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Monumental mistake

Patrick J Haley

19 Jan, 2018 10:05 PM

(A story of true love thrown away and the haunting life it caused me)

Life goes by in a heartbeat, and decisions you make can haunt you for the rest of your life. This is the true story of how I found the love of my life, that God intended for me to be with the rest of my life, but my personal circumstances led me to make a decision that has haunted me my whole life. It’s my hope that someone might read this and keep from making the same mistake that I did.

First let me tell you a bit about myself…I am now fifty eight years old, having grown up in a military family. For most of my childhood, I never lived in any one place more than about 6 months. We moved to Napa, California, in 1967 and lived there for approximately 7 years. During that time I lived a fairly normal life, going to school and playing with friends. I was always involved in sports, and never gave girls a second thought. I met the love of my life in 4th grade and she developed a very poor opinion of me, because let’s face it…I was a brat! Anyway, besides constantly giving her a hard time, like kids will do, I never really talked to her much. In 1974, one day, my sister and myself were sat down at the supper table and informed that my parents were getting a divorce. Once the immediate shock was over, we had a decision to make. My Father was from Minnesota, and intended to move back there and my Mother had chosen to stay in her home state of California. We were asked to make a choice as to which one we wanted to live with…and I chose my Father. For the next few years, I flew back to California for the summer…to spend time with my Mother. I had become a dysfunctional person, to say the least. I got poor grades in ninth grade (first year after the divorce). In the fall of my sophomore year in High School, I found that I excelled in gymnastics. Being an athlete that always worked hard to be the best I could be…when I flew to Napa for the summer, that year, I looked up a gym where I could work out and stay tuned.

Here is where the story really starts…When I walked in to the gym, to inquire about availability for me to be able to work out, I noticed that the receptionist was the Mother of the girl I used to harass as a younger kid. Mrs. Shuck smiled and asked me if I knew who she was. I told her yes and was a bit embarrassed…because I was almost certain she didn’t like me. She called in to the gym for Frossene, who then came out in to the lobby. She smiled at me when our eyes met and my heart melted right then and there. The next couple months, on a daily basis, I found my drive to go work out had more to do with wanting to be around Frossene than to stay in shape. Near the end of my visit for that summer, I got up the nerve to ask Frossene out on a date. I was informed that I would need to come by the house and talk with her Father, who was a big man. I was about as nervous as I have ever been, but agreed to the requirement. When I arrived, I was escorted in to the family room where Mr. Shuck was sitting. Frossene went upstairs and I was then grilled with questions like…what are your intentions with our daughter, where are you going tonight, what are your future plans for work, etc. I was clearly nervous answering these questions and my mouth was very dry…which was apparently visible, because I was asked if I wanted something to drink. I nodded yes and Frossene had come back downstairs by that time. They told her to show me to the fridge in the garage so I could get something to drink. When she did, there were fridge magnet letters on the door…and I saw that Frossene had spelled out “I love Patrick” with some of those letters. It was at that moment that I lost my heart to the only woman who has ever possessed it since. I was told that I would have her home by 10PM, no questions asked and we left. I remember opening the door for her, and being the happiest man in the whole world. I took her to see the movie “Close Encounters of the third kind” and had her home by 9:30PM. We talked until almost 1AM…and I wish I could tell you what we talked about, but I was too mesmerized by how beautiful she was and how hard I had fallen for her. When I flew back to Minnesota, I wrote her every week and we talked quite a few times over the phone. Getting her letters back and hearing her voice was all I cared about in life for the next ten months. From that point on my grades came way up at school, to a solid B plus average…mostly because I wanted to be someone Frossene would be proud to marry.

The summer of 1977 was awesome for me, as I spent 90 percent of my time with Frossene. We worked out together, went out on dates and enjoyed each others company more than I ever thought was possible. Back home I received a lot of negatives from family members, when I would call her and write her. They would tell me how impossible it was to make a long distance relationship work. I believe they were afraid of me moving away and not being able to see me like they were used to. Who knows, but it had started me doubting myself. At the end of my visit in 1977 I took her to the Napa County Fair. We walked and talked about the future and how much we loved each other and I couldn’t honestly see my life without her in it. As the next ten months played out and I began to look at colleges…I was informed by my Father that he would only pay for my college if I stayed local. I wanted to go to college, and really wanted to go to California for this…but couldn’t qualify for enough financial aide to do so. I was heartbroken, but I agreed to go locally and was offered a partial scholarship to the University of LaCrosse, in gymnastics. Frossene had decided to go to the University of California Davis, and eventually received her BA in Art and business. I was distraught over how the situation was taking shape.

The summer of 1978, I went to California with a heavy heart. Frossene could tell things with me had changed, and when she asked me about how I was feeling…I opened up. I told her I didn’t see how things were ever gonna work between us, when she was going to be meeting other men in college and I was going to be meeting other women. My deep seeded belief that true love didn’t exist had won my mind over…against how my heart felt. She pleaded with me not to do it and that she promised her heart and soul to me, and that we could and would be together after we graduated. With tears in my eyes and a heart that was punishing me severely…I stuck to my guns. I believed this was the best for us both…and I could not have made a worse decision. I went back home, entered college and was miserable the whole time. She wrote me a few letters, but I didn’t reply back to her at all. I quit college after one semester and went to work for my Uncle as an electrician. But there honestly has never been a week in my life, since then, where I haven’t thought about Frossene.

Over the next 40 plus years, I would attempt to give my heart to others, in hopes of having a full, loving and fulfilling life. But sadly, I was never able to give something to someone else that I had already given to Frossene, in her garage, in 1976. My heart has been a broken mess ever since, and although I have a beautiful daughter now…from someone that I thought I could love, It didn’t last. My daughter became the focus of my love and affection and all my free time for the next, now going on, twenty one years. I know that Frossene married out of college and had children who are grown and quite successful themselves. I am happy she managed to find love again…something I could never do. I have tried to reach out to her and stay connected, in a friendly way…but she didn’t seem at all interested. So I will remain alone, the rest of my life, loving only one woman and regretting that decision I made so many years ago.

I have been told that I am lucky to have experienced love like this, but I’m not sure it was a blessing…because of the decision I made. I hope any young person who happens to read this story, will learn one thing from this. True love doesn’t come along like a new set of shoes or a new car…several times in your life. It comes once and I plead with you to follow your heart and not let life’s negatives keep you from following your instincts!

Tags: Lost, Love
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matt says:
05 Feb, 2018 10:48 AM

Thank you.

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Cat says:
04 Mar, 2018 09:40 AM

How cursed it is to have true love. It's as though the people that have settled have it easiest. And us, the ones who have felt the fire, can never quite recover.

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