For Jacqueline.


At the ripe age of 74, I honestly thought that there were no more surprises in my life, but there is, indeed; no fool like an old fool.

myjacquelineMy wife’s mother died a couple of weeks ago, and the wider family gathered for her cremation, without my presence: because my wife is ill, and she depends upon me for everything; but my eldest son and my daughter attended both the cremation service and the gathering afterwards.

One of the things produced to celebrate my mother-in-law’s life was a video compilation of photographs taken over her life-span, which was 94 years; and I received a copy. I played the whole show, and suddenly, I was taken back in time to the evening that I first met my future wife. One family photo, which I had never seen before, showed her in the midst of the photo, but she was wearing the very dress which she wore when we first met. We met in the Empire Ballroom in Leicester Square; we met, and I knew within ten seconds that this was, indeed, the girl for me. The smile on her face in the photo was the same as I remembered watching in fascination as we danced, and talked, and danced again. The video photo is unavailable at present, but I shall find it, and I shall hold it as close as the woman whose smile still reminds me why we married, all those years ago.

The ravages of illness have not been kind to my love, but, occasionally, very occasionally, I see the light in her eyes which attracted me to the woman who has borne my children and been my companion for over forty-seven years.

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