My One Week Countown to 35: Dedicated to the Ones I Love

living-with-parentsDay 3 is Dedicated to My Parents

1. I am grateful to my parents for taking me back into their home when my health got too bad for me to live on my own (with or without a partner). And for the times when live-in relationships deteriorated… 😉

2. I am grateful to my parents for the sacrifices they have made occupationally (my mom transitioned to telecommuting full-time to keep an eye on me when my seizure-like episodes were at their worst, happening a dozen times a day), financially (when money was tight for me, they made sure I had my medication, gluten-free and dairy-free foods and the most important bills—when they discovered they were delinquent—paid) and with their time (healing from a seizure-like disorder, I am unable to drive until I have six consecutive months without an episode, so my folks have been driving me to doctors’ appointments, to run errands, to see boyfriends and friends and for social and work events—when I was editor/reporter for my town, my dad drove me everywhere in my town to cover news almost every day of the work week.)

3. I am grateful to my parents for making me feel safe and supported during the scariest point of my illnesses. If I fell, they were there to catch me. If I needed someone to help me care for myself in day-to-day living, my mom fed, bathed and clothed me. If I needed to vent my frustration, they were there to give me a shoulder to cry on, arms to fall into.

4. I am grateful for my dad’s unflappable belief that I would get better. While fear caused temporary blindness at times, he always had faith that I would keep getting stronger and find myself back on my feet again. He was right. He encouraged me to keep fighting, to keep looking for answers, to never, ever give up. Both my parents have always believed in me and been my biggest cheerleaders, and I credit much of my successes to the faith they’ve had in my talents and abilities.

5. I am grateful that my mother has not only been a parent to me, but also one of my best friends. I go to her for advice, for cheering up, for reassurance and unconditional love. I love that I can also be an ear for her, that she trusts me enough to share what she’s feeling when she is comfortable doing so. I am so thankful that our together time is as important to her as it is to me, whether I am 3000 miles away or a hallway down from her.

IMG_0535Day 4 is Dedicated to My Friend Carly

1. I am grateful to Carly for becoming that friend I can talk to every day, beginning at a time when I felt very alone with the challenges I was dealing with. I believe we’ve helped each other a great deal to get through our health battles.

2. I am grateful that Carly is the kind of person who will pop up and surprise me at a doctor’s office because it’s been too long since we last got to see each other. She had recommended I see this highly regarded specialist, who is located closer to Carly’s home than mine, and she wanted to make sure that everything went well. Seeing her face touched me more than words can say.

3. I am grateful for the way that Carly always tells me exactly what she thinks and feels about something. Even when it’s about my behavior, and it’s not always something I want to hear, it’s usually something I need to hear. That honesty is absolutely refreshing and invaluable in a friend.

4. I am grateful that Carly always calls to check up on me after a big event, whether it’s a first date or a chemo appointment. She remembers when my niece was born, the significant relationships I’ve had since and before we’ve known each other and she always asks after my parents. I don’t ever have to guess whether she cares or wonder if she knows what’s going on in my life.

5. I am grateful that Carly puts up with my moodiness and occasional reclusiveness. I know it can be very tough for her as it’s very important that there is daily connection with her closest friends. I appreciate her giving and forgiving heart.

With Matters of the Heart, Hope is Not the Destination


When I hopped back onto OkCupid a couple of weeks ago, my sole purpose was to reactivate my profile and prove to my ex—I-don’t-know-what-he-was—and, yes, to myself that I was truly completely finished playing games. I was done pretending to be a couple on the weekends, kind of friends during the week, when the only true commitment we had was sexual exclusivity and a reliable activity partner. Because when I pulled myself away long enough, I realized that’s all we really were anymore, and ending the charade didn’t hurt me as much as staying in it did.

OkCupid was how we were introduced, and so I decided OkC was where I would officially make my exit. I wasn’t expecting anything more would come out of turning my profile back on than that.

I certainty was not prepared for the fact that within a couple of days, a man from one state over, originally from another country, would send out a teaser that I would be unable to resist. Not only did this man greatly appeal to my visual senses, he was also educated, athletic, and social, appearing to be kind, funny, playful and “deep”. His emails went beyond the surface questions, and his curiosity about me led him to play detective in the cutest of ways.

Yet keenly aware, now more than ever, that appearances can be deceiving, I was grateful that the weekend he asked to meet for the first time was the weekend I was leaving for a week’s vacation. I could get away from the dramatic backlash that somehow I had allowed myself to fall into (and let’s face it, help create) from the “breakup” with the ex-something-or-other. And I could also see if this new fellow would find someone else to become entranced by in the days to follow.

What I discovered during my relaxing, sunny days away surprised me. One, I realized that as much as I was disappointed by—and in some ways, disgusted by—what went down with the ex, I also felt sorry for him seeming to be stuck in this phase of his life. I realized that being angry with him wasn’t going to change anything about the situation, and this period together, just the few past months, were really just a teeny drop in the ocean of my life. I could just…Let. It. Go.

The second thing I discovered was that my new pal from OkC was really becoming a new friend. Our communication was becoming more personal, more open and even a little flirtatious. I found myself really looking forward to coming home because that meant my date with him was right around the corner.

We’ve all had terrible blind dates and so-so blind dates. But I was unprepared to have my expectations blown away—in the very best way. Not only was he even more attractive in person than his photos could really give justice, which were really darn cute too…but he was also the absolute gentleman, incredibly perceptive and sensitive, a great listener, funny and just the right amount of flirtatious. At the end of the date, he asked me to play him some songs, which he enjoyed. Then, saying he was worried he had tired me out, he gave me a hug, said he hoped we would see each other again and left.

To be honest, as amazing as our time together had felt, I worried the rushed end of our date meant I had somehow had been reading things incorrectly. Apparently, thankfully, I was wrong. After a few tentative texts back and forth later that night, we had plans set for the next day as well.

I really don’t want to try to describe how lovely our next date was; words can’t fully capture how truly wonderful it felt. To say that we talked for hours about things that really mattered to us growing up, that matter to us now and that we envision for ourselves in the future is oversimplifying it.  We felt accepted and understood, after baring bits and pieces of ourselves, and surprisingly close to one another afterward.

IF-Caution by Karee Barrett

Even though he revealed a few of his own insecurities, which is part of the reason he left so abruptly the first night—he apparently thought I wanted him to leave—and even though we had two great dates, and even though we’ve been keeping in touch whenever we can this week, my guard is still so way up. On the one hand, this is probably a very smart thing since we are just starting to get to know one another. One the other hand, this is someone new who shouldn’t be silently questioned and doubted at every turn just because of someone or something that has absolutely nothing to do with him.

Yesterday I couldn’t think of a better way to start my day than to wake up to his email, which read, “Hello my little sunshine!” I carried that happiness in my pocket, took it to appreciate it in between my work, and then tucked it away again for later. All through the day, he reached out to me, making me feel connected.

Today, I woke up, and there was nothing. I went through the day with one voice telling me, “He’s just really busy,” and the other voice saying, “See, I told you so.” There was no email or text to dispute the argument, and the people in my life were just as conflicting. I tried to pretend like it didn’t matter either way. There were plenty of more fish in the sea.

And then, finally he emailed me apologizing for making me wait so long, telling me how busy his day had been, commenting on all the important things from my last email. He ended with: “Any plans for the weekend already? Would you like to meet again?”

He earns extra brownie points for asking me out on Wednesday, but even more for reminding me it’s okay to still want to believe.

Do you become vulnerable putting yourself back out there like that again? Yes, there’s no question about it. But you also become available for something potentially beautiful. Could you get hurt? Yes. Could you potentially find love? No one knows for sure; possibly so.

Is it worth the risk? Sometimes fear of being hurt is enough to put down screeching brakes. Maybe you’re simply not ready to put yourself out there yet, or this person just isn’t worth chancing it. Trust your intuition, ignore the noise. Sometimes, hell yeah, it’s worth throwing yourself in the race.

So for now I will proceed with caution, but I won’t be afraid to enjoy the journey and hope for happy trails ahead.

Forget Him—Forgive Yourself


Being on friendly terms with the ex girlfriend, now one of the best friends, of the guy you are dating can be both a blessing and a curse. You wind up getting more insight about this person you think you know fairly well. It can be helpful when you are worrying you’re overreacting about an issue in your relationship but a quick chat enables you to realize it’s an issue that he’s had before with others—it’s not just you. And with a really sweet and open ex, you can hear the nice things the guy is saying about you when offered unbidden.

Then, sometimes you get more than you bargained for. You may ask what you hope are innocent questions but the answers leave you reeling. You learn what he’s said about an ex from his past is not true. You discover that he’s left out critical details about a former relationship. Thus ultimately, you find out what he really thinks about relationships, how he really views women and inevitably, what he really thinks about you.

Hearing about their past relationship, you know you have to take any detail with a grain of salt. Of course there are two sides to every story. Yet you start to question the veracity of your sources when while describing their period together romantically, one cites a bland haiku and the other speaks of a wandering epic.

To him, they took the boat out for a couple months but said there wasn’t enough fuel to keep things afloat. After some recon and prodding from me, he admitted that afterward, sometimes they’d take the boat out every now and then for nostalgia’s sake but mostly they kept their feet on the calm shores of friendship.

To her, they took a bumpy, hazy flight across continents. While there were plenty times of fun and joy that kept her hoping for more, he would got lost in the clouds of the past and was often a short-sighted wingman. She was looking for a more permanent co-pilot, and he was not up for that position.

Most recently, I found out that she grounded their multiple flights a couple of times, and that he was the one more recently who had been asking her to go for repeated joy rides….even though his constant refrain was that he didn’t have a real strong desire for flying. Her story became more and more believable as I realized that was something he often said to me, though we flew constantly, sometimes multiple trips in a day.

by Igal Maasen

Hearing their completely different versions of their journey together, I realized why I felt like he and I were speaking different languages. We went from feeling like we were in a full-blown relationship to him pulling away. I found out after some prodding that, despite behavior to the contrary, he did not consider me his girlfriend. He told me he wanted to continue seeing each other just as we had been, spending weekends together, hanging out with his friends and family, but without labels or expectations.

After the most enlightening conversation with his ex yet, when we discussed his odd reaction to her having finally moved onto sleeping with someone new, I decided to confront him again. I informed him that I felt he was taking advantage of our “situation,” that I wasn’t feeling much reward from it, and that I was moving on. The next day, I informed him I would be considering my dating options again, but unlike his ex-wife, I knew how to keep my legs together. “That was your real concern before [the last time we had the “relationship discussion]—sexual exclusivity, wasn’t it?” I asked.

He finally came out with, “Yeah, I guess.”

It embarrasses me to admit how much I have been seething with all this anger and frustration that I have been played by this guy, who in all honesty, really wasn’t worth any of the fuss. It hurts that I had actually been concerned for his wellbeing, which above everything else—the humor, decent company, things in common—had kept me in the game, while all he was thinking about was ensuring he could keep having sex with me…and have someone with whom to watch his favorite shows.

I admittedly flipped out on him. “Why weren’t you honest with me? Why did you tell me you specifically didn’t want to be friends with benefits? I told you that was the last thing I wanted in my life right now, and that if that’s what you were looking for, no thank you,” I said. “You told me, you’d rather we just be friends and have no sex. You said, however, what you most wanted was for us to keep seeing each other as we had been doing, without the labels.”

He first claimed my ignorance, then his ignorance. I almost laughed at his third reaction of confusion—he was telling his ex-gf we were no longer seeing each other after he just told me we hadn’t just been seeing each other. We were all IMing simultaneously, to his ignorance. I asked him, what is the truth: were we seeing each other, or weren’t we? Do you put on a show for everyone? Your ex? Your grandma? Your friends? Your mother?

Finally he says, “I’m sorry…Will you still be my friend so we can continue to watch Battlestar Galactica together?” W.T.F.?

Ironically, it was at precisely this time that I was charged with writing up an article on forgiveness in relationships. Yep. While I was envisioning punching his smug big head into the television screen while it was playing Battle-fracking-star Galactica, I was supposed to be waxing poetic about the healing graces of forgiveness.

"It's Not You, It's Me" by Niagara

My good friend @thecrazymagnet of And You Thought You Had It Bad reminded me that any anger I harbor towards another hurts me more than it hurt anyone else. I’ve always known that anger is a mental and physical toxin that just eats away at our insides, paralyzing us from moving forward in our own lives. Yet here was this person, this man I thought I knew at least to some extent, who was just acting like any other guy who takes advantage of a situation physically, financially, emotionally and frankly, taking up my time, as much as he can because I am being too much of a giver—okay, a pushover—and not protesting loudly enough or frequently enough.

I just couldn’t get over the fact that I, such a wise and intelligent, mature and seasoned woman, had let this happen. That’s when I realized that the person I was most upset with was myself. The person I needed to forgive the most in this equation was yours truly.

Far too often in relationships-gone-bad, we blame ourselves for not being smart enough to see a steady stream of lies, for ignoring the fishy text message cover-ups, for not asking the right questions or for accepting the answers full of holes. We blame ourselves for being a bad judge of character, for thinking someone genuinely cares for us when he has only really been acting in his own self-interest and personal gratification. We mentally bang our own heads because we dared to believe the best in others—and were wrong.

Unfortunately, this only further poisons our thoughts and our actions. We start behaving unkindly toward ourselves, adding to the wrongs others have already done to us. Blaming yourself only pushes you further backward. Blaming myself only made me hurt more than I already was. It made no sense when I needed my own love and self-care the most.

Hopefully I, you, we learn from these hurtful experiences and take the time, space and wisdom to get to know the next person more clearly before jumping in heart-first. And we listen to our guts when they tell us a few weeks in that things no longer feel right, that something smells fishy in the water—and it’s not us. There’s no shame in throwing a rotten one back in that ocean—that rip current will take care of ‘em. Nor is there any shame in getting out of the water completely for a while, simply taking time to rejuvenate, rediscover and relearn to love yourself.

What Truly Lies Buried in the Past

Once again, it’s you and I

In the convertible at the drive-in

I’ve got the transistor radio

Balanced on one shoulder

Precariously dialed into the station

Because to no one’s surprise

The one in the car isn’t working

Years after we finally buried us

It has me still pondering,

Was it you and I who didn’t work

Or YouAndI that could never last



It’s truly the end of the era

As we watch those final scenes of a series

Whose magic of storytelling

And beauty of friendship

You introduced me to some seven years ago

You have a similar, uncanny ability

To weave with your words

Flights of fancy or daggers that kill

And to rouse troops to battle

When most eventually disappeared

In the hardest fight for my life

You stepped in when I needed

Those shoulders of support the most

With food to nourish the body

Or words to feed the soul



We traded places from the days

When you looked to me for strength

For comfort and a virtual shoulder to cry on

During those final days of your sister’s life

The house that was once mine is not the same

As I walk through the door—and why should it be

You built a family here; your daughter’s clothes

And toys stake their claim in every room

Whenever you speak of her, there is a fierce pride

A miraculous new side of you that I don’t recognize

My leopard cat runs when he hears me call his name

It stings but I don’t blame him for changing loyalties

Would I have been so easy to forgive if someone

I loved with all my being left me so permanently behind

With you, it took years, more grief

Other losses and heartbreaks before

You would allow me to even hear your voice again

How easily we fall into old routines

Like actors jumping back into a well worn play

Yet bringing to the roles a maturity

New techniques we each have learned

On unfamiliar stages from foreign mentors

Later—limbs intertwined

Our breaths and Dave Matthews rising

From the old-school jukebox

Bringing back memories of those

Smoke-filled dens and the clack of cue balls

And your friends lining it up

For a sniff in the back room

It’s funny how time and distance

Takes the steam out of all that now

There is nor desire to relive those days

Nor do I regret the years that followed

But resentments lie buried in the past

What remains are the happy memories

And the new ones we create now

In the most precarious of friendships

Gravedigger, when you dig our grave,

Could you make it shallow

So that we can feel the rain?

What Happens When Your Ex Finally Meets His Match—You!

Berkeley PhD and I had a great second date on Friday, with a night out in the “city.” We met first for dinner at a Thai/Malaysian restaurant that served up delicious dishes. I had a dish with chicken, eggplant, potatoes, tofu, snap peas and Malaysian yellow curry, topped with a half glass of Shiraz.

Afterward, we hit a bar nearby that had a DJ spinning a mix of 80s classics and today’s R&B/hip hop hits. The crowd was an interesting mix of people in their 40s trying to grab a drink and a chat before the place starting hopping and girls in their 20s with dresses that literally just barely covering their ass cheeks.

The most interesting character by far was a slightly stooped man in his late 60s or early 70s who was canvassing the place. Berkeley PhD said he was tempted to go talk to the guy to see if he had any sage advice on “picking up the ladies.” We sat at a table in the bar area people-watching for a bit before taking the long walk down to the bar with live blues music.

The night was fun, and I almost felt healthy again, young and vibrant. Berkeley reached out for me a bit, but I wasn’t expected it so I think I reacted oddly. Perhaps my body knew before my mind realized that as much as I liked and respected him and enjoyed his company, I didn’t feel any special zing. I was already putting him in the friend category.

With the exception of Berkeley PhD, OkCupid has been shooting blanks for quite a while. As I was taking more initiative with other areas of my life, I decided to try again. I’d had some success in the past. That’s where I met Mr. Etiquette. That’s what brought the V-Man and I together.

Speaking of the V-Man, when I awoke this morning, logging into Match to read an email from a new potential suitor, guess who popped up in my Daily 5?

It’d be funny, sort of, if I wasn’t thrown for a loop. Yes, I officially told him adiós months ago. And last week, he finally called me back, after the gazillionth unanswered text message and email and several phone calls. He told me he wasn’t avoiding me specifically. He just didn’t want to be bother—er, disturbed by anyone the last couple months. He just wanted to be by himself, work on the house, etc.

He asked me why I didn’t call. Um, hello? Had he not noticed the dozens of attempts to try to make contact? Then he proceeded to have a typical monologue conversation, mostly about things I didn’t care about and didn’t bother to feign much interest because, screw it, I no longer had the obligation.

I was glad we had the talk. It just confirmed to me that I hadn’t meant much to him in quite some time. I knew romantically things had puttered out in February, but for some reason I thought a semblance of friendship after four and half years would endure. Now, no longer being uncertain about this, knowing there was no longer any connection between the two of us anymore brought an odd type closure, as imperfect as it was.

So it was a kind of a kick in the head when V-Man showed up as one of my matches today. Especially, I saw this in his profile:

I have been waiting patiently to find someone special to share my life with. I am hoping to find someone who loves to laugh and enjoy life. I’m the type of person who will do anything for my friends and family. I’m loyal, caring and when I’m in a relationship I give all of myself to that person. I am hoping to find a woman who will give me the same in return.

Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson

With whom had he been sharing his life during some of those years up leading up to this point? Someone to kill time with before someone special came along?

And who is the person saying he’d do anything for anyone? Yes, the V-Man begrudgingly, with a big piss-and-moan fuss, does things for his mom, but he really isn’t there for his friends, and I talk more to his best friend who moved away than he does.

He gives when he’s not too into his projects, and the surprises (a hike, a day trip somewhere) come once a year or so. I gave so much of my emotions, time, energy and everything else to this guy for years. He knew there was a time when I would have given him everything if he let me in further. This was the man I called Peter Pan because he said he was scared to have more, scared of the thought of progressing further—i.e., moving in, getting married, etc.

I quickly dashed off this email to him:

Wow, when I signed up for match again the other day, I thought in the back of mind, what if [V-Man] is on here. And look here you are. Just like I thought…it wasn’t that you don’t want a relationship, it’s that you don’t want one with me. 😉 Hope you find just who you are looking for on here.

Followed by the text:

Well irony of ironies, you popped up on my Daily 5 on Match. Why was it so hard to just say you wanted to move on? I gave you so many chances to months ago!

I just don’t get it. I have broken up with this man more times than I can count or remember. Each time he put the effort to ask me to stay. Or if it had been many months (in one case over a year), he would ask me to come back, saying things like “we would still be together, but you believe all these things that aren’t true about me, or half-truths.” This is the man who took me to NYC last December for my birthday. I thought he did these things for me, because I meant so much to him. Now I feel like I was wrong about him all the time.

When I talked to him on the phone today, I could hear the ooze of lies in his voice. “Someone’s having a joke with me,” he said, with a fake laugh. “They’ve put up profiles for other people before.” Okay, well, how did they get a copy of a photo I took on your personal camera of a place we went to early last year? Laughing again, he said, “Really, I didn’t put anything up there.”

He said he’d call me later because he was in the middle of something at work. I said, yeah, I’m sure you will. Inside, I thought, Don’t bother. Go take a flying fucking leap off a high cliff into shallow water.

But honestly I’m not that angry with him. I’m so angry with myself, for clinging in some way, shape or another to a connection with this man for long. My instincts told me so many times to just move on, that he wasn’t the man I really wanted in my life, nor was he even the man he usually acted around me. My family and friends knew it too and told me so.

Yet he had redeemed himself in my eyes when I got so sick. I won’t even take a guess as to why he did all the things he did. I just know I was a fool not to have kept moving forward when I broke up with him so long ago. One day I will have to learn to forgive myself for such a foolish mistake.

Please Forgive Me, I Know Not What I Do

Forgiveness is a mysterious temptress. Sometimes she flows so freely from your every pore, like air from your lungs.  Before anyone even has to open their mouth to beg for forgiveness, she has been freely, fully given, with no conditions or catches. Once you have been forgiven of your transgressions, the matter is truly over, left in the past where it should be buried in a shallow grave, given its proper regards. Life moves on.

Sometimes forgiveness digs her heels in. She must be earned. There are some things that can’t and shouldn’t be so easily forgiven. Infidelity. Big lies that can’t be simply explained as  I just didn’t want to hurt you by telling you the brunt reality.  Or, “I forgot to tell you that I’m actually living here illegally, and I have another family in Mexico.”  You must bow down to your ego and realize that you aren’t as clever or as wise as you thought you were. You have seriously hurt someone, probably someone you care about very much. And because of this, they’ve lost some degree of faith in you. They feel like they can’t trust you.

You can’t just win them back with a joke or a bouquet of flowers. You will have to spend some serious time working to regain their trust. You will have to be transparent. You will have to realize that you can’t keep everything to yourself anymore. You will have to be held accountable. You will have to treat the injured party like a king or queen, respectively. You will have to say you’re sorry, feeling it and meaning it from the bottom of your heart. You will have to say it so that he/she knows it in their core that you mean it. You will have to pay for this transgression until you’ve earned entry through that door that leads you back into your partner’s inner circle. Her walls have been let down and she can trust you with her love again. She can once again feel your respect and admiration for her.

Forgiveness often remains just at the edge of our fingertips, waiting to be learned. Some peoples’ walls have been built up so high from all their past bad experiences with other people at other times, they genuinely don’t know how to let other people back in again. It’s a process, often brutal and never simple. Sometimes their partner has the patience to stand by their side, give them space, while still letting them know they are loved and admired. Sure there has been pain both ways. Sure they both need to let go off hurtful things said, past wrongs, poor choices, and yes, that damn variable of bad timing. Sometimes people fear that learning how to forgive is a sign of showing weakness. In fact, I think forgiveness is one of the strongest things we can do, not only to others, but for ourselves.

When we carry around our pain, disappointment and hurt over all the ways people have wronged us in the past, we block ourselves from moving forward. We create a toxic cloud around ourselves that prevents us from truly seeing what is in front of our eyes in the present. We don’t allow ourselves to live in and enjoy the now.

We can’t forgive and we definitely can’t forget, so we get mired in the past. We relive it like a broken record that never stops replaying. We grow so used to it, we think it must be what we need, where we should invest our time and emotion. Instead we’re just paralyzing ourselves, keeping ourselves from living the best life we are meant to live.

So how do we learn to listen to forgiveness when her whisper is so quiet, yet admittedly so sweet? We must come to her like a child. We don’t know it all, and we can’t pretend to. We must be willing to get still and listen to the true drumming and thrumming of our heart beats. What are they secretly telling us? Do we want to stay mad at this person we love possibly more than anyone else we’ve loved before? Have they really committed a transgression so great that it cannot be overcome through time, personal and spiritual growth, and love? These answers aren’t easy and you may have one answer today and a different answer next week. But the point is to listen and to keep an ear out for consistency. Which answer do you keep finding yourself turning back to?

Learn to know yourself so well that when your heart gives you truth, you can recognize it clearly and soundly. This often means stepping back and taking a lot of personal time, meditation and for some, prayer. Don’t be afraid of your solitude. Or the silence. Don’t be afraid of the mood swings that are sure to follow. Forgive yourself if you sometimes fall back into bad habits during this process. The point is to get through this process. Journal your journey. Talk to people you feel you can trust. I pray about it. Sometimes, this process takes a month, sometimes it takes a year. But when your eyes finally open wide, you know when you are capable of forgiveness or not.

You know whether you can and should take that big leap again. You know when a surprise 3-hour Skype call can start you dreaming again, when the flood of memories aren’t so bittersweet anymore–they’re just sweet. You know when you both have matured and transformed enough as individuals that you feel the potential that maybe one day there might come a time when you both truly can forgive each other again. When you know there is just too much good that outweighs that bad. You sit at the computer at 3:30 in the morning, and you realize, “That sneaky forgiveness may have slid her way back into my heart once again.”