one more old boyfriend story

By: ewhite422

Mar 31 2010

Category: Uncategorized


I got a Facebook message from the father of my high school boyfriend yesterday.  It was in answer to one I had sent him about remembering his son, Chuck Oates, a couple of days ago.

I was explaining that my husband and I have a favorite piano bar, Amerigo’s, where we go almost every week…a little less often these days, with the economy and all.  We have made friends with the guys who play and sing all our favorite songs.  Shortly after we arrive, Michael Faltin or Daniel Blanchard will play our song, “You Send Me,” by Sam Cooke (which is funny because we met in a post office).  And we’ll dance the way we always do, like we just fell in love last month.  I catch people watching us and smiling, and that makes me happy.

Later in the evening, they’ll play Chuck’s and my favorite song, “Your Song,” by Elton John.  They know this is my high school boyfriend’s favorite song, because I’ve told them and I’ve told my husband.  And we, again, dance and I remember Chuck.  My husband is quite a guy to understand and not feel threatened.

Chuck was the kind of person whom everyone loved.  He always had a smile and everyone greeted him, from the most popular kids to the ones the popular kids wouldn’t speak to.  Teachers loved him.  And at the school where football was king, the one Friday Night Lights was based on, the football players respected him, which was unusual, because if you didn’t play sports, especially football, you were nobody.

Not so with Chuck.  He was a trainer and gave all he could for team.  He couldn’t play sports because he had had open heart surgery as a child, and he could not take the physical exertion.  His father even worried that being a trainer was too hard on him.  But Chuck was determined.

My senior year in high school, we talked about marriage.  We were so young, but Chuck did not know how much time he had.  He insisted that I attend a different college from his.  I don’t know that I could have gotten into Rice University!  So, I went to Baylor.  A year ahead of me, he transferred from Rice to the University of Texas, so we were not that far away.  He also insisted that I date other people.  He wanted to be sure, if we did marry, that I would have no regrets.  He didn’t want me to marry him out of guilt over his condition.

I did end up marrying someone else.

Sadly, I never saw Chuck again.  He died a month before my wedding.

I was devastated.  My mother and I went to Chuck’s house before the funeral service.  People were everywhere.  Chuck’s mother, Gay, took me by the hand and led me into a back room.  We held each other sobbing.  After a minute or so, she straightened up and looked me in the eye and said, “You know how much Chuck loved you.  Now listen to me, do not let this interfere with your plans.  He wanted more than anything for you to be happy.”

I nodded, barely able to see her through my tears.

It will be 37 years on May 5th, since Chuck passed away.  But I wanted his father, Wayburn, to know how Chuck still lives in my memory.  Even my son dances with me to “Your Song” when he visits us!  Chuck’s dad wrote back saying that he was happy to know that Chuck is remembered so well.

It is a season of remembrance, whether Passover or Easter.  It is a time of holding those we love, those who have gone before, still alive in our memories, and those who are still physically with us.  We are here because of Love!  The joy of life and of loving, no matter the cost, and the resurrection of hope is what we celebrate.

May your days be sweet and full of peace.


2 comments on “one more old boyfriend story”

  1. great story

    life is short

    shorter for some

  2. Another beautiful story from a life being lived so well.

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