Sandie Simply Says

January 15, 2009

Spin Cycle: What if?

Filed under: Spin — by Sandie @ 10:37 pm
Tags: , , ,

This week’s Spin Cycle is simply “What if?” We’ve been given no other direction, just “What if?” I’ve struggled with how to approach this topic. Do I keep it light-hearted and answer a question like “What if I won the lottery?” Or do I take a more serious tone with it. The truth is, I’ve been thinking about the “What ifs” quite a bit lately and I’m not sure why. So, I decided to go the serious route and maybe, just maybe I’ll get some relief from just typing it all out.

I met R almost 15 years ago. We were both stationed at Shemya, AK. There were only about 500 people on the island at the time. And only about 30 of us were women. As you can imagine, everyone knew who ALL the women were! I mainly hung out with the firefighters, R being one of them. They took good care of me, making sure I was not the focus of any unwanted attention. At that time R and I were merely friends.

I don’t remember when he left Shemya, I just know it was before me and he went to Luke AFB, Arizona. We kept in touch and planned to see each other when I drove through Phoenix on my way to Beale AFB, California. That didn’t happen, but we kept our friendship up. At some point, our friendship turned into much more. I talked with him nearly every night. Shared nearly everything with him. He came to see me and we spent a wonderful weekend together. At some point, I fell in love. Hopelessly, head-over-heels in love. When he finally fessed up to me that his “roommate” was actually his live-in girlfriend, I didn’t care. He was convinced that an “open” relationship was the way to go and I was so in love I agreed. We saw each other whenever we were going to be in close proximity with each other.

Then came the day he broke my heart. It was the day after Christmas. I was visiting a friend in Vegas and R and I had made plans to meet mid-way in Kingston. I’d called to hammer out the details and he dropped the bomb: he and M were getting married. In 5 days. I have no idea what was said the rest of our conversation. I just remember hanging up the phone and bursting into tears. The next day, I went back to California. The normal 10-hour drive took me 9 as I raced down the highway. My emotions vacillated between anger and sadness. It didn’t take long before R and I were talking again. I had an addiction and he was my drug. He was my one bright spot in an otherwise hellish two years (Beale was an awful assignment for me), so it wasn’t hard for me to convince myself I wasn’t really the “other woman.” R and M had an “open” relationship still, so really, it was OK.

But I knew it wasn’t. I received orders to Korea and decided my year spent there would be my year of healing. And boy was it ever! I was able to find a place where I was at peace and met Tony. Eventually, we married, have five beautiful children and have made a good life with each other. I will give R credit though: I was stationed at Luke after I left Korea. R and I went out to dinner once when I first got to town. We talked a few times after that. When I finally told him about Tony, he stepped back and gave me my space.

There are days I still think about the “what ifs” though. What if he hadn’t married M? What if he’d chosen me instead of her? What would my life be like now? Realistically, I know if R and I had gotten married our relationship would have been doomed (as was his relationship with M…I gave them 5 years, they made it 7). I defintely wouldn’t have my girls or my husband and I just can’t imagine my life without them.

In the end, this is one “what if” I can live without.

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