30 years after their romance, 2 friends reunite
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A MARTINEZ, HOST:
Time now for StoryCorps, where people sit down to have a conversation with a loved one. Today we hear from Mary Clark and her friend Ron Gibson. They recently reunited after nearly 30 years. They first met back in 1991 and struck up a romance.
MARY CLARK: When it started, it was like a spark from a sparkler. It was white-hot heat, but it quickly dimmed because, you know, a sparkler doesn't last very long. So how did you feel when we reconnected?
RON GIBSON: Well, God knows I've changed a lot. Back then, I had the body. I had the muscles. Now I've barely one leg, one half of a heart.
CLARK: I sent you a picture of me because up to that point, you hadn't seen me in 20-plus years.
CLARK: Well, yes.
GIBSON: And your smile was still there.
CLARK: I remember you responded, you look good. And I said, well, you don't need to tell me that; I know that.
GIBSON: And we briefly got together, which was a test that I think we - well at least I failed miserably in. You're nodding your head yes.
CLARK: (Laughter). I know there are times when I laugh about things that probably get on your nerves. But also, there's some days I don't like you, Ron.
GIBSON: So why are you putting up with me?
CLARK: There's certainly the connection of the heart that I will never regret. You have a place in my life. Did it turn out the way that you or I thought it would? No, it didn't.
GIBSON: At least I never asked you to marry me.
CLARK: You've asked me several times.
GIBSON: I did not.
CLARK: You fall in love so quick, you don't even know what to do. Five marriages, Ron? Come on.
CLARK: Well, that probably wasn't what we needed anyway. What is still true to this day is that you were the love of my life. And I don't know why that is. I don't know where those words come from because I've never used it for anyone else.
GIBSON: I've known people to say you're the love of my life. And then I turned the page and, well, Chapter 10, the end. When you said it, I knew I was.
CLARK: I'm grateful for just knowing that we do have that ultimate respect for each other. And that's more important than anything to me.
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