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  1. Joan and Ted

Male And Female Hugging Each Other

Love is not reserved solely for the young at heart as the above named taught me on a holiday in Tenerife in 1993. The holiday was memorable for all the wrong reasons, the exception being the pub quiz at the local hostelry where we met Joan and Ted. Our group were sat at a table next to an elderly couple when the announcement was made for the impending test of general knowledge. Sufficiently inebriated to know sod all about everything we turned to our neighbours for salvation who readily agreed to join our happy throng. Needless to say we did not win but had a raucous evening with the lady from Yeovil and the gentleman from Bolton. Bold enough from the alcohol I asked “How long have you two been married then?” The answer lay in the look they gave each other personifying the purest emotion I have ever witnessed, to wit Joan turned to me saying “We are not, just very best friends” Their story later recounted puts life into perspective. Both grieving for the loss of long term partners, they rebuilt their singular lives by getting off their backsides and venturing forth. They met on a holiday at some point finding solace in grief, a kindling for love if ever a spark were needed. Thereafter they met on holiday four or five times a year, too old and settled in their ways to relocate or diminish the memory of former lives but so looking forward to a life after death. Not the afterlife. I wrote this the day after we met them.


You are my friend, my sorrow, my grief

My warmth, my breath, my light relief

My heart, my soul, my reason to live

You are my life and this you give

Without rancour or complaint

With grace, with dignity

Without restraint.


You are my strength, my silent tears

My protector, my companion who soothes my fears

You are my anger, my laughter my soul

You are the part that made me whole


You are the sun, the sea, the sand

A guiding angel that took my hand

Leading me into places new

Full of peace, full of love

And that place is you

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