This one is easy.

Especially since I write anonymously. I have a long relationship to celebrate with the words “thats amore ” more! 38 years! This love has survived two husbands but never been one. Of mine that is. Now that I am old I am not afraid to comment here.,,,and as I said anonymously.

I met him when I was in my early 30s in the midst of the seven year itch of my marriage which had already started to fail. He was the most beautiful man I had ever known personally. And his wife treated him so badly that my heart went out to him. I was so sure that he would leave her and fall in love with me.

But life has other plans. Turns out his wife was angry with him because she had already caught him with women. Now wisdom will tell you, conventional or otherwise, to just walk away from a mess like that. She had declared that she would never divorce him and if she caught him she would have to do bodily harm.

But I was compelled if not obsessed! I lived 6 or 7 years in a cloud of “got to see him”. If I could talk to him or see him it gave me a lease on life to get me through to the next time. Looking back I realize how unhappy and depressed I was in my own life.

Finally I saw that I had to get away. Go somewhere he couldn’t find me so I could regain my sanity. I moved 300 miles away. Went a couple of years. Called him and it started all over.

One year I went to visit his town because he told me his wife would be away on a rare trip. We had a lovely time together for several hours and then I am sure that he went on to visit another woman. Maybe down the hall from me.

This is not love you say! But you called it amore and that it was.

As my first marriage ended I went on to meet my second husband. I declared I would never reach our to Mr. Amore again. I did not for 16 years!

During that time I sorted through the lessons I had learned. Not the least of which was that in this world there are men who love women, who make then feel special and sexy and in love. And that there is a great purpose to these men if you bring yourselves to forgive them for breaking the rules our egos have set. And I realized that he had given me great gifts. A spring in my step, a feeling of adventure, a great friendship as I failed to mention that he was there for me emotionally far more often and more completely than either of my husbands. So in the 16th year I reached out and found him, remarkably. I was so happy to find him still alive and beautiful.

Since then I have seen him twice. Once as a fantasy vacation of a couple of hours and once just for lunch.

But next week I will see him again. He is still the most beautiful man I have ever known personally at 71! I will drive 5 hours and stay in a hotel for the chance to be with him a few hours in a way that won’t be found out by his wife…..the one he lives with and has been held prisoner by….yes you will say but he wants it that way. Of course I have processed all of that. It’s been 38 years!

He has survived 2 husbands. One lost in divorce and one to death to still put that spring in my step. A steadfast friend and lover who I learned to accept as he was. And I am so glad I could see through conventional judgment to the beautiful depths of his spirit so that I could experience his limited presence in my life.

I can truly say I love him.


City of Women

City of Women was important because it looked at the WWII era from two unusual perspectives – at least for us that live here in the US. Firstly it was about life in Berlin during the war where most of the books I have seen tell the war story from the British perspective. Secondly it was different because it talked about the roll women played in the war while the men were off fighting.

Even though the book is about residents of Berlin it is really told from a perspective totally unsympathetic to Hitler. It highlights the things that residents had to do to survive even if they didn’t sympathize with him. For example the apartment buildings would have tenants who were working for the party and watching the activities of their neighbors. Of course these little people were so empowered by this role that they were eager and hungry to find tiny or larger infractions that they could report to the officials to get their lowly neighbors in trouble and sometime even killed.

But it also talks about one woman and her heroic if not always pure actions on behalf on the underground attempts to save what Jews they could from the camps and sure death.

I was privileged to be in the heart of Europe – if not in Germany – in the days following my completion of this book. I think that you find a level of pain and memory related to those days there that is far deeper and more tangible than war memories in the United States. For most of our families the war did contain pain and loss and terror but it was more or less seen as action that took place “over there” while for Europeans living today the stories their families tell are about pain and loss and terror that happened sometimes literally in their front yard. It will still be a long time before the ghosts of Hitler and war go away from the hearts of the people whose families lived the story.