I love my life and I'd never trade between what you and me had and the life I made. She's here and she's real, but you were too, but every once in a while I think about you.
That said, have you ever wondered what if? I was listening to Garth Brooks yesterday when the song "Every Now and Then" played. It's about a man who is reminded of a love that didn't work out. There are things that remind him of this love such as remembering a walk, a song, a car, etc. The point being that even though he wouldn't trade what he currently has he still thinks about her every now and then.
For me this is a real life situation. I was 18 when I met her. It was the fall of 1988 and I was a sophomore in college. We lived in the same apartment complex and got to know each other through church. The next nine months were unbelievable. We became best friends and shared in a lot of things. I went with her to her parents house several times. It was the first time I saw how a family belonging to my church was supposed to be run. I learned a lot. I also fell deeply in love. It was a great time.
During that time I turned 19 and thoughts of serving a church mission entered my mind. It is something while not mandatory was expected and I had several friends who had already gone. I took some time to think about things and decided that it was the right thing to do. My girlfriend also thought it was the right thing to do and supported me all the way. The night before I left on my mission we sat and talked. I told her I didn't know what would happen during the next two years but that I had enough faith and trust that if were were meant to be together we would be. I left it in the hands of God.
While I was on my mission she met someone else. I know now it was hard on her to let me know this. It took her a long time to write the letter (yes it was a "Dear John") telling me that she was going to marry someone else. I think I was more upset with the fact that she felt she had to lie to me instead of being mad at her for finding someone else. I don't recall exactly what I wrote back, and I got one more letter from her and haven't seen or talked to her since.
I have seen some friends since I've returned home that we both know and I inquired about how she's doing. I have never looked her up, even though I know her last name and husband's name. Worse, I've never been able to thank her for everything she did for me. I learned more about love and family in that 9 months than I had in the previous 18 years of life. I became a better man because of her and was more prepared for the family I now have. So this is my Thank You to her for everything she did for me and for everything that I cannot repay.
Still, there are times where I have been in the same spot as the guy in Garth's song:
I've been laying here all night, listening to the rain,
Talking to my heart and trying to explain,
To why sometimes I catch myself wondering what might have been,
Yes I do think about you,
Every Now and Then.
And so I think about her every now and then.