Forty years had passed since that hot, August, morning, in 1974, but for George, it was as if it happened yesterday. He profoundly remembered leaning up against his beat up, old, truck with Gabby, more beautiful than a Malibu sunset, standing there in her short, yellow, sundress, softly pressing up against his tense, but joyful body. Even today, that vision of loveliness made it quite easy for him to recall her heavenly embrace and the way they just held each other for what seemed like an eternity.
Both of them had been silent, not saying a word, but that wasn’t anything new. The romantic gestures and sexy glances they quietly shared together spoke volumes about their unconditional love for each other and were more powerful than any words could ever imagine themselves to be. Together, like principal dancers in perfect unison, they gently swayed to the music of the warm, soft, breeze, as it hushed its way through the honey, Kansas, wheat, field.
Gabby’s tears, like quiet raindrops, fell on George’s shoulder and the blistering sun, showing no mercy, began to break the horizon and fill the hazy, morning, sky. Neither of them wanted to let go, but they both knew without uttering a single word that it was time for him to leave, it was time for him to go chase his dream. It was time for him to fulfill his destiny. Gabby knew there was a fire in George’s heart that burned like no other and it wouldn’t be extinguished until his dream, the one he had wanted, wished for, cried about and prayed for since he was a child, came true. She was also not going to be the one to stand in his way or try and stop him no matter how sad and upset she was that he was leaving. She not only loved him, but she respected him and George remembered that with undaunted admiration.
George chuckled to himself a little when he thought about the infamous words of determination he always boasted to Gabby with such pride and confidence. “I’m reaching for the gold and I’m not coming home until I got it!” She would just laugh, point her finger at him and say; “You better make good on that promise young man because I’m sure not going to sit here like a prune in the sun growing old and gray without you!” George knew he’d be back and he’d be back with the gold.
All his memories of that special, wonderful and scary time came rushing back to him like high tide during a full moon. In his mind, George could still picture the life changing letter that was addressed to him from a Nashville record producer asking him to please come out so they could discuss his future in the music business. He had that letter framed and to this day it still has its own private spot on the wall in his music room right below their wedding picture. They had really liked his songs and were eager to hear some more, but it meant that he was going to have to go away for a while and leave his home, his family, his friends and the girl he loved more than life itself.
There was no question in his mind that he was going to take this big wig, record producer up on his offer. A chance like this comes once in a lifetime and he was nervous, scared and happy all at the same time. A tear rolled down his cheek as he recalled the day he had to tell Gabby he was leaving. That was one of the saddest, most difficult, things he had ever had to do in his life, but looking back now, it was the best thing he could have ever done with his life and he was both thankful and blessed for being given that opportunity.
Driving alone got pretty lonely, especially at night, so George put a picture of him and Gabby underneath the radio and would talk to her as if she was sitting right next to him. When he arrived in the big city, he couldn’t help but notice that there were a lot of people walking down the street talking to other people who just weren’t there. In today’s technologically advanced society, with all the new cell phones and ear thingamabobs, it’s normal to see a person who looks like they’re babbling to the air sauntering down the street, but forty years ago . . . not so much. That kind of behavior was your one way train ticket to the station called “crazy!”
George shifted his feet and sat down in the cool grass, it was another scorcher, but in the distance he could see some really strong thunder storms building. Weather wise, this day was not much different than the day he first met with that record producer and got the proverbial record spinning. The meeting had gone incredibly well, better than he ever expected it too, plus there were other big shots from the music industry there who were also interested in listening to his songs. By the end of the meeting, they were practically begging him to sign on with them and he was offered a recording contract right on the spot. With his knees shaking so badly he was sure that everyone could hear them, George accepted and signed their offer. This was it, he did it, he was on his way to bringing home the gold and he couldn’t wait to call Gabby and share the great news with her.
Gabby was thrilled for George and her screams of joy pierced his eardrum through the phone. Unfortunately, this meant he was going to be in Nashville longer than they expected, but George promised to make it up to her . . . somehow . . . someway. A melancholy smile gently stretched across George’s still handsome face, as his memories transported him back to a time when he and Gabby would talk on the phone for hours on end. When his song was played on the radio for the very first time, they quietly listened together and then cried like fools when it was over. This went on for over a year and a half. They even celebrated over the phone when George’s song sky rocketed to number one on the billboard charts. George was famous, but more than anything else, he remembered how homesick he was and how it was getting worse with each passing week. Then the good news arrived.
Gabby met George that beautiful summer day in the same honey, wheat field and in the same yellow dress she wore the day they said goodbye. After a very long and passionate kiss, George went back to his brand new, shiny, truck, took something out of the front seat, handed it to Gabby and said; “Here, this is ours . . . yours and mine, we did this together and I promised you, didn’t I?” Gabby looked down and there, in her hands, was George’s album that had gone gold. Gabby couldn’t hold back her tears any longer. The floodgates had been opened and almost two years’ worth of tears came rushing out. George wasn’t finished with his surprises yet and his next romantic move became one of his all-time favorite memories. Without warning, he got down on one knee, reached in his pocket and took out the most amazing diamond studded, gold band that Gabby had ever seen. George took her by the hand and gingerly slipped the dazzling ring on her finger. “I love you Gabby, please make me the happiest man alive and marry me!” He held his breath tightly until he heard her say something that sounded like a yes, but was difficult to hear through all the joyful blubbering.
“Wow, it’s hard to believe that was forty years ago, boy does time go by so quickly!” George said in a whisper trying to hold back his tears. “The kids are doing great and the grandkids, well, they’re as beautiful as ever. The littlest one looks just like you and she sure has your smile. Happy Anniversary Sweetie, I love you and miss you so much.” George slowly got up from the ground, walked over to his truck and took out a stunning bouquet of gold roses. Wiping the tears from his eyes, he respectfully placed them on top of Gabby’s headstone and in a soft cracking voice said; We’ll be together again someday, I promise, just look for the guy who’s bringing home the gold!“