet. I was stuck in Albany because the dorm was closed. So I couldn't get back near him in the hopes of resolving whatever had gone wrong face to face. I was almost desperate and totally, utterly miserable.
Something was wrong, but I didn't know what in the world it could be.
What I couldn't know at the time was how drastically wrong things really were.
To be continued...