There was a time in my life when every other girl in my circle seemed to be getting engaged. Then one by one they paired up with guys and got married. A few years later it seemed as though each and every one of us was expecting, then sharing cups of tea and biscuits at Mother & Toddler groups. Each time the topic of conversation would change, from diamond rings through wedding plans and dresses to maternity outfits; from nappies through teething to chatting outside the school gates. Then our children grew into teens and more and more of us became divorce statistics. Recently and depressingly some have found new partners and, older and wiser, begun to remarry....I say 'depressingly' because until 9 months ago I was single and divorced too. What is that statistic about women 'our age' being more likely to be kidnapped by a terrorist than remarry? It began to feel like it was true.
Of course, it wasn't really like I describe in the paragraph above. Yes I did marry like everyone else but it wasn't the beautiful wedding I dreamed of as a teen. Disappointingly I didn't get to wear the lovely dress and those of you who know my story will realise why. I did have children but never gave birth. I didn't have a divorce; my marriage was annulled. Even so, I realise how incredibly lucky I am to be here; a woman and a Mom with two grown up children and now, at long last, a new boyfriend.
The last item on the list surprised me most of all. I never thought it would happen to me or become part of my life. Every morning when I wake and see my gorgeous boyfriend, the wonder starts anew. Every night when I turn in bed and feel his warmth next to me, his arm around me or his shoulder beneath my head, I smile and feel content. It's wonderful.
A few years since, a friend warned me about dating 'at our age': 'The nice guys have all been married', she said, 'you wouldn't want one who hadn't been hitched would you?' She didn't really go any further but she might have added; 'some of them are still in the process of getting divorced too'.
So while some of my friends are getting engaged and making wedding plans. I'm not just yet. It would be lovely to be in that position but at the moment I can't be. The 'D' word dominates everything because until that is resolved everything else seems on hold. I'm single but he isn't and in the meantime we both wait for that moment. The moment when things don't have to be 'on hold'...when we can plan and move forward.
So darling Martin, until that time comes and until we can. While we 'wait for that moment', here is my promise and my vow. Don't think I haven't thought hard about these words. They have been coming for so very long and I mean them sincerely. I just want you to know, in front of others, publicly and openly.
"You were the first person to visit me at home after surgery, the first to see me totally naked, the first to love me for who I am, the first to teach me what love is, the first to touch me sensually in my most intimate places, the first to make love to me, the first to give me a ring of commitment and mean it, the first to hold me so close that I never ever wanted to let you go and the first to love me for the woman I have always been and always will be.
My love for you is forever Martin, no ifs, no buts, no go backs, no excuses, no conditions and no get out clauses, just eternal never ending, unstinting, total devotion. I'm yours for always, yours to have and to hold, to keep and to care for and to never ever let go 😊 xxxxxxxx"
There, I've said it. I can breathe again and smile at you :D
Your Jane xx