I don’t often do this–the really personal stuff. But today was different. His name was Mark, and he was the first man I ever loved. My senior year in college–he was everything, more than everything. We studied all things Ancient together, he helped me with my Greek and Latin. He introduced me to really good rock and roll, and he was so sweet, so wonderful, so bright. We went to England together and toured for a month. I went with him and his family on their summer vacation. I remember our first kiss; I can even bring to mind his wonderful scent. Today I learned in a very roundabout way that Mark and his wife Lisa were struck by a car in a winter snowstorm three years ago, as they abandoned their car to get help. In the worst possible place–I95 near Philadelphia. She died instantly. He evidently hung on a little while longer. I saw the tribute by Mark’s younger brother, Kevin, and the middle brother, Craig. Their memories of course are so much richer, their wounds so much deeper. But I was glad to learn that Mark found the love of his life before he died, as I have found mine. Did I mention Mark was the first to break my heart? He went off to grad school and found someone else. He was so much older in so many ways than I was. I still have a photo of him in my back yard, leaning against a tree that is now gone. I suppose I miss those times, and this news brought it to painful clarity. It’s stunning to me that you can love someone totally, and then become so distanced that you don’t even know they’re gone. In any case, every day gives me a new reason to treasure my wonderful husband and each hour we have together. And to treasure my past.