"Love Is All Around"

There’s no beginning
There is no end
Cause on my love
You can depend,                                                                                                                                                                                 Love is all around me                                                                                                                                                                                                And so the feeling grows…                    The Troggs 


Funny I never intended for this “first love” theme to  be a trilogy, but about midway through “A Love Story” I realized there had to be a third story. There needed to be a conclusion. “A Crazy Little Thing Called Love” is about how love can be painful and first love particularly so. I used my own experience as example.  “A Love Story” spoke of memories and how they sometimes have a way of coming back to haunt us for years to come and how the passage of time helps to ease the pain and makes it possible to look back in wonder and smile. Well, “Love is All Around is the culmination of the first two posts.   How I was able to finally come to terms with my emotional upheaval. It wasn’t easy.

I mentioned that I was deeply hurt, and I was. I don’t think a young man has ever cried as much as I did or hurt as deeply as I hurt, but I could be wrong. Believe me I turned to God and I prayed and prayed, but when those prayers went unanswered I chose to blame God for my hurt and pain instead. It was all His doing. This was what I refer to as the  ‘Job’ period in my life. However unlike Job I wasn’t able to accept what God had thrust upon me as a test of faith. Instead I chose to give up personal responsibility and used God as my scapegoat. He did this to me! It was His fault. He alone was responsible for my plight. He hurt me and He hurt me badly. This decision did manage to relieve some of the pressure I was feeling, however slight, but did nothing to relieve my pain. I was hurting. In time I plotted a course of action that I thought would help relieve my pain and anger.

In retrospect, my course of action was a reckless act of selfishness. It was highly unlike me, mean-spirited and inflicted pain on others. Sadly my plan actually worked, at least for awhile, it actually felt good to share the pain until my conscience eventually caught up with me that is. So what was this grand plan of mine? Well it involved one of the oldest emotional responses of all time, revenge. After considering all my options I came to the conclusion that getting even was my best recourse. But getting even with my ex or God was never an option, no my plan was to get even with women because they were the root of my pain. I took the old “love em and leave em” routine and made it my own, I called it “date em and dump em.” Inside I knew it wasn’t the right thing to do, but hey, desperate times call for desperate measures.

No need to go into detail here suffice it to say that I went through a year long period of dating in which my only goal was to get a girl to like me, then dump them. How I actually gained a sense of satisfaction from the “now you know how it feels” attitude I held is beyond me, but like I said,in some twisted way it worked. Now don’t misunderstand me, I didn’t go on some crazy dating frenzy but I did go out with perhaps a half dozen girls as part of my revenge plan. I even really started to care enough for a few of them that maybe something could have worked out, but that wasn’t part of the plan. Some of the girls were friends or friends of friends and one was even a friend of my ex. I dated them several times before simply dropping them without reason. I even went so far as dumping one young lady on her birthday! I still can’t believe I did that! It was a cold thing to do but that is how I was feeling inside back then, “cold” and empty. I wish I could go back and redo things, but there are no do overs. I only wish they could know how sorry I am.

j & R 1972

John & Raylene June 1972

Then in February of 1972, still smarting inside, a group of my friends and I were invited to a party where a particular girl caught my eye, she was quite attractive but I didn’t have the nerve to approach her so I just went on about my business. A few minutes later she came up and introduced herself. I couldn’t believe my good fortune! We talked and danced the night away and I eventually left with her to go to another party for her cousin who had just gotten out of the army. In time we dated and I was already in the thought-process of making her one of my “date em and dump em” girls. But something strange happened.

In late March I was at a party at one with a group of friends. I had a sort of plan to hook up with a particular young lady that evening and was waiting for her to arrive. Imagine my surprise when at long last she got there but walked in with the girl I’d met and dated from the previous party! I had no idea they even knew each other! Feeling rather awkward I didn’t greet either one of them and quietly retreated to the bedroom where my buddy Paul who had also gone through a recent break-up was holed up playing guitar.  I grabbed a guitar and joined him. Perhaps an hour or so there was a group of perhaps six or eight people sitting around the bedroom listening to Paul and I play when the girl I met from the first party came strolling in. She stood in the doorway listening and we made eye contact, sort of a silent hello. Well it was my turn to play one of my original songs so I played a song I’d written called “Yesterday.” About mid way through the song my party friend came and sat down beside me while I played. At the conclusion of the song she took my hand and whispered to me “I understand you now.” 

From that moment on we became nearly inseparable. We were together all the time. A year and a half later we were married and nearly 40 years later we are still together. Funny, this girl who was to have been just another victim in my evil, self pity revenge plan, changed my life and showed me that although love can cause pain and heartache, it is also a a thing of beauty with the power to heal and make things right again. I have no idea what my life would have turned out like had I continued with my dirty little plan or had she not walked up to me that night so long ago, nor do I care. The fact is, she did and the rest is  history. Yeah, love is all around!

I truly believe that God had His own plan working and it was all part of His grand design that she came into my life. It still took some time, but she helped me heal, and filled my heart with joy again! I know I wouldn’t be half the man I am today without her. Thanks Babe! Love you…

Just Saying…



Yesterday she passed through my life                                                                                                                                              I always thought that someday she’d be my wife.                                                                                                                 But yesterday has died away.                                                                                                                                                        I always hoped that maybe it would stay.

The sun didn’t shine that day,                                                                                                                                                          as I watch her walk away,                                                                                                                                                                  and I was alone

Yesterday she passed through my life                                                                                                                                               I always thought that someday she’d be my wife.  

Now I’m so lonely                                                                                                                                                                                              I think of her only                                                                                                                                                                                            And I’ve got to find someone                                                                                                                                                                  but I’ve lost before I’ve begun.

Gotta get off this carousel of love                                                                                                                                                  Gotta get off this carousel of love                                                                                                                                                           Getting tired of this game of love

Yes a man can get tired of going in circles                                                                                                                                 never reaching the end starting all over again

Yesterday she passed through my life                                                                                                                                                    I always thought that someday she’d be my wife.                                                                                                                        But yesterday has died away                                                                                                                                                                I always thought that it would stay…   JS 1971







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