This one is inspired by a new friend on YouTube. I obviously won’t identify this person, but she was very kind to share her remarkably bittersweet story with me. I will only reveal that, in her youth, at the age of fifteen, she wanted to share her feelings with a young man about the age of eighteen, at that time. Her parents prevented her from revealing her intentions to this young man and he became the “one that got away”. She did marry and was unfortunately widowed in 2007. Three years later, after 47 years, the “one that got away” found her on Facebook and they are together after all of these years.
I hope that she doesn’t mind but I want to share a portion of my response to her:
“Like you, I grew up within a very strict home. I couldn’t go out with my friends during the weekdays, let alone develop any of the crushes I had, even throughout high school. I’m not sure that there are any 18 year old boys who would follow rules like that anymore. I did. I was very popular and my high school years were my “glory days”. I felt highly restricted. Even so, I didn’t wallow. I sang for hours every day. I drew my favorite characters of fantastical images and portraits of the girls for whom I had crushes. I developed my writing skills and wrote fictional stories. I developed a creative imagination that fueled my loneliness. Maybe it’s because I could only use my imagination to develop my relationships. I wanted to be married and have children. I thought that it would be perfect to be married and start a family when I turned 25 years old. Sounds funny learning that a teenage boy wanted to be married, right? I continually thought that I would be a great husband and father of children. But, God told me that I wasn’t ready until I was 30 years old because that’s when my wife entered my life and everything fell into place. I’m skipping over a multitude of details, but I have been endlessly Blessed and I continually pray with great appreciation and thankfulness, doing my best to never be complacent and to never take anything for granted.
Destiny is God’s plan for us, but those plans will not become a reality unless we act upon them. It’s up to each and every one of us to recognize the signs placed before us so that we know which direction to take. And, even though some signs are directly in clear view, they can be easily overlooked when our eyes are closed. Even now, though I recognize this fact, I continually miss signs that were clearly visible. In hindsight, I think, “wow, I was warned and I didn’t do what I should have done.” And, no matter how much effort I make, I still mistakes. Unfortunately, it’s human nature. No matter how carefully I plan, some details still fall out of place. But, instead of succumbing to disappointment, I’m encouraged to keep growing and having Faith. Life is truly a test of time. Each life has its place for valuable reasons and it’s not the individual’s responsibility to question “why”? Instead, the opportunities are provided for the taking and the lessons are stepping stones for greater things to come.
Remaining steadfast and unrelenting, conditioned by wisdom, is how every life should live. Life is a gift. I’m doing my best to live life to the fullest. At the same time, I know that I am weak and I cannot accomplish anything by myself. I always need help. I always will. Once I surrendered myself to this ideal, a multitude of possibilities opened up for me. Now, with thankfulness and appreciation, I am humbled by countless Blessings that I realized were always available to me. I just needed to set myself free from believing I have any control at all. Except for the fact that God needed my mom for a greater purpose, which has been difficult for me to appreciate, even now, I know that my life is where it’s supposed to be. Those years of isolation were invaluable for the person I am today. I’m eternally grateful for the wisdom I didn’t understand then that I do understand now. And, though I will probably not follow in the exact footsteps that my dad laid before me, I will use those lessons to improve the future for my own children. I will need much guidance, as always, but I will always make the effort.”
Too Young, indeed. Parents hold wisdom that won’t be understood by their child until the child becomes a parent themselves. Whether any parent’s choices for their child are the wisest for that time is only revealed by time. What I do understand now that I understood as a teenager is that my emotions were very real, for whatever they were worth, right or wrong. I’d like to think it was serendipitous that my new friend was reunited with the young man from her youth. I’d like to think that serendipity shaped the circumstances between my wife and me. But, for some inexplicable reason, I don’t believe so. I can’t speak for my friend, but as for myself, if I had met my wife any sooner than I had, I would not have been truly ready to be the man that she knows now. Any moment sooner, I might have ruined my dream come true. As it stands, serendipitous or not, God’s plan was laid before me and thankfully, I was searching for the life that I wanted for my future. I made choices that have led me to where I am now. I believe I am exactly where I am supposed to be. Too Young … maybe … or maybe not. I believe it just depends on the truth from within. I sought and I found. Above all, THAT is the truth revealed.
"Too Young" is a popular song with the music composed by Sidney Lippman and the lyrics written by Sylvia Dee. The song was published in 1951. In the United States, the best-known version of the song was recorded by Nat King Cole on February 6, 1951 and released by Capitol Records as catalog number 1449. It was a million-selling record and reached the #1 position on the Billboard magazine chart, staying at #1 for 5 weeks and altogether on the Best Seller chart for 29 weeks.