Saturday, February 21, 2009

Andy's Words, March 7, 1984

I was cleaning out my storage, going through old boxes of records, cards, letters, bills, some to shred, some to keep. I came across a notebook, I open to find Andy's handwriting, a journal of sorts, dated March 7, 1984. Andy died in 1989, anything I find that gives a glimpse into who he was is a treasure, especially to his sons who lost him when they were so young. In his words...

"Mar. 7

Well, its been a week of hell. My mind and body are so very tired. I've told the one and only person in the world I love, the most important part of my inner soul. But I still can't accept it. I won't accept it. I love my children - my beautiful boys. They're my babies and I can't - won't let them down. They need a beautiful home and all the nice things. Don't they? Oh, I wish I could change, oh, I wish my wife and I could really be in love again but its not possible, or is it? She is so confused. She doesn't really love me. Did she ever love me? I guess she did but not the way I wanted or maybe it was just the fact I don't really know what love is so I didn't know she was really loving me. Oh, I am so tired of this. Does this make any sense?

I'm so afraid to leave. But why? I want my boys to have everything that I didn't. But everything is material - what about love and feelings. I never really thought about. Not for me. If we separate, I feel we will probably never get back together. But why? I might force myself to enjoy it, make it on my own without her. I will be angry that we would even think of splitting up the family - for the children - for my babies...

What about me everyone says - who the hell cares about me? Nobody - But that's all right I'll manage. But the babies, I care and love them so much, I would do anything for them.

But is it fair for my wife - is it fair for me? I think anything is fair for the children. But, as for my wife she doesn't care. She wants to get out, at least that's what she is telling me. Her happiness (that God damn word) means more to her than the family - our babies. I don't understand I'm not willing to sacrifice why can't she..."


So there you have it. A snapshot into my marriage in the days before we separated. I will tell you that every word he wrote is true, as he felt it. Though my own perspective and my emotions were misunderstood, I honor his feelings. As he eludes to in the first paragraph, he had just told me that he thought he was Gay. He had told me that he had developed a relationship with a man, they had not had sex, but there was kissing, an attraction and a growing emotional bond. They met in his MBA program at Golden Gate University. I believe that at this point in his life, Andy did not want to accept his sexuality. The price for his acceptance was tearing his life and his family apart.  His struggle and love for his children, and commitment to me, evident.

To further explain I must digress...Andy and I had been in marriage counseling. After the first 2 sessions, I received a call from the therapist, Andy would be seeing her alone for an undetermined time, this was his request, he had some issues to work through. To the best of my recollection, we had not been intimate at this point for nearly 2 years. I was a bit of a mess, I loved being a mom and the family we were, though I was desperately unhappy with my marriage, and yes, as he writes, completely confused. I simply did not understand what had happened to us.

Andy and I had in most ways a spectacular relationship. We had married young, and then waited five years before we had children. We got along very well, had things in common, loved our home, our life. We especially loved our children and being parents together. By all appearances we had the perfect life, the perfect family. Except it wasn't a perfect marriage. From the stunned moment when he told me that he thought he was Gay, I could not imagine staying in the marriage. He is right, I wanted out. It explained everything for me, the distance, the secrets, his lack of desire for me. If I can pinpoint one major event that was a wake up call for me about the state of our marriage it was in the fall of 1983, we went to Hawaii for a week, we left the boys at home in the care of my friend Lorna. In Maui we perfected our tans by the pool, played at the beach, went to Luau's, ate in nice restaurants, shopped, drove around, and for the entire vacation he did not lay a finger on me. By the final night, it was my tears and his apologies, that prompted our decision to seek marriage counseling when we returned home. He did not know why, but he did not have interest anymore. I was 26, he was 30. To set the record straight from my heart, I did love him. I loved him until the day he died. Andy was my best friend, the kind of love we had for each other was unconditional.

I also found a Valentine Card that Andy wrote me on February 14, 1989...

"LOVE IS THE LANGUAGE THAT EVERY HEART SPEAKS, FOR LOVE IS THE ONE THING THAT EVERY HEART SEEKS...LOVE WORKS IN WAYS THAT ARE WONDROUS AND STRANGE, AND THERE'S NOTHING IN LIFE THAT LOVE CANNOT CHANGE!" Helen Steiner Rice

You open the card and it reads...

"One of the best things
about Valentines Day
is the chance it brings
to tell you
what should be said more often
you're very special
and you mean so much."

"HAPPY VALENTINES DAY"

"It feels so funny sending you a Valentine's card but when I saw this card, I had to buy it for you. Kelly, you still are very special to me - in more ways than you can even imagine. Thank you for staying by my side and for being my friend."

"Love, Andy"


Note found, written on Andy's monogrammed stationary

AFV

6/15/89

"Dear Kelly

Please stop worrying. Things will be okay. If you need anything, I will be out of the hospital hopefully on Monday and I'll take care of it then. I only wish I could help more but my stupid health won't let me.

Kelly you're still my very important girl I hope you know that...

I love you,

Andy"


Sadly things would not be okay for a very long time.


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