Saturday, April 07, 2007

Fifty Years Later

I've been reading the Towson Times again. Supposedly, I'm going to appear in part some article soon. So, I've been scouring the weekly looking for my shiny mug to grace their pages when I ran across an article in the latest issue.

Falling in Love. It's one of life's most desperate desires. I think everyone wants to fall in love and be swept away by their feelings/passions/desires and have that returned in equal (or greater) amounts. Even the cynical (like myself) wish to grasp once again that feeting passion that leaves you panting for more.

Fifty-five years ago, in 1942, Claude met Patricia in their fourth grade schoolhouse in Brewerton, New York. Only ten years old, the freckle-faced, strawberry blonde burned an impression in his heart that has never dissipated.

Shy as a puppy, Claude didn't start walking her to school for three years, until three days before Patty and her family moved from New York to Towson, Maryland in 1945. Years would pass and Claude would join the Army, taking leave in 1951 to visit Patty in Towson where they would re-affirm their desires to be together.

A few months later, Patty decided to join her mother and become a Jehovah's Witness Missionary. Claude went on with his life while Patty went on with hers. Claude married, had two sons and then was separated by 1955. They reunited over New Year's but never saw each other again.

Years later, Patty would marry a church elder much older than herself and bore a daughter that still lives in Towson.

In his minds' eye, Claude has a dream of them both walking on a hill blanketed with flowers overlooking a valley. She wearing a flowered dress and he in a button-up shirt, knee socks, cap and knickers. The best part of it all is that they are together in the dream.

This is where the Towson Times article ends.

Read About Claude & Patty

It's a nice dream: finding your true love. Some people find that person. Some don't. Some find each other then lose each other. Tragic. Others dream all their lives hoping to be reunited. Claude's story is one that everyone can root for because it addresses our most basic desire: to be loved and thought as important by someone else.

Years have passed and when the article came out, so too did the people stepping forward to lead Claude to Patty. Letting the reporter, Loni, know Patty's married name, where she lived and, importantly, the identity of Patty's daughter.

Patty's daughter would tell Loni that Patty talked about Claude and told her how much she cared for him - even after all this time had passed. Her feelings never diminished.

On Thursday night, Loni told Claude about his love. Patty died three years ago. They will never meet again.

It's sad. It's Love Lost. But I think Claude knew it in his heart. Perhaps there was some warmth her life brought to his heart that was gone when she passed away - a little nuance in the world that was missing. That "butterfly effect" perhaps.

So, is there a moral to the story?

You decide for yourself.