Your first love may not be the person you spend the rest of your life with, but the memory of that love stays with you forever.

It is 1969 and I am sitting in the Miami Beach public library studying for a college exam. I look up and there is a young man across the table staring at me. He is very handsome with a smile that lights up the room. ” Do I know you?” I ask. “You don’t,” he replies,” but that’s not a problem. In five minutes you will know everything about me.!”

An hour later, we are heading to the cameo theater to see a movie that cost us 25 cents a ticket. I have no recollection what we saw. I just remember him looking at me the whole time.

Soon I was Mark’s* girl. He was a baseball player and we spent lots of time at Flamingo park. He lived right near the park with his parents and two siblings.The apartment they lived in was very small but comfortable. I have wonderful memories of all the times I visited with the family. It was a home filled with love.
I went away to college in the second half of my sophomore year promising to come back to Mark but I never did. I think somewhere deep inside, I knew it was over. My parents did not want me to end up with Mark… I wasn’t brave enough to stand up to them.

Life is filled with unexpected twists and turns. Mark and I crossed paths again when I was newly divorced with a toddler. We reconnected and stayed friends. I remarried and several years later, moved out of state with my family. We lost touch after the move.

Through the years, I thought about Mark. Even my children knew about him… He was always included in the once upon a time stories.

Tonight, I am crying for a man who deserved much more than just 60 years on this planet! A man who will always hold a place in my heart!

* Name has been changed .

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