I’ve been asked to speak on a panel for a charity that I’ve been involved with for the better part of the last 18’sh years. This would be at their International conference in late 2015. I’m humbled and a bit flummoxed; my contributions have been administrative in nature not monetary and certainly others have been more generous and involved. Nonetheless, I’ve found myself reading the letter over in contemplation. Not yet responding. Why? It isn’t about the charity or the distance I’d need to travel.
I mean, I’ve nothing against Melbourne, it’s a lovely place. Truly. And the Langham is often ranked #1 on many travel sites. However, Melbourne is one of the cities that dh and his long-ago ap traveled together for work and yes, you guessed it, they trysted at the Langham. Eight nights in a five star resort down under. Melbourne is also the destination of which I found the plane tickets tucked into the book he was reading at the time. And the Langham, well it’s their impeccable customer service that sent the disposable camera to our home by way of the lost & found department, because Mr. Smith had accidentally left it in the suite he and his wife had just checked out of. The housekeeper very concerned it may have held some pictures of Mr. and Mrs. Smith together of significance so they turned it into lost and found and they in turn sent it back to the states. There’s nothing like going to Coscto to pick up pictures you were never meant to see.
Granted, that over 12+ years ago now, but it all came flashing back when the official invitation showed up. Why? Ah this is where Karma drops the wicked punchline…
She, yes she, *that* ow, the one dh was madly and passionately in love with has also been invited to be a guest speaker. Yes, of course she has. OMFG yes, yes only in real life can this happen.
I shouldn’t be surprised as she became involved with this charity early on as a way to get to know me. I was naïve at the time & didn’t realize that there was more than just a work friendship developing between dh and her. So when dh asked me to bring her along to one of the monthly volunteer events and introduce her to the President and others, I did. Enthusiastically! *I type with one hand as I slap my forehead with the other*
To her credit, she has remained actively involved in their business development from the country in which she’s lived for the last few years just as I’ve remained involved from the region I live in. The fact that we’re both considered experts in our common area is funny. How can it be anything different?
DH asked if I was going to accept the invitation. I was honest and said I didn’t know. Seeing her name wasn’t what brought it back. It was seeing her picture in the invite, one she must have submitted, of her at the Langham those 13-years, 4-months and 3-days ago (hey, but whose keeping track of that week?). The one of her in her “junior” business suit, looking every bit like the eager 28-year old she was at the time, standing amongst her colleagues near the stairs, one of which was dh. There he was, looking so much younger and his eyes were glued to her, rapt. Shining with love, his face flushed, his posture straight, making him appear even taller than his 6’3″ frame. I held the invitation out for him to see…”You know, it’s a fantastic picture of you hon. ” Because it is. It is a good picture of him, just seeing the love he had for her in that moment, and never seeing that depth of emotion for me, makes me question as to whether or not we are meant to work it out. He was happy in that picture. I want him to be happy again, with me or without me. He deserves to be happy.