When we are young, depending upon how quickly we mature, Valentine’s day is the most special, romantic wonderful day of the year! We looked forward to Valentine’s day with our tender hearts beating, wondering who we’d get secret cards from, who would purchase us chocolates, flowers, gifts! All so exciting, and the future was now. There was no thought of anything ever going wrong. Just the perfect everything, and Valentine’s day started this ‘I will love you forever’ trend…
But then we grow up. Life happens. Happiness happens, and terrible sadness happens. We love, we live, we laugh, we cry, we marry, perhaps we lose our partner through some tragedy, or we divorce, and Valentine’s day, somehow became a schmulzty, schmoozy, money making racket, where a bunch of flowers cost around £25.00 and that’s in TESCO! Imagine how the florists cash in on this.
It’s ridiculous, but not if you are young, aching for love, thrilled with imagination, over flowing with excitement as to who has sent you cards asking ‘will you be my Valentine?’ the cost of cards, flowers and chocolates doesn’t enter your mind! and if you are hitched, then the money your loved one has spent on the flowers and the chocolates don’t even come into your equation. You are way too happy to worry about such silly stuff! Besides…………you are worth it right?
Imagine sitting in the lounge, candle light everywhere, these gorgeous beamed lights burning, nibbling away on yummy nibbly things on Valentine’s day. Sounds good doesn’t it? Do it whilst you can, because you don’t know what tomorrow will bring.
Thinking about Valentine’s day, marriage, divorce, death, separation etc…I have written this poem. It’s called ODE TO LOVE.
I hope you enjoy it. It is meant to show how love can break when life becomes too much to bear. When there are no more Valentines days, and you are left with an empty hole in your heart.
I’m sure many of you will understand and perhaps relate;
Once again I lie in my bed and it’s half past two in the morning. I want to go and make a cup of tea, but I’m afraid I’ll wake my sweet daughter and her husband. This water is starting to taste vile, evening after brushing my teeth.
The neighbour’s baby has been screaming for well over an hour, and I squeeze my eyes shut wondering why they don’t pick the poor little babe up and soothe him? I have visions of myself going outside into the freezing weather, knocking on their door and asking them if they perhaps need help? I cannot stand the screaming and crying of the baby who is in distress, and so I take a couple of tranquillisers, but they do nothing. It’s happening again. I’m on a manic. I’m awake. Can’t sleep, and the owl I heard last night, has gone tonight. Probably snuggled up with his love in a cozy nest somewhere deep in the woods.
What an amazing life birds have, especially owls. I want to be an owl when I come back, IF I have the misfortune to ever come back to this earth. Owls get to sleep the day away, when it’s busy, noisy, full of crazy people, hustle, bustle, and it all passes them by, and then, at night, when the moon is at it’s zenith, they sit quietly on branches in trees, watching. They don’t need any candle light, they can see in the dark, one of the reasons they are so marvellous, and then suddenly, they hoot in a low, beautiful, baritone, which reaches across the valley…..wait…..and then, if you listen, you’ll hear that same low but distinct hoot come back from far off. He’s found a mate! So he calls her again, she waits, then answers, and this ‘courting’ if you will, goes on for a while, before he gets the signal from her to ‘come my love, I’m here’, and he’s gone.
Then, the woods are deathly silent again, with only the squirrels and small little rodents foraging around here and there for bits to eat, but the leaves have settled, as the cold wind blows, and perhaps the snow will start to gently fall again. Tomorrow evening, I will wait up for my mystery owl, whose hooting brings me so much comfort. It’s a sound unlike man could ever produce, and it soothes my soul and calms my mania.
Tonight I lie here, away from my childhood sweetheart, as we finally, after years of just ‘too much’ decided to take a break from each other. I am trying to get to grip on how I feel about all of this.
Having never been in love before, this is very difficult for me, and yet, in a way, it’s also like a breath of fresh air after not fighting with him for the first time in a week after months of tearing each other apart.
How do people who truly love, and I mean truly love right down to the very depths of their souls, how do they end up ripping each other to shreds?
In Wuthering Heights, my all time favourite movie, Heathcliff loved Cathy so much, that a vile, putrid, hatred grew in him, when he overheard Cathy’s remark about not marrying him, due to him being a stable boy. She was playing, just as she always did. But Heathcliff raged and rode off in the dead of night abandoning her, his love, his life, because his pride wouldn’t stay and confront her on what she said.
Rather than lash out at her, he abandoned her. He was her life and she was his. That killed her. Heathcliff’s actions killed the only woman he could ever love. Why? Because of pride! He knew she adored him, he had no doubt. They’d even made love. They played together, lay together, she teased him often, and he was well aware of her nature, so for him to ride off when she playfully remarked that ‘she couldn’t marry him, he was just a stable boy’, instead of tackling her, like he did on everything else she said, he broke her, and then himself, his Son, her Daughter, and the rest is history.
Such is the propensity of a man.
In the wake of this story, I think about my own marriage to the only man I have ever loved. Loved since I was a child. I even call him ‘my Heathcliff’.
I have a mental illness, and just like Cathy and Heathcliff of Wuthering Heights, My childhood sweetheart and love have played, laughed, danced, loved and have been inseparable.
There was a time when we couldn’t imagine life without each other. Where we’d rather both die than be apart. And here we are. I sit alone in this bed far away from him, and he lies alone in our bed at home. How did this happen? Two people, who’s love and commitment could’nt have been stronger?
So now we live with what we have. My illness will continue to taunt me, and I will continue to do what I can to knock it back. I never brought it on myself and there’s a sadness that dwells in me that I cannot shake. I need my love, but I fear it’s lost. If my love is lost, so am I, and so like my mysterious beautiful owl, who I imagine is white, I too will call in a clear voice until I am heard, for I will never be silenced, and I will not break.
Till next time folks
Love Deborah x
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