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An excerpt of Heartbeats, True Stories of Love

By Lynda Freeman

I’m a writer, artist, and retired teacher who lives in Toronto, Canada. Five years ago I decided to explore love by gathering true stories. I visit San Miguel most winters. People in San Miguel de Allende, Canada, and the United States have generously shared their wonderful stories with me, often from a very deep place. There are stories about romantic love, love of family and friends, as well as stories about love of animals. These stories have entertained, inspired, and uplifted me and shown the importance of love. I believe love is what we are here to learn.

The 50 stories in Heartbeats, True Stories of Love are now available from Amazon and Smashwords as an e-book and paperback.


By Sylvia Rogers

When I was a fifteen-year-old high school student in Long Beach, California, I had a boyfriend. Then I met his friend, Dick Murphy. I broke up with my boyfriend and started dating another boy, Steve, who was also friends with Dick Murphy. The four of us⎯Steve, Murphy, our friend, Richardson and I would go to Salt Beach to surf. These three fellows attended university. Murphy was a tall, blue-eyed, dimpled surfer. He was gorgeous. He was scary sexy. All the girls adored him. Murphy and I always laughed and stared at each other. Sometimes I watched him surf instead of my boyfriend. I always had a huge crush on Murphy, but I never said anything about it.

Steve was my high school sweetheart, and I went with him for four years. We married and stayed together for four more years before we broke up. Although we all lived in the same town, I lost touch with Richardson and Murphy until twenty-five years later when they landed on my doorstep.

“We’ve had a huge crush on you for twenty-five years,” they said.

I thought they were just whistling Dixie. I didn’t see either of them after that day for another twenty-five years.

I’m sixty-five now, and a few months ago I was on my Facebook page when I saw a picture of Murphy there as a friend of a friend I might want to be friends with. In the picture, Murphy wore a big diving mask. He had a camera and held a big eel in front of him. I befriended him on Facebook. He wrote back asking, Is this the Sylvia of Richardson’s and my fantasies? Yes! I was surprised that he even remembered that he had said he had a crush on me.

We started emailing immediately. He’s a published author and a great writer. What he wrote to me is pure treasure. The emails are the most romantic. I do not know how the man keeps going. He is one of the world’s top marine biologists and sometimes he gets scientific/romantic.

He has a PhD in marine ecology. He worked with the late Jacques Cousteau. Murphy is an international speaker and is incredibly bright and fascinating.

After two months of emails we fell in love. During this period we wrote five or six hundred email letters to each other. At one point he suggested that I might like to join him. He designs programs to help people appreciate warm tropical waters for one of the top hotel chains. He wanted to meet me in Puerto Rico or the Amazon rain forest in Brazil.

I wrote to him, “Come to San Miguel,” and he came. I didn’t have any doubt about how I felt about him. I knew it was going to be absolutely incredible. When he arrived, he stepped out of the taxi and looked at me.

“Is that my princess?” he asked.

When he came through the gate, I saw my prince and I ran to him.

We walked around town. He met my friends and was so gracious. I’m proud of him. Our time together was so passionate, so magical. He gave me his book on coral reefs and the day after he left, I sat down to read it. I thought anyone this bright could not possibly love me. I started getting really insecure. I emailed him, “You’re gone and now I can’t believe it.” He wrote back, “I want you and need you. We will be together as soon as it’s possible.” He’s never lied. He asked, and with my permission, he shares our letters with Richardson.

We decided to meet about four times each year. We do not talk about getting married. We don’t discuss my going to Santa Cruz to live with him or his coming here. I think, for me, it’s just right; it’s perfect. It’s as magical as it gets. I don’t think I want any more. I am not very possessive. We send each other ten to twenty email letters a day. In one of his letters he wrote that he always felt that he had missed out on the adventure that is Sylvia because I was first friends with Johnny Caldwell. Then I dated Steve Blackburn. Richardson and I were always friends. At that time, I didn’t want to be around Murphy because he was too cute. I didn’t want to get myself into any emotional trouble. He was a ladies’ man. That has never appealed to me, but at this point I thank every girl he ever practised on because now he is perfect and I know he’s mine. He thinks of me as a pristine goddess and keeps saying, “You’re so pretty.” He’s my silver-tongued devil.

Every Christmas, Richardson and Murphy stay at Steve Blackburn’s house. Each time they kayak through the canals at Long Beach, and they talk about me. They have done this for forty years. Murphy is still somewhat astonished that our relationship is so incredible. It is the best relationship of our whole lives, and I am very happy.


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