If this Boston Craigslist ad doesn’t make you cry, then nothing will.
The post, purportedly written by an U.S. veteran, describes his life post-Vietnam War — and how one random encounter with a woman managed to save his life.
“I met you in the rain on the last day of 1972, the same day I resolved to kill myself,” the anonymous man wrote. “One week prior, at the behest of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, I’d flown four B-52 sorties over Hanoi. I dropped forty-eight bombs. How many homes I destroyed, how many lives I ended, I’ll never know. But in the eyes of my superiors, I had served my country honorably, and I was thusly discharged with such distinction.”
He decided to go outside with the intention that “upon returning, that I would retrieve the Smith & Wesson Model 15 from the closet and give myself the discharge I deserved.”
But then he saw her.
“You’d taken shelter under the balcony of the Old State House. You were wearing a teal ball gown, which appeared to me both regal and ridiculous. Your brown hair was matted to the right side of your face, and a galaxy of freckles dusted your shoulders. I’d never seen anything so beautiful,” he continued.
“We sat at the counter of that five and dime and talked like old friends. We laughed as easily as we lamented, and you confessed over pecan pie that you were engaged to a man you didn’t love, a banker from some line of Boston nobility.”
He excused himself to go to the restroom, but she was gone once he returned.
Now, 42 years later, his daughter and friend encouraged him to search for the woman who save his life. “But as I cast this virtual coin into the wishing well of the cosmos, it occurs to me, after a million what-ifs and a lifetime of lost sleep, that our connection wasn’t missed at all,” the man added.
“You see, in these intervening forty-two years I’ve lived a good life. I’ve loved a good woman. I’ve raised a good man. I’ve seen the world. And I’ve forgiven myself. And you were the source of all of it. You breathed your spirit into my lungs one rainy afternoon, and you can’t possibly imagine my gratitude.”
Could this story really be true? It does seem like it has “Hollywood’s Next Big Romance Blockbuster Marketing Campaign” written all over it, but who cares? We love a great loved-and-lost story, and this one ticks off all the boxes.