For those in Northeast Pennsylvania, this post is not about the restaurant with the fabulous pizza and great chicken salad sandwiches. This post is about something very personal from my past, and it was triggered by an event from this morning.
I found out that a former colleague of mine passed away this week. To preface the story, this was someone I worked with nearly 30 years ago, and at the time, I was a young and immature young man who made a LOT of mistakes (honestly, I was a cocky, arrogant pain in the ass.). Even though this colleague still supported me even though they probably wanted to slap me silly, they saw the good in me, and in my abilities. Years later after I’d moved away (and got my incredibly huge dose of reality), I had the chance to reconnect with this colleague, and they were incredibly kind to both me and to Jenn when we’d see them while visiting Upstate New York. This leads me to Dino and Francesca.
Dino and I never clicked….we worked together, and we actually got to a point where we almost came to fisticuffs in the parking lot after work. We were both very customer focus driven, competitive, and then I became the guy who ended up dating his ex. (This was in no way handled like Clapton and George Harrison over Patti Boyd.) In hindsight, I see how I ruffled his feathers, and the feathers of the people we worked with, and although it’s a regret that I’ve had for many years, I learned to forgive myself and move forward.
My history with Francesca is well documented. It’s been in previous blog posts, and to go through all of it again is something I choose not to do anymore. I can’t change it, and I know I’m not the person that she remembers. After going through a horrible divorce, dealing with PTSD, coming very close to a suicide attempt, and being disconnected from my teenage daughter by a vindictive ex-wife, I’ve had a shitload of things happen that far outweigh anything between me and Francesca. Through years of therapy and the support of a loving wife, good friends, and a 120-pound Floofinator who loves me unconditionally, I’ve learned to value who I am, and not base my opinion of myself on my past mistakes or the opinions of others who don’t forgive.
There was a group communication this morning about a memorial for our colleague, and when I joined, you can guess who the first two people I saw were….Dino and Francesca. I said some kind words about our friend who had passed, and then I realized that I don’t need to put myself back into that situation, and I removed myself from the group. If they choose to see me the same way they saw me 30 years ago, and they choose never to forgive, that’s their fucking problem, not mine.
Onward and upward….and now all I can think about is chicken salad.