I have been working on a book about what Gee and I went through in the short 23 months and one day we were together. However, I haven’t really been able to write the book and couldn’t understand why until this week. It has been almost seven years since I wrote the following, which is on the Life with Gee section of my website.
It’s been very strange, coming home to an empty house. In so many ways, the 23 months we were together changed who I am so completely, and yet I feel like I have known Gee all my life, but I am often confused by the brevity of the time we had together—like there are memories I should have but have somehow lost. For three years, I lived in this house, but it was never really a home until Gee arrived. Again, it seems that it has become just a house I live in…
There are days where the silence, like that of the voice of my missing twin, is deafening, frightening, and leaves me feeling immensely alone. There are days where I feel her prescence, like she has just left a room and I have just missed her…when she is an almost tangible spirit. In some ways, I feel like I have lost the focus in my life… when Gee was here, I knew exactly who I was—I was Gee’s beloved—and I knew exactly why I was here—to be with Gee.
It’s a strange thing to realize that Gee has been gone longer than we were together… Stranger yet to realize that as time goes on… the relative time I spent with Gee is a smaller and smaller part of my life, yet one that has had an impact I am just beginning to realize.
My life with Gee continues, even though my beloved Gee lost her fight with pancreatic cancer on June 11, 2001. It had been seven months and seven days from when our wedding started to when she passed away. Like the loss of my twin—losing Gee is not something to be gotten over… but something that I’m learning to deal with.
If you were to ask me—knowing all I know now—that she would lose her fight with cancer—whether I would make the same decisions and choices I did—I would have to say yes. The time I spent with Gee, as brief as it was, was one of the most joyful and beautiful periods in my life… that to me a single day with Gee was worth a century of days without her. Much of who I have become today, I owe to the brief time I spent with her, and I am grateful that I got the chance to know, love and marry her.
Gee—wherever you are, I know you will hear me—I love you and miss you, still, be well and know that we will meet again.
I hope that you’ve gotten to know my Gee a bit through these pages and writing.
This week I finally realized what had been keeping me from really working on the book. The problem was I did not know the how the book would end. This week, I think I finally figured it out—but the ending still has yet to be written.
Back on June 10, 2001, I had made a final promise to Gee, the woman who has had such an impact on my life. She had asked that I re-marry at some point in the future. I told her that I would, but only if I had met the right person. I had a wonderful marriage and relationship with Gee and saw no point in settling for anything less. I told her I would rather be single and happy than married for the sake of marrying someone and miserable. Gee agreed.
Earlier this week, I finally realized I may have met that person already. Ellie is someone I have known most of her life. I have only really gotten to know her well in the last five years, and in that time she has become a good friend, a trusted confidante, and someone I care about, like and love. Over the years, I have seen her grow as a person—emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. I truly like, respect, admire and love the person she has become.
Ellie is someone that I have spent hours talking with, even into the pre-dawn lightening of the sky—not realizing how much time had passed by until the sun arose. I have cooked for her and she for me. I have protected her and been protected by her. I have taught her and learned from her. She is someone I have spent the better parts of days with—just to be in her company. She is smart, funny, stubborn, and makes me smile and laugh in ways I had not in many years.
She is ticklish, but tries very hard to deny it. She is strong—stronger in many ways that she probably realizes. She doesn’t seem to understand how truly beautiful a person she has become, or why I think she is so beautiful. Of course, my definition of beautiful has much to do with a person’s spirit, attitude, personality, rather than just their physical appearance—as I’ve seen far too many physically attractive people that were ugly in ways make-up could never hide.
Importantly, she knows about the other women I have loved, especially Gee. We have talked at length about much of my past and she accepts me for who I am and the people in my life for who they are and what they mean to me. She has said that she regrets never having met Gee and wishes she had had a chance to do so. I know Gee would have liked her and would approve of her, especially given how I feel about Ellie. Like Gee, she accepts the fact that I am very protective of the people I love. I love Ellie for who she is and no other reason—and think that while she is not perfect—she is perfect for me.
While we have never dated, she has always been one of my favorite people and someone I have always loved in some fashion. However, until this week I did not realize how much my love for her has grown and changed. In the past, I have told her I love her and shown it in many ways, but I did not love her to the same degree or in the same way I love her today.
A couple of days ago, I nearly got into a car accident. It had been raining, and a car had spun out, blocking the highway off-ramp. I came around the curve and managed to stop just before hitting the car blocking the road. It was then I realized once again that life is short—that it can change quickly without any warning. I was scared of anything happening to me before I could tell Ellie how I now felt about her.
When I saw her next, I told her about the near accident, and then told her that I loved her in every way possible, and told her that if she would have me, I would marry her. She asked if I thought Gee would be upset or angry about my feelings for her or re-marrying. I told Ellie about the promise Gee had asked me to make and that Gee, of all people, would want me to find love again and find someone that I could share my life with, especially since she would not be there with me. Gee asked me “not to close my heart to the world” and to re-marry if I found someone I loved. I told Ellie I believed she was the person Gee meant for me to look for.
Next Ellie told me she wished that she had had a chance to meet Gee. Then she said she really regretted never having gotten a chance to meet Gee. Finally, she told me she loved me, but did not say anything further.
It wasn’t your typical proposal, but my relationship with Ellie Kay, like those of the other women I love, is not a very typical relationship. I understand why she hasn’t said anything further yet. There are many complications to our relationship that need be considered, including our family and friends. I don’t really know how she will answer my question, or how long it will take her to decide, but that is something I accept as part and parcel of loving this woman.
I don’t know if Ellie realizes how terrifying it was for me to tell her how much I love her or how much she has come to mean to me. I don’t know if she will ever realize how hard it was for me to tell her—knowing that her answer may not be the one I so wish to hear. I also don’t know if she will understand how afraid I am of losing the relationship we currently have—or how much I adore her. Regardless of how she answers it, I have been luckier than most people when it comes to the women in my life. They have been among the most amazing and beautiful of all the people I’ve ever met and I owe them all far more than I could ever return.
The most important each have their place in my heart—Shelley taught me about how to love someone unconditionally; Su Yeon saved my life after David, my twin, was killed; Gee showed me how to be a gracious and selfless person even as I taught her about unconditional love; and Yoon taught me that I could love again and healed many of the scars from Gee’s death. Ellie taught me to live and laugh again. These women have much in common—they are all very much beloved—but are very different in so many ways.
Love is unlimited and eternal. My love for each of them is not diminished nor weakened by my love for the others. Nor is does it ever really end—even though two of them are gone and two others I haven’t seen in many years, none of this can change the fact that they are all women I love. I hope to spend the rest of my life teaching Ellie about many things, including unconditional love, and learning all that she has to teach me.
I also hope to have the book finished by this November. Now I think I know how it ends—I had a dream the other night. It was of Ellie, me and our daughter, on a sailboat in the Caribbean. Only time will tell.
Ellie—I don’t know if you’re reading this, but if you are, please just know how much I love you.