Dear Duane,

You were my first love, and it is time that you hear about the impact you have had on my life.

Look at us in this picture.  Aren’t we cute?  It was the 1980’s, we were young and in love.  My heart wants you to know that I am so grateful for your influence on my life.

Does everyone have such vivid memories of their first love?  Holding your hand, I felt safe.  Reading your letters, I felt special and chosen.  Smiling for your camera, I felt seen.  I remember feeling happy and content to sit through church service after church service with you by my side.  Every time you called me on the phone, I felt cherished.  My curfew always interrupted our dates, our time together was so precious, so fragile.

I don’t remember having a need to talk to you about our future, a worried thought never crossed my mind.  I see now that I could not imagine my life without you in it.  Was I sixteen and naïve?  Hell yes!  Life just felt so right when you arrived, I never even prepared for your absence.

Thank you for my first kiss.  Thank you for instinctively knowing how to touch me in that way you did that made my knees weak.  Thank you for your deep respect of my feelings.  Thank you for throwing your heart wide open and loving me with abandon.  Thank you for sticking around in spite of my messed up family.  I never told you how much light, love and fun you brought into my serious, responsible “Good Girl” life.  You saw past all that crap.  Your love for me shone on the tight bud of my heart and like the sun gave me what I need to blossom.

Not only were you my first romantic love, you were the first person to show me what true love was.  It has taken me a few decades to realize this, but I know it now, and for this awakening I am truly grateful.

There are no words that can adequately express the profound impact you impressed into the very fabric of my life.  It was a special, magical time that I will always treasure.

With gratitude,




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