JimFormation I’ve Been Thinking …

The Unforgettable Fire

I fell in love. Hard.

Her name was Isabella. Blonde hair. Olive skin. Deep, dark, penetrating eyes always with the hint of a smile.

Dug from the night - your eyes as black as coal

I knew, as long as I had her, everything was going to be alright. As long as we had each other, life was good.

Walk on by - walk on through
Walk ‘til you run and don’t look back
For here I am

For a short time, we did everything together. She was always by my side; I by hers.

We read stories and painted wonderful paintings. We enjoyed plays and walked through the park. Our favorite place was the children’s jungle gym, where we would swing and hide and giggle and laugh. Children.

Carnival - the wheels fly and the colors spin

When she asked me to follow her I was powerless not to. It was love. It had to be. Love.

And then one afternoon — at a party held in her honor — it all came crashing down. After the party, she’d be gone. Forever. Out of my life.

Walk on by - walk on through
So sad to besiege your love so head on

I knew it was over, but that afternoon was the best of my life. We sat together at the table of honor. We danced. We sang. We bowled (yes, we bowled). And when the lights went out, we went our separate ways. Our lives were never to cross again.

I cried myself to sleep that night. Not a quiet, pitiful cry of introspective sadness, but the kind of wailing that is open and breathless.

Even my family couldn’t comfort me.

Stay with me - Stay tonight
I’m only asking but I think you know
Come on take me away
Come on take me home

That weekend was the longest of my life. I was lost. All thoughts raced toward Isabella. What was life going to be without her? Could I love again? Could I really live again? Is any of this worth it anymore? I will miss her.

Monday morning, I asked my sage Teacher about Isabella and my sadness. She said to me, “Just because Isabella is five-years-old now doesn’t mean that she leaves preschool and goes right to kindergarten. She’ll be here the rest of the year with us - with you, in preschool. And both of you will go to kindergarten. Together.”

“Together.” My heart lifted a little - and then Isabella walked through the classroom door. I ran to her.

I could finally breathe again.

And if the mountain should crumble
Or disappear into the sea
Not a tear - no, not I
Stay this time
Stay tonight
Ever after, this love in time
And if you save your love, save it all

:::

That was the story of my four-year-old son. He went to his best friend’s birthday party. She turned five. Five-year-olds go to kindergarten. They move on and the four-year-olds stay in preschool  — or so my son thought.

Several weeks ago, my son called me at work to tell me about this girl, Isabella, “Daddy, I think I’m in love.”

And the love is reciprocated. Isabella’s mom told my wife that my son’s birthday gift to her — a pink stuffed dog, with a dress, and a carrying bag — is her ever-present friend. She brings it every where she goes, and even sleeps with it.

The handwritten (four-year-old hands) card that came with it is steadfastly on her nightstand.

Love. The Unforgettable Fire.

:::


5 Comments

My Caldwell! I love it! :o)

Posted by Sami Ann on 29 October 2008 @ 11am

uncle Jim… I might have to have you come and speak to my class one day….

Posted by Sami Ann on 29 October 2008 @ 11am

Oh!! Isn’t that just lovely??

Posted by Deb Smouse on 29 October 2008 @ 1pm

This is a simple event that is a sweet story when embellished well.
This is what makes you a great writer.
I grinned.

Posted by CitizenX on 29 October 2008 @ 2pm

Now that’s what I was talking about … and to think you said you don’t write sentiment well.

Love IS the Unforgettable Fire.

Posted by BWG on 29 October 2008 @ 8pm

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