Just back from a wonderful , snowy morning tramp, dodging the sledgers and excited dogs and one very excited sledging dog. I met one of those truly beautiful ladies in the coffee shop who chatted as she waited for her husband to bring their drinks. She had first met him at school and had paid him scant attention but when he came back from the War, aged 20 after 3 years in the Navy, he was reading the Lesson in her church and her fancy was immediately tickled! She asked him to her 17th birthday party and as they played ‘Sardines’ she pursued him and joined him under the bed. (How times have changed!) (At this point we were both shrieking with helpless laughter and yes, damnit, I was crying!). He had continued to show little interest in her so she asked him out. ‘Oh, alright then!’ he said. Three years of courting later she decided she needed to ‘move things on’ so she proposed. ‘Yes, seems a reasonable idea,’ he replied and they got married. Fifty years on as he sat on her hospital bed, his head bowed, unable to speak, she realised for the first time that not only did he love her but she felt the depth of that love. She had just had a mastectomy to remove her cancer and her husband was in shock. She was already in a wheelchair because of her arthritic hips. CancerCare stepped in and helped them both with counselling, massage and meditation. A year later with 2 new hips she got rid of the chair and now, after 9 years they walk 5 miles each day and if I had not done the Maths I would have sworn she was no more than 70. Her story made me think of my son and his words about his lovely Kate ‘she’ll do for me Mum’ – it isn’t the soppy, over the top protestations of undying Love that are the most memorable or indeed meaningful – it is just the quiet, acceptance and trust that you love and are loved.
February 5th, 2012