Thursday, June 08, 2006

2. One Great Love

I heard a quote on the radio that goes something like this: You may love many times in your life, but there is only one Great Love.

If you’ve ever had your Great Love, you understand. I do, and Mario does. Only, he’s not the Great Love of my life, nor am I the Great Love of his.

Now you might think that would make us sad. But it does not. It has allowed us to appreciate our relationship for what it is. And, in some quirky way, understand what the other lost.

Mario’s Great Love was Izzy – short for Isabel.

Mine was Gregory. Let me tell you something about him.

Gregory – never just Greg – had a Lebanese-American dad. But some of that edge was diluted by his mother, who was Polish-American.

Gregory stood out in a crowd: handsome and dark, impeccably dressed, with an aura of authority. Just to look at him, you might have guessed that he was Italian. Or Jewish. Maybe Middle Eastern. In fact, he was born into one of the richest communities in America.

He wasn’t tall. But he had the stature of someone who was. His was a commanding presence, like an athlete. Had he not stopped growing when he did, he might have gone on to play professional baseball.

All this was attractive, but what captivated me were his eyes: deep, brown, intense. They burned. And, in unguarded moments, they were the saddest eyes. Only after his death did I learn the secrets behind that sadness.

I have come to believe that Gregory didn’t die of a heart attack. I think it was probably a broken heart.

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