An article in the Sunday Times magazine today suggests reading Philip Larkin's 'The Mower'. I have just read it - it is only short but beautiful, simple and food for thought (as I think all poetry should be). It fits in nicely with what I intended to write about today. Do read it on Google.
Tha article was about the loss of a loved one. Most of us - in fact I could almost say all of us - have had that experience - a parent, a husband/partner/wife/child. We learn to live with the experience, to deal with it, to try and live on - for the sake of our remaining loved ones as much as for ourselves. But the sense of loss doesn't go - it fades, it stays in the background getting fainter and fainter - my first dearly loved husband died thirty two years ago - it seems a lifetime; my farmer died six years ago in a couple of weeks.
It's marsh marigold time = the most poignant reminder for me of my farmer. I shalln't see them this year - I can no longer get to the beck where they grow - but Thelma reminded me of them in a recent post.
My first husband was a painter and some of his paintings hang on my walls, along with other paintings by friends and also a nicely framed print of Vermeer's 'Girl with a Pearl Ear-ring' which he bought me for my twenty-first birthday and which hangs in my hall where I look at it every day. (we always called it 'Girl in a Yellow Turban' and I still think of it as that). But thirty odd yeas seems a lifetime - almost another life.
But six years is no time at all. My memories of my second marriage are much nearer and very different. Getting into bed - laying on our backs and going over the day and its happenings, thn turning on to our left sides for a cuddle, then over on to our right sides to go to sleep. Odd now that - after my new hip - I can't do, as I have to sleep on my back.
My computer table used to be in a cubby hole at the bottom of the stairs, in the front hall. I used to do the farm business (accounts, Cattle Movement Service and such like) on my lap top often while he was showering. When he came downstairs after his shower he would always stop and pop a kiss on the top of my head. I miss that still (don't miss the CMS - fiddly chore as I am sure all farmers would agree.)
But some things are common to both marriages:
Have you seen my glasses?
Could we have a night when we don't watch the News?
Where shall we go on holiday this year?
What's for dinner?
I could go on, but I won't - we all have a list in our heads don't we?
But I know one or two which would crop up now were either of them still with me. Top of the list would be
Please do not speak of Prince Harry again. (he is in our Newspapers again, baring his soul again - does he not realise that 'grown ups' have internalised their childhood traumas (both of my husbands had them but did they talk about them? no -they had largely learned to live with them.
The last 'verse' of Larkin's 'The Mower' says it all.
"We should be careful of each other, we should be kind , while there is still time".
If we can say we have done this then we can live with our memories and enjoy them.