It will be 40 years ago tonight that the man I expected to marry died from cancer. I was in my early twenties and he was older but very young in the overall scheme of things.
That death, more than any other, has been the hardest to cope with. It left me reeling in a vacuum of dreams that could never be fulfilled and in ways that reeling has never fully stopped.
He was the kindest, most thoughtful, generous, nature-loving, sporty, creative, tough yet soft-hearted bloke you could meet.
He left a huge imprint on my life and so many places, films, songs, activities are associated with him.
He was the person who taught me to drive. He loved cars and I associate him most with a white Volkswagen Beetle.
I wasn’t the easiest to teach to drive as I don’t automatically know my left from my right and could get a bit carried away when I saw a long straight stretch of road opening up ahead. How he stuck the fluctuations in my driving is more than I will ever know.
He was a stickler for parking properly and being able to park on a sixpence. We spent hours perfecting my parallel parking, especially on hills and every single time I confidently ease into the tiniest space, I see him in my mind’s eye, smile to myself and say: You taught me well.
Time moves on but so does a love so deep in its own parallel way.