We met at 12 in 1959: parochial grammar school, Chicago suburbs. We gravitated to each other within weeks of the biggest losses of our young lives. Tim’s dad had just died. I’d lost my happy childhood home and friends, uprooted when my parents moved us across town.
When anyone called it “puppy love,” I was furious! We were an oasis to each other. Puberty exaggerated loss and every emotion.
The nuns forbade me to wear Tim’s ring. To them, “going steady” so young was serious enough to call Mother Superior and our regular mothers. We took it underground at school, but a crowbar couldn’t have separated us.
Tim’s mom had made a deathbed promise to his dad to send him to college. She feared we were headed for early marriage, derailing those plans. After two years, she insisted he break up with me.
Flash forward, Thanksgiving 1996: I got a strong intuition I had another “missing person” to find, the theme of my life. I remembered a vivid dream about Tim earlier that year. The Internet made finding him easy! Our lives had paralleled thousand of miles apart in the missing years.
No nuns, no moms—in no time, together.