Retrospective Love

The mourners stood around him eating cakes and sandwiches not made by him. Some catering company he employed to do the work, did the work while he stood near a corner of the room, watching his guests share memories of his wife and stain the carpet with their drink and crumbs. He, who hated fuss above all else, and kept emotions strictly under wraps, nodded as each passing face offering him comfort and support, not realising that all he longed for was their silence. Mavis, his  wife now deceased, who spelt reflection with the word ‘Abyss’ had filled his life with whims and groundless fears, till her death offered him relief and left him with the chance to dream once more, and sit and watch the natural world and catch his breath.

So thorough was his daily care of her that those around her wondered at his discreet gentleness and diligent support for one who loved hysteria as if it were her only child. In fact, by chance or was it luck, the union had proved fruitless in that way, and wardrobes full of dresses and shoes would be her brief legacy. 

He loved her without doubt, but more for herself than him, he always thought, and sought to ease her constant anxieties. Strangely once she knew that she must die, courage came from somewhere in her heart bringing its dignity to her passing. She, who made a fuss of everything, and thought a chipped cup a calamity, faced her death with humour and her spoken thought that, “You’ll be alright,”  was her last comment as her husband sat beside her on the bed.

He, who for years had lived within his wife’s concerns, alone at last, could set his dreams alight, or so he thought. He might explore and get to know people he had not yet met, and tread the path to discovery, and taste adventure ungoverned by her fears.

But now alone, and challenged by his imagination, he realised the very door that kept this world beyond his reach, gave him the licence to shape its landscape and possibilities without cost.  As he reflected thus, a wave of sadness startling in its suddenness, swept through him as he realised how her concerns had shielded him from himself, and allowed him his whimsies without risk. Nothing, he finally understood, makes a dream more frightening than it becoming possible


About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in character, Fiction, Humanity, kindness, Peter Wells, Relationships and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Retrospective Love

  1. beth says:

    ah, that incredible moment of truth that we have been our own jailers, and hiding behind/within others to keep us locked up, only to feel so safe within their cell that we agree to enter by choice and not really wanting the key to get out. beautifully written, Peter

    Liked by 2 people

  2. catterel says:

    One of your best, Peter.


  3. Scarlet says:

    Nothing, he finally understood, makes a dream more frightening than it becoming possible.
    Too true.


  4. tidalscribe says:

    Brilliant, loved the ending.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a superb closing profundity. As ever a fine tale and one which certainly hits at the conscience, Peter.


  6. restlessjo says:

    Your stories are always so sad, and unfortunately very close to the truth in some cases. 🙂 🙂


  7. nelle says:

    I LOVE the last paragraph. Well done.


  8. tiostib says:

    I have reflected on this post for several days, wondering why it touched me so deeply. i’ve not answered this question, but know I am somehow more alive now for having considered your poignant story. Thank you.


  9. Robin says:

    WOW. That went deep. One of your best Peter!!!


  10. Al says:

    All of your writings are insightful, Peter, but this one plumbs many unspoken human intuitions.
    You nailed it with that last thought.

    Liked by 1 person

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