Sunday, October 2, 2016

The Diary of Zita Cecilia McNamara: The Proposal

Editor's Note: Click HERE to read Dr. C's previous post on the origin of Zita's diary. This entry begins with 13-year-old Zita writing to her guardian angel, "Bishop."

Dear Bishop (Age 17, Day 5) Tom officially asked me to marry him and I accepted. IF (and I hope and pray) we love each other as we do and even deeper 9 years from now, we shall marry. We saw the movie, To Sir With Love, and we ate dinner and we went to our special place. It was there on the staircase he asked me. God it was a good feeling that surged inside of me. I hope that I do marry him. My day was perfect. Tom talked to me a little more about his life. I am finding out more about him. I love him, Sir. I hope he truly loves me. Thank You for the marvelous day!

Dear Bishop (Age 17, Day 6) I need to tell you about another very special guy in my life, my “play-brother” Dion. I reflect on how much had meant to me. I always wanted a big brother; he became that person in my life. I recall when he and his mother visited my home. We had so much fun. We talked about everything. Thank You, God for sending him to me. Before he and his mom left, he kissed me on the cheek. I’ll remember that big brother kiss forever.

Dear Bishop (Age 17, Day 7) As I think of “D” tonight, tears come into my eyes. I guess because I like him so much. Not as a boyfriend but as a real big brother. Someone I have always wanted. He gave me his picture. He’ll be going in the Air Force soon. I’ll miss him. God the feeling that is in my heart is hard to explain. You know it better than I do. It’s a feeling every person should feel for some special person in one’s life. I feel it for Daddy and as much for Mommy and for D. I’m not frightened to let You and you know. I love him. I love You and you.

Dear Bishop (Age 17, Day 8) While talking on the phone, I asked Tom what he wanted. He said that he hoped that some day he could have me as his wife. Oh, I could have cried. God, I hope so. Talking to him is a joy. He needs me, and I need him.

Reflections: In my teen years, you can see that two men, other than my Dad, were very much a part of my life, my boyfriend and my “brother.” They were whom I could talk to and gain a different perspective. D was that brother I always wanted. Whenever I was with him, I felt so protected—I just knew no one would mess with me with my big brother in my proverbial corner. I met him before Tom. When I entered high school, for some reason we just clicked. However, it was not a romantic click. It was a deep friendship kind of “click.” 

The relationship we established clearly shows that the word “family” is more than physical blood; it is emotional plasma that enhances the one’s life. As a girl I wanted that kind of relationship. I wanted someone, other than my parents, whom I knew “had my back.” D was that person. Unfortunately, as we became older, we became distant. Our interests became very different as well as our life experiences. I guess it is true that some people come into our lives (and we into theirs) for a season. D was a very special person who was in the adolescent and early twenties of my life. He was a significant person whom I have fond memories of and am so very grateful that I experienced that season with him.

And it should be very obvious my first love, Tom, was, also, a very special person in my life. He, too, occupied a very special season of my life. He gave me confidence. I was able to realize the beauty of a first love who was so very respectful of me. He never took advantage of my vulnerability as a teen girl in love. No matter how much my parents loved me, I needed to experience that young love that gave me a sense of myself as a budding young girl navigating to womanhood. I needed to know that some guy found me attractive, cared for me deeply, was one with whom I could confide, and one I could share my love. 

Wow!  As I look back on those very special men in two very different roles in my life, I recognize how blessed I was. My relationship with them helped prepare me for the different encounters I would have as I got older with guys as just good friends and others as ones I would come to care for deeply in a romantic sense. It is their care for me that contributed to my sense of confidence as a young woman, knowing that I could be special to a man in various capacities, as a dear and very close friend and as a romantic interest.

That is what I would want for my daughter. And I have lived to see her develop beautiful solid plutonic friendships and navigate into the world of young, romantic love. And as any mother of teenage daughters and/or young twenty-year olds, there may be some fear about the romantic part of her life, I prayed that God would guide her to make wise choices. I wanted her to graduate from college without having made any life-altering actions. So, she, too, has not married her first love. Still, she has cherished the memories as well as cherished the close friendships of her male buddies. Yes, God has answered my prayers for both of us.

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