Oh the things that we remember. At this stage of my life I choose to practice selective memory. This event has stayed with me forever.
His name was Frankie LaRotunda. I met him for one hour at the airport. He was 18 and with my cousin going off to war. Korean War, Both in Army fatigues. Both so young. I was 15, at the airport with my mother and aunt. Frankie and I spent time talking and I was in love. He told me he played the trumpet.
We wrote to each other every day, sometimes twice for many months. I was giddy. He was my boyfriend. When his letter was received, I quickly went to my room to read his innocent, but longing words. All appropriate for 15 year old eyes.
I made the mistake and shared my joy with my mother . A terrible mistake. She was not a bad mother. She did what mothers did in “those” days.
She wrote to my cousin to put an end to my joy. to somehow stop Frankie from writing me. What he did was heinous. He lied to me. He wrote that Frankie was reading my letters out loud to everyone and laughing. He said I should stop writing him. i was horrified and never wrote Frankie again. Frankie was heartbroken writing every day why I had stopped writing him. My tears at times wiping away the ink and his words. I felt betrayed. He made fun at my expense. . It didn’t seem possible!!
My heartbreak came many years later in my late 20’s when my cousin confessed his lie. He said what he did, was to appease my mother. It just wasn’t true. A made up lie …. and then he told me that Frankie really loved me too.
I found out how cruel people can be and told myself to always try
to be kind.
I still to this day remember Frankie with sadness.