“What’s your name” I asked all those years ago and you said “Sheila” which I soon turned into “Shells.” We seemed to have known each other forever which was odd, given that we were both eighteen. 

In the hurly burly of life, that was our “Jackpot” moment and so we grew to share things when life went right or wrong: sometimes the sun filled every room, as when our first child was born, and at other times we felt so crushed by anxieties that we thought awareness was the door to torture; but in each other’s eyes and hearts we always found our centre and that spring of life which stops the water we drank from becoming stagnant.  

Seventy- four years old, and married for most of them, we’ve faced all sorts of struggles but never without each other. Nothing was harder than losing our eldest son when he was only twenty-four, in some stupid motor accident, not even his fault, but experience teaches you things happen, and life is not always merciful or fair. You are left to deal with what must be dealt with or fall victim to your own emotions and circumstance: the choice is yours, or with us was always ours, but that was our blessing: to share all things with each other.  

We came through it, mindful that our two remaining children needed the sunlight that loving parents bring if they are to blossom in their turn, and they did, I like to think, although there was that cupboard we could no longer open, and that old pleasure of sitting there at Christmas playing films of our children’s early years ceased to be a pleasure and then an event: we both understood. 

All in all we had little to complain of in the larger scheme of things because, without meaning to, and more by luck than talent, we got the main thing right: the building of a home with someone who shares your sense of what is real and makes you laugh regardless of the facts. Through joy and sorrow we always had each other, and that made us wealthy in that special way which brings rhythm to discordant lives. The point of all this is that here we are but you are no longer present. I hold your hand, as I always have, but life is no longer in it. You taught me everything there is to know except how to live without you

About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in creative writing, Fiction, Love, marriage, Peter Wells, Relationships, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Sheila

  1. renxkyoko says:

    What can I say ? This is just beautiful. * my eyes are misty *

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I found this lovely, heart-warming and sensitive – until the ending when I felt like my insides had been ripped out. This, of course, simply reflects what a superb piece of writing this is, Peter. Hopefully it will be a long time before I have to face a situation like this – or indeed if my wife does – but sometimes it is something that crosses my mind. Well crafted.


  3. A beautifully written tribute to love, life, and survival. I too try to remember the happy times and good things and joy I experienced with those that have gone before me. I have no regrets just memories of love and yes tears but smiling tears of the happy times we shared. Loved this. ☺☺


  4. My God….achingly beautiful. Once again, as always, a thoughtful and brilliant piece of writing.
    Rock on Ducks…


  5. I honestly did not see the ending of this coming. Well written, but heart ripping.


  6. catterel says:

    I think this is the best piece I have ever read by you, Peter – perfect.


  7. ksbeth says:

    this is so lovely and delicate. i read it twice and cried each time.


  8. davidprosser says:

    It’s heartbreaking, a pain like no other to lose the one you shared your life with. The one you want to say “Remember when” to.


  9. Awwwe, shivers up and down my spine…and what is that salty discharge??


  10. Ankahee says:

    very beautiful.. and sad.
    Loved this article.


  11. “Awareness is the door to torture”–where do you come up with these. The death of a child. Can’t we just shut that door, let nothing through. Pain.


  12. And yet, we can learn to hear the voice, oh so familiar, leading the way to “life adjusted.”


  13. nelle says:

    This is four miles north of beautiful, and it reminds me of Natalie Merchant’s Beloved Wife.


  14. restlessjo says:

    A sad fact of life sometimes, Peter. Beautifully told. 🙂


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