"When I think of you my day lights up and all the world is a lovely place to be. Your love radiates my very being and stirs my passions to indecency. Why could you not have come home my darling? I miss you so much and so do our two children.
I still remember that first time we met when you chided me for having cut across your path without looking where I was going. Had I not had my mind engaged elsewhere that day, I would never have been blinded to your presence.
After I'd accidently knocked you to the ground my immediate instinct was to panic and run for it. I remain ever thankful that I didn't and instead I stayed to face the music when you got to your feet. I waited for your reproach, but I waited in vain for a lesser man to respond. Instead of being angry, you voiced immediate concern for me; 'Did I feel okay? Had I had a dizzy spell? Please let me buy you a coffee,' were your only responses.
Two days later we were dating. I was was so proud to see you in your Army uniform as we walked hand in hand down the highstreet together. Even then, so early in our relationship, exchanged glances of unmistakable love would pass between our reciprocated smiles.Three dates went by before I let you kiss me and it wasn't until you placed the engagement ring on my finger six months later that we truly loved as one.
A church wedding followed and over the next four years you continued to serve out your army time. I stayed at home in Wharfedale with our two daughters as we planned for that time two years away when your seven years army service would be complete and married life in a rural family setting could resume. We even spoke about the possibility of trying for a son, but you said that three ladies in your life were more than enough.
Three weeks before your army service was due to expire, our hearts were broken with the news of the bomb explosion which had killed two thirds of your regiment. At first I hoped against hope that you were one of the surviving third and that another had been killed in your place; if possible a single man. Then I quickly told myself that I wanted you back with or without limbs rather than not have you back home again where you belong. Better to have half a man than no man at all, I foolishly thought.
In my grief-stricken selfishness my total care and concern fell at your door and not at the doors of those other brave soldiers with whom you had galliantly fought as brothers to protect the values you stood for. I know that they too have families and loved ones who will miss them every bit as much as we now miss you.
Wherever you are my sweetheart, please know that me and our daughters Lucy and Heather are here with you in thought and prayer. I miss you so much my love that at times my heart wants to burst in an explosion of pain that will not relent, but then I look at Lucy and Heather and know that you are still with us. Oh I'm so glad that I knocked you off your feet when we first met and that you instantly fell for me." William Forde: September 9th, 2014.