10:01 PM, Sunday, April 20th, 2014:
There will be few months more life changing than April 2014 for my family. And I believe Talya and I have been eclipsed for the most romantic "fated" story of falling in love...
So in the midst of ALLL of this Time Machine insanity, Talya's mother Karen was friended on Facebook by an old college boyfriend, literally from her teens. 20 years after they split he had gotten in a bad car accident and had some pretty intense memory loss. He spent the next couple of decades randomly trying to piece together parts of his life he couldn't remember. He'd meet people and get a few back - and finally was able to happen upon Karen on Facebook and he asked if they could meet up. He had no idea she was divorced and remembered very little about her other than her face and all bias aside, she looks nearly identical to how she did 40 years ago. It's pretty spooky.
Karen of course has had her own self-discovery journey after leaving her husband 3 years ago. Talya and I have been her sole support during this time and I've taken on quite a bit of that load since I truly do love Karen to pieces and because I'm not actually her blood? She has felt more comfortable talking to me than burdening her daughter. In the years we've talked the goal has been clear: find who you were before you were married. Her life had an incredible trajectory (went to college at 15, spent a year in Africa, taught in the roughest neighborhood in LA) and it was clearly stifled for a chunk of 40 years. No need to get into specifics but know this: that person she was before the marriage? Was still in there. I saw it from time to time when she wasn't so busy being a mother or grandmother or wife... it just took a very specific set of circumstances for it to come out - but therein lied her strength. The real her. The question was would anybody be the right combination of traits to allow that person to come out, even though 40 years had passed since she saw her?
I'm sure you can see where this is going...
Enter Asa, the only long-term boyfriend she had before her marriage and one she actually spoke of to both me and Talya several times. She agreed to meet for dinner and as Asa describes it? The flood of memories that he got when he saw her walk in the restaurant made him nearly pass out. Again, he still assumed she was married, but his excitement about piecing together what he knew was a big part of his past made him 22 again. And of course who did he remember? That girl Karen was before she got married. And that's all he could see. Sure he could spot the residue of a difficult marriage but burned is his brain? Is the image of the girl he knew and seriously, she does look nearly identical. I can only imagine how overwhelming that must have been for him.
That was a little over a month ago and they then spent her spring break in Napa Valley where he lives and he has since come and visited with us... and I'll be honest. Not sure anyone on the planet is more protective of Karen than I am. Even Talya... I have this strange bortherly feeling I guess? Not sure what it's called when someone is 25 years OLDER than you but it's, well actually I guess it's a "son" type of protectiveness. My concern is that Karen comes out. The fiercely intelligent, charming and strong woman I saw maybe 5 seconds of in the past 4 years because of the years of abuse from someone extremely manipulative. You just want to make sure those patterns don't continue. So within 15 minutes of meeting Asa, we were already alone in a car driving to pick up some food which thankfully took about 90 minutes to get and bring home and we talked quite a bit. To say I was stunned at his patience and thoughtful demeanor is to say the very, very least. He just loved her. No other way to put it. To him, he's getting a 2nd chance at a lost love, but it was clear in the weeks they had spent together they connected far more than they did when they were younger. They had a good foundation from 40 years ago, but now it's so much more. He's all in. While Karen is concerned about the distance, or him having to move down to LA after living in the beauty of Napa - he's a puddle. He just loves her. He would move to the moon. He feels like the luckiest man on the planet and I can barely disagree. I thought IIIIIIIIIII was the luckiest man on the planet. Ya know? To be in your mid-60s and get this chance? It's stunning. I know we all say anything is possible but considering how badly Karen needed to find the woman she was before her marriage? To find literally the only man who knew that woman? Woah. Just, woah. That is beyond fortunate.
And of course Talya and I have been fighting back the tears for her for weeks. We took SO MUCH of her split 3 years ago on our shoulders. We supported it, we helped as much as we could - we gave our nervous system to keep Karen going and often we looked at each other and thought: "Was it a mistake?". I mean, Karen indeed left on her own, but we both know without us supporting her it wouldn't have happened. It has been a sense of guilt on us because it has been such an unhappy divorce. Constant fighting over money for years... just a disaster. But we all believed in the end she would be soooooo much happier and fulfilled. In a million years (that's overused, let's be honest here), in 20 years I would never have believed she could have connected on that level with her past. It's overwhelming and I have to say, absolutely beautiful.
It feels like a family. I did a "Sunday Dinner" entry 3 years ago hoping I had stumbled upon the family I didn't have in LA and within a matter of weeks after it? Their entire marriage unravelled. 3 years later, it feels like it's finally here. I don't want to put pressure on something that even with a 40 year old history is moving quite fast... but it's rather undeniable. They both seem like they're floating downstream... the stream is just moving quite rapidly. Why shouldn't it? They're picking up where they left off and it's an absolute joy to be around.
So since it was Easter Sunday, I figured I'd throw together a video of our Sunday Dinner with moments earlier in the day of Vienna looking for Easter Eggs.
You will be hard pressed to convince me that this isn't the beginning of the rest of our lives. When the biggest argument is whom is luckier to have whom? It is very hard to go wrong. It honestly feels like we're buying a WORKING Time Machine. This is incredible.
Congratulations to you both. Talya and I are rooting for you... and Asa? Just promise me you'll let me write the screenplay. 'Cause that is one of the most beautiful love stories I've ever heard.
Mazel Tov,