Tuesday 10 April 2012

Love, again

It wouldn't be surprising if someone of my great age would feel she had plenty to say about love. Those dear, faithful readers who have been kind enough to keep up will remember that there have been previous wanderings in to this particular minefield. However, there will be more to say on the subject than is dreamt of in anyone's philosophy and I don't see why a concern about presumption should inhibit me.
As I was saying: love. Today's impulse was occasioned by a recent paschal visit to my homeland.That visit deserves a post all of its own. After all, not everyone is driven eighteen miles out of town to buy a leg of Welsh lamb from the best butcher in the Principality. That will have to do for the moment, though. During the visit, my chauffeur and I met some old friends of his who have, I am delighted to note, become friends of mine. Indeed, they undertook to be guardians to my rocking chair when I made the final move from the domestic toe-hold I had kept in the land of leeks and daffodils long after it had ceased to be economically viable. Pause for a green ink moment:in that town, there is an embargo on the hiring of cars by those of us passed the middle of the eigth decade, so no train and car combo possible. Driving all the way from London is exhausting but a car is virtually essential at the other end; result: stalemate or a generous son who also has a touch of hiraeth for the old place. He drove. During dinner with our friends, it emerged that, recently, the lady had had a difficult time. She had lost her parents only a few months before. She told us that having been extrememly close for nearly sixty years, they died on the same day. Someone of my temperament, or any nosey-parker, for that matter,would have found it very difficult to leave it there. I didn't. I asked how that had happened. She told us her Mother telephoned her from the town 50 miles away where she lived, to say that she had called an ambulance for her Father because she was very concerned about his health. This lady was of the nature that simply never felt able to bother the Doctor so my friend at once understood the real severity of the emergency. She alerted her sister who lived near their parents, That lady went straight round to her parents' house. Receiving no reply to her knock, she assumed her Mother had gone in the ambulance, too, and drove on to the hospital, believing she would find her Mother there. She was not. The news was broken that her father had died actually in the ambulance so she rushed back to the parental home. Letting herself in, she found her Mother dead on the floor with the telephone, open, in her hand. It is more than likely that each had died at the same moment as the other.Thus, each was spared the knowledge that the other had died.I am tempted to say " the conscious knowledge" because who knows what the depth of their loving connection might have made possible? The story appeared in the National newspapers. I don't think I saw it but then I would not have been aware of my friend's maiden name if I had.
I found the story beautiful and poignant and full of hope. I was envious, too. How blessed one would be to experience such a profound, mutual love no matter from what source. The awareness that it is too late, at more than three score and ten, to expect to be blessed with some of life's most exquisite experiences remains intellectual, stays in the head, until such a story emerges. Then it moves from the head to the heart. Bore da

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