I was asked the other day if it bothered me seeing other couples together.
It’s an interesting question particularly as yesterday was Valentine’s Day.
Andrew obviously had very little time for the patron saint of all things romantic. It was just another money making venture for florists and card shops – in his humble opinion!
But back to the question – does it make me jealous or sad or angry to see other people happy? To see couples holding hands or sharing a private joke?
Not at all – it actually makes me smile.
It helps me to recall the good times we had. All the happy memories flood back as I remember when….
We usually did hold hands walking down the street.
When we started going out we would let go if we spotted someone we knew. We had a code word - “Ruth!” (Ruth was Andrew’s mum’s neighbour.) At the mention of her name we would drop hands quickly.
As time went on I wouldn’t let go no matter how many times Andrew would mutter “Ruth!” under his breath! I didn’t want it to be a secret that I was falling in love with him. We got engaged, got married and the rest, as they say, is history… Andrew’s ambition was to still hold hands walking down the street when we were old and grey.
I love to see couples together enjoying each other’s company.
I’m glad when a friend talks about her husband and I can see her face light up and her eyes begin to sparkle.
Let’s face it girls, there are many, many times when we get together and moan about our husbands and I’m sure they have one or two not-so-kind words to say about us occasionally!
How much better it is to know your friends are contented and in love. That despite all the day to day problems deep down there is real love.
As you can expect I had several emails and messages after Andrew died. Lots of people remembered special things about him. The ones I like best spoke of “us” and our relationship.
I remember Andrew standing in the middle of his huge train set at the top of the house and being in his absolute elements; whilst you smiled at the side to see him so happy.
I always remember that with Andy the moment he spoke of yourself and the Boys he drifted into a very calm wonderful world for himself as if he was suddenly transported home to you.
Andrew spoke so loving and committed about you and the children, what life threw at you both you always managed to deal with and I know Andrew struggled with this at times, but you were his rock and I know how devoted he was to you. There is one thing I can honestly say about your relationship, you had something special that others can only envy, and that is something no-one could damage.
For all the difficulties a marriage can bring I am so glad that friends remember us at our best. That they witnessed our love for each other in the simple things, the smiles and laughter and seeing us hold hands.
When I was shopping at the weekend and trying some clothes on, there was another woman opposite peering out from behind a curtain looking for her husband.
She wanted his opinion of the dress she had tried on but typically he had disappeared from the shop.
I knew that feeling all too well and remarked to the friend I was with that at least I’d never again be standing in a fitting room looking for Andrew above a sea of heads and clothes racks, desperate for his attention – how dare he wander off!
The woman said she would ring her husband – whatever did we do before mobile phones?
I said I’d love to be able to ring my husband to ask for advice but that he had died thirteen weeks ago.
I wasn’t looking for sympathy. Maybe I shouldn’t have said it but after expressing her condolences the woman added,
“I’ll be a bit nicer when I ring him now.”
My hope and prayer is that because of everything I’ve been through my friends will appreciate what they’ve got and “be a bit nicer”. I don’t mind them whinging about their husbands. Marriage is never easy,it takes a lot of work. I’ve been there and got the Tshirt!
But what I like best of all is to see other couples enjoying being together.
Because once upon a time, not all of the time, sometimes even for the briefest of moments I lived in that fairytale when all was right with the world
and I was truly blessed
to be deeply loved.