Glenda Elliott (GE)
GE: Lauree knew how to tease me without my being offended. And there was something about the way she would smile that, you know, I can still see very vividly. She was the first person I really, truly loved. But I grew up in the 40s, in a small, rural community. There were certainly no role models of what it means to love someone of the same sex. So, I didn’t know how to understand that.
My high school sweetheart, he proposed to me. And I thought at that time, that’s what a woman did, she got married. And it didn’t take me very long to realize that I’d made a mistake. So he and I decided to get a divorce.
During all of this time Lauree and I had stayed in touch. I knew that I loved her deeply. She said, “Well I have very strong feelings for you too, but most of all I want to have children.”
She met a man who had asked her to marry him. Then she got pregnant, and she said, ”If it’s a little girl, I’m going to name her after you.” Well, it turned out it was a little boy, and I was relieved. It really would have been excruciatingly painful if she had had a little girl named after me.
Somewhere along the way she said, “If I outlive my husband and you don’t have a partner, perhaps we can grow old together.” And somehow that made it alright.
But then, Lauree got cancer. And she didn’t live very long. And I did not get to see her again.
It didn’t hit me so much until I turned 60 and I began to really think about old age. And this was the time that Lauree and I were gonna have. And it didn’t happen.
There are certain kinds of love that never die. But I don’t regret at all our time together. It is where I learned that I could love and I could be loved in that complete sense of the word.