Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Ruth

Way back in the mid 70s I worked in a Midwestern hospital. There was a staff size of about 3300 people, so those were the ones I met and socialized with. Ruth had just started working there and was a tall, dark-haired young woman with a certain sweetness that one finds in Midwestern women. She was married and had a year old son, but things were not rosy for her. I found out that she had separated from her husband. He was in pharmacy school at the time.

When you are in your mid twenties and there is a very mutual attraction it can be difficult not to act on it. However, this was my first time where there had been a child involved which added a new level of consideration. When the child was with the husband we could do as we pleased, but, of course when she was in possession it was different and we wouldn't see each other much as the custody of the boy was in turmoil.

Both her family and her husband's families were very religious, very traditional and somewhat fundamental and thought marriage was a permanent way of being for people who didn't get along. Ruth was being manipulated and torn in directions that no one should have to endure. Her son was a pawn in these games even though he was too young to understand. A mother's instincts are strong and can be used against her as in this case.

Our affair was brief, but passionate. It was her first time knowing the kind passion that was a complete giving of oneself, if only for a short time.

As you can imagine, she had to do what she had to do to gain custody of her son even if it meant leaving town and going back to her hometown to be talked into staying with her husband. Our hearts were broken and I wondered for years how it all turned out for her.

Welcome to modern times and social networking. Remembering names from forty years ago and taking time to look up possibilities led to me finding her on Facebook. We caught up for a few weeks and I found that she had indeed divorced her husband of that time and three others since. She remembered the passion and said she had found it about two other times, but not with her 4th and current husband. Her son is in the diplomatic corps and she has a daughter who is due to have a child in a few months. She is reasonably happy in her life, but just from our correspondence I can see that there is still a little spark. We'll probably stay in touch, but we live far apart and in different worlds now. At least there are some nice memories and I now know she is okay.

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