Blog, throwback thursday

Throwback Thursday #56 – Is it Better to Have Loved and Lost?

Remember those first loves and the rush that went along with the first kiss? With those first loves usually come some of our earliest heartbreaks.

This week’s prompt is: First Heartbreak

I will give you some questions to help you along. Or, free write if you would rather. You can either respond in the comments or link back to this post. My response will follow.

How old were you when you had your first heartbreak? (For some it might be well into adulthood and that’s fine, too!)

Who broke your heart – first names only?

Do you remember how the breakup happened?

Did you have a ring or token of your love? Did you return it?

Did you think this was true love?

Did you play any sad songs to soothe the pain? If so, do you remember the name of the song?

If you were an adolescent, were your parents sympathetic or were they of the “it’s only puppy love” school of thought?

How long did it take you to get over it all?

Do you remember this person fondly or is it someone you prefer to forget?

After all was said and done, was it for the best or did you remain longing for a love lost?

My first real heartbreak was when I was 17 years-old. My sister was in the Air Force and stationed in. Charleston, SC. Over the summer, my parents and I traveled to Charleston to see her. Over the weekend, we drove out to Isle of Palms to stay for the weekend. I remember it well. We stayed in a huge old white three story house with lots of bedrooms. It was an early mix between a boarding house and what would become what we now know as a bed and breakfast.

My sister invited some of her Air Force friends out to spend the day at the beach with us. There were three guys if I remember correctly. I have a perfect mental image of myself at the time. Young, thin, with long brown hair. I remember wearing shorts and a halter top and a wide brimmed hat. We spent the day dividing our time between the ocean and the beach.

As the day went on, I found myself falling for this tall, dark, young Italian man named Pete. By the end of the day I was head over heels. We walked to the boardwalk and there I experienced my very first ‘adult’ kiss. I felt like I might die right then and there. I was smitten. As the afternoon faded everyone decided to shower and change so we could all go out to dinner, sans parents.

My mom was quite the character and always had an edgy sense of humor. We were all sitting on the sprawling porch when my sister’s friends pulled up, got out of the car and approached us. At first my mom did not recognize them now that they had showered and changed out of their swim trunks. When she finally recognized who they were, she laughed and said, “Sorry. I didn’t recognize you with your clothes on.” Everyone laughed except a couple of very prim and proper ladies sitting on the porch.

We all piled in the car and drove to what I think was a Shakey’s pizza parlor. On the ride back, I sat by Pete. I was overwhelmed  with feelings I had never experienced. That evening, back at the beach, we sat on the steps and he sang to me – “Tell Laura I Love Her” is the song I remember most. What a wonderful voice he had. We sat on those steps as night fell and the stars came out – then he had to go.

We left the following day and went to my grandparents’ home in Virginia. When we arrived I had a terrible sunburn. I was blistered, but all I could think about was Pete. My sunburn was so bad my grandmother had me lie on the bed upstairs. She brewed strong tea, cooled it, and soaked towels in the tea to use as compresses on my back. I laid on the bed all day and cried my eyes out. Everyone thought it was the sunburn, but it wasn’t. It was a broken heart.

I never saw Pete again, but I did talk to him years later when I was in the Air Force. The Air Force had a personnel locator service so people could find each other after they were separated by a change in duty stations. I managed to get his phone number and called him. I can remember the conversation as if it were yesterday. He was shocked to hear from me. He was touched and surprised that I called and was truly surprised to learn how I felt about him a just few years earlier.

Years later I am glad it was what it was and we never saw each other again, but I definitely did not feel that way then. It will always remains a beautiful unblemished memory of my first ‘real’ love and the pain of my first crushing heartbreak.


39 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday #56 – Is it Better to Have Loved and Lost?”

  1. What a tender memory Maggie! These first love experiences are so fragile yet enduring in our personal history.
    I remember John well, the only guy I really dated in high school. We were in the same home room together, and dated for about three months. He was smart, handsome, an amazing kisser, and a musician and singer as well. Everyone was in a band back then! But, being a handsome musician, he had a roving eye and it ended over the summer. I was heartbroken, and listened to Fire and Rain on my little record player over and over. I told my mother that allergies were making my eyes swell.
    I never saw him again after high school, and he died just last year of cancer. I was surprised to read his obituary and learn he lived only 15 minutes from me, and managed a recreation center I occasionally brought my grandkids to! He was still handsome, still playing his music. Still single.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Another touching and tender story of young love. It is all so intense when it happens. I will always remember this now when I hear Fire and Rain. Reading the obituary of someone we cared for all these years later can be unsettling. I have had a couple of those experiences. Thanks for sharing your story.

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  2. Here are my answers, Maggie.

    1) I was just 15 years old.
    2) Christine. A girl in my class at school.
    3) She just asked me if I knew another boy. I said I did, and she replied, “Well I’m his girlfriend now”. Then she left.
    4) No tokens.
    5) I thought it was then, now I know better.
    6) Yes, I played ‘Try A Little Tenderness’ by Otis Redding, and felt sad for a week.
    7) My mum said, “She wasn’t good enough for you anyway”.
    8) About 3 weeks, then a friend organised a blind date, and I felt better.
    9) I used to see her after that, and remained friendly. She married a boy from the same school when they were both 20.
    10) I think it was for the best, as she wasn’t for me in the long term.

    Best wishes, Pete.

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    1. Fifteen is a tender but precarious age for experiencing love, Pete. A week of Try a Little Tenderness was probably just what you needed. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

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  3. Probably my first love was a neighbor boy who was four years older in grade school. Later when I was in high school and he in college, we met again. But he took a shine to my best friend and his best friend took a shine to me. We doubledated and that was it☺️

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  4. Thanks for sharing these sweet memories. I think I don’t have anything to contribute to this topic, as I never experienced actual heartbreak. I hope I never will.

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    1. You are fortunate, Astrid. It took a long time for me to get over the heartbreak. Young love can be so difficult. I appreciate you stopping by to read and comment.

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    1. It has taken me a long time to learn not to live with regret. I accept it as a moment of time and probably critical to reaching some level of maturity. Thank you for the comment.

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  5. My first sweetheart broke my heart in 6th grade. We’d known each other since toddlerhood so it seemed inevitable that we’d be a couple eventually. Sadly once together, the shine wore off and we parted ways amicably, destined to be friends and nothing more. Years later it came to light that my first sweetheart was gay, so that might be a clue as to why our romance fizzled.

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    1. 6th grade is such a tender age. Losing a young love after years of friendship must have been difficult to understand. I hope your friend found his place in this world. Sadly, that is not always the case.

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      1. I don’t remember being too upset by our break-up, more confused. Of course eventually all became clear. He did find his place in the world with a loving partner who he was with for decades.


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