My Darling E
It was a quiet and laid-back morning that Saturday, forty-five years ago today.
I had stayed at Maggi's overnight and slept very well.
No nerves at all, considering we were getting married at one o'clock that afternoon.
My 'tails' and top hat were there ready, hanging behind the bedroom door.
I read Claudia a couple of stories, then shaved and showered before going down to breakfast.
Later in the morning, I popped up to Barnet to send 'that' telegram.
At mid-day I dressed and was driven to the church.
As one o'clock approached, I took up my position in the front pew, my best man, Leslie beside me.
A few minutes later, my mother, sitting in the pew behind, reached forward tapped me on the shoulder and whispered, 'Eileen's arrived.'
I knew you were in the church and getting ready for the walk up that long aisle.
I didn't look around.
I wanted my first sight of you in your wedding dress to be really special.
Again my mother tapped me on the shoulder.
'You're a very lucky boy,' she said.
Just then the organ started.
This time I did look around.
The nearer you came up the aisle, the more your eyes locked on mine, as mine did on yours.
That was then. This is now.
It's our forty-fifth wedding anniversary today.
And, for the first time ever, we will not be together to celebrate it.
But let's not be sad; let's be glad we shared the years we did.
The fun, the laughter, the ups and downs, the highs and the odd tear - particularly at the end.
Over the years, I have never forgotten what my mother said to me on my wedding day, as I waited for you to walk up the aisle to be by my side.
Or how right she was.
Lucky to met you the way I did.
Lucky we realised instantly there was something there between us.
And lucky we were able to work so hard together to turn it into something really special.
We meant everything to each other.
Husband and wife obviously.
But so much more than that.
Friends, soul-mates, partners in everything we did. Trusted confidants for all our secret thoughts, ambitions, fears and pleasures.
You were such a part of my life. How could I not miss you now the way I do.
As the song - 'our' song - says:
Well, we did fall in love all those years ago.When I fall in loveIt will be forever,Or I'll never fallIn love.
And it will be forever, my lovely girl.
Do love you so.