i have been a fan of your podcast for the last few months, and . . .. two of your recent stories have changed my life. betsy bunn’s marshall jr and louise and erica ferencik’s behind the blue ribbon . i just wanted you to know the story.
for the last 12 years i have been carrying around a ball of guilt and hatred for a person with whom i had a relationship in high school. all of the terrible things that can happen between two hormonally charged teens who think they are adults happened, leaving me hurt, confused and lonely. for many years i have said that if i ever saw him again i would, at the very least read him the riot act, and at the very worst physically hurt him just so he could know what i felt like all these years. i told myself that doing so would bring me closure.
i listened to behind the blue ribbon and must have listened to the opening introduction 50 times. "so often when we talk about closure what we really mean is getting revenge. " that made me think about my definition of closure and how wrong i might be. i did want closure on that chapter but i didn’t even know how to define closure much less achieve it.
the next weeks podcast brought marshall jr and louise: "if there is anything that is primarily important in the world it is the ability and willingness to be part of each other’s lives. i don’t think we try very hard. i wonder if we ever will." those words brought me to tears. i literally sat down on the curb and cried for almost a half an hour. i realized that he probably did the best he could have and it simply wasn’t enough, my best at that time simply wasn’t good enough. we were hurt and broken children forced to make decisions that were light years ahead of our maturity.
later that week i was online at the popular site myspace, when i accidentally clicked on the link for our high school. the first name that came up was his. "the ability and willingness to be part of each others lives" rang in my ears. i sent him a cautious email and the reply was genuine. we emailed several times over a couple of days and finally my phone rang. it was him. we hadn’t spoken in nearly 12 years but i still remembered the sound of his voice, he said i sounded the same as well. then what was said next changed my life. "i have been looking for you for years, to tell you one thing. i am sorry for what happened. for the last 10 years if anyone said your name or a name even close to yours i felt myself get hot, like i had just been sent to the principal’s office. i have thought about you and what happened every day and i am sorry." with that i got my closure. i got to tell him how i felt, he got to tell me, we both understood, we were both at peace. the past stopped haunting me as it has him. i found the scared hurt boy that i knew had grown up to be a wonderful caring person who is passionate about life and making a difference in the world.
i just wanted to thank you for your show and for the profound difference it has made in my life. not only have i gotten the closure i needed i have also gained a new old friend. we have talked or emailed nearly every day since then and have plans to meet up again as soon as we can. thank you for changing my life.
Re: just thought you should know
Thank you for responding to our stories with one of your own.
All the best, Tony Kahn
Re: re: just thought you should know
this is stacia again, several weeks ago you broadcast a letter of mine. the one about the guy from high school that i had a very complicated relationship with and made contact with after hearing "behind the blue ribbon" and "marshal jr and louise". we have continued to talk every day since we made contact and it has been a wonderful gift in my life. i just wanted to let you know that we will be meeting up a week from today in chicago. it will be the first time in over 12 years that we will see each other face to face. i can’t wait. i hope to be able to send along some pictures of the reunion so you can put a face to the letter. i just wanted to thank you again for your podcast.
thank you for what you do
your loyal listener
Re: re: re: just thought you should know
Stacia, hi. How did the trip go? Anxious to hear.
Re: re: re: re: just thought you should know
the trip was, well, it was wonderful but like many things in life complicated. we had five great days together and really got to know one another again. lots of trips to used record stores and one fantastic art bookstore. some really wonderful dinners at coffee houses, nicholas is vegan and it was great to eat such wonderful healthy food. although it wasn’t all twigs and bark as my dad always says, we did eat a pizza in the middle of the afternoon on a bench at the beach. i think it was the best pizza i have ever had, … and the conversation was wonderful, and healing for both of us. it was also easy and completely free flowing and usually lasted until the both of us were drifting off to sleep. i got to see his band practice and it was amazing. have you ever seen someone you care about doing something that they totally love? that moment when there seems to be light shining from them and they are totally in their place in the world? i can tell you that it is truly one of the most beautiful experiences in life.
you may be wondering where the complicated part comes into play. that would be at the airport. all the way there we talked about everything but the fact that i was leaving. when we got there it was a total madhouse, being the end of the labor day weekend. we decided that he would walk in with me but that i would check in by myself. we set my things down and hugged each other goodbye and just couldn’t seem to let go. i started to cry and nicholas kept saying ‘shh, we are going to see each other again soon, i promise. i promise not to disappear again’ and then we both said the three words that strike fear in the hearts of all, . . . ‘i love you’ funny thing was we said it at the same time.
whatever happens from here on out i do know this, i have found a truly amazing friend again and for that i am so grateful. and you had a hand in it. i plan to keep you posted from time to time if you don’t mind.
take care tony,
ps- this is not the best picture of either one of us but i thought that you would like to put a face to both of us. (i am the short one!!)
Re: re: re: re: re: just thought you should know
It’s a privilege to be in on the news of your fresh start. I wish you guys the best. What you’ve shared is a wonderful story and I’m hoping you’ll let us offer our listeners (and readers) a chance to experience it. Would you mind if we included our correspondence (and your picture) on our web site and our site on Flickr?
All the best,
Re: re: re: re: re: re: just thought you should know
i am flattered that you want to use this story, while it seems big to me i find it amusing that the wider world finds it interesting. i guess that is the case with most people. everyone has a story to tell but they doubt that they are of interest.
ps. tell ipswitch that they rock!!