Was that her, it seemed so long ago? Another life lived in another age. A young girl dressed in white, beside the man she’d known since her birth. The son of her dad’s best friend, who played with her in his childhood, watching her back whilst they grew up in school.Her wedding ring, unmarked, on wrinkled hand, sends memories rising from another time. His face, so warm and young . The sense of being home when he was there. The new born baby nestling in her arms. Him working the shop whilst she stood by his side. An ordinary life from any point of view , free of trophies or the cheering crowds, but, full of meaning and rich in small events.
This was her world. Now only memories . A glance across a table top. His finger tapping on the dinner plate. The children squabbling over the last chips while he, exhausted, smiled at their youth. The preparations for some festivity: dressing the children and settling in the car. The pride she felt to be a family and wife to the man who owned and owns her heart. All this is gone, as he is gone, robbed of many years by some freak accident that took his life, and shut down hers in widowhood. Twenty years on and sidelined by her grief she sits alone. Asks God for strength, existing day by day. shaking her head and talking to his photograph. “What would you make of that” she asks out loud, as some news item flashes on the screen.
Her children love her but distractedly. Her unfailing sense of being understood vanished with his final breath . Maintaining her pride in a world now alien and kept at bay by manners and moral rectitude. Knowing that at least she had a time, when, shared with him her whole day seemed alive. In memory she has no aches and pains and runs as though she’s carried by the wind: stands in the rain with him , and feels the water running down her skin. Her daughter interrupts her train of thought, “Do you miss him”. ” Yes” is all she says. “Miss him” is not the phrase she would have used. A fire glows briefly in her tired eyes as she recalls the life she once enjoyed. Sitting in her shapeless widows garb, she briefly ignites her urgent womanhood.