Love you lots Dad and Sheila xxx
Every now and then I enjoy watching one of the old movies of my childhood, as I did last night. My song today came from the film of the same name which I saw during the mid/late 50s, ‘Love is a Many Splendored Thing’. I recall the film vividly as it was in deluxe-color, and because of the tragic love story told.
The film is set in Hong Kong in 1949/50. Mark Elliott (William Holden) is an American reporter covering the Chinese civil war. Undergoing a trial separation from his wife, he meets the beautiful Dr. Han Suyin (Jennifer Jones), a widowed Eurasian physician from mainland China. The couple 'fall in love' and their relationship meets with strong disapproval from her parents as well as Hong Kong society in general. I won't spoil the ending for any future viewer who has not yet seen this romantic film but can vouch that it is undoubtedly a film not to be missed by true romantics. I hope that I have done justice to the beautiful words of the soundtrack song through my humble rendition.
We all experience ups and downs in our lives, especially where matters of the heart are concerned, and I, along with my children have not been immune to experiencing such happiness and hurt when romantic relationships have both started and ended. I do believe, however, that one will not find true love in another that we all want and need to make us feel complete unless one opens one’s heart to the possibility and makes oneself emotionally available; and we can only make ourselves 'emotionally available' if we are also prepared to make ourselves 'emotionally vulnerable'.
This lasting happiness I found with my wife Sheila, in the autumn of my life when I believed myself to be too old to find true love again. How wrong I was!
I walked up Main Street in the Village of Haworth on December 15th, 2010 to meet a woman who was 14 years younger than me without the slightest notion or intention of our meeting being more than a friendly introduction between a man and a woman, each of whom shared a mutual interest in meditation. We found ourselves immediately relaxed in each other’s presence, and although we did not arrange to meet again until a week later, the seed of love must have planted itself in our subconscious minds. Before Christmas, 2010, each of us instinctively felt that someone new had entered our lives who would remain a loving part of it until death. Sheila and I married on my 70th birthday on November 10th, 2012, and I have lived the happiest decade of my life since that first day we met.
All loving relationships end in hurt one way or another when the time of parting arrives, be it through separation, divorce, other circumstances, or death. Yet, I know it is better to feel the love even if the pain someday follows. I also believe in making oneself open to the possibility of love, and being 'emotionally available'(not to seek love out, but neither to invite it nor prevent it). When love comes our way, allow it to happen and accept it, and all it implies.
One can never acquire the ultimate prize of finding true love with one's soulmate without opening up one’s heart to the possibility of being hurt at a future date. This is the human sacrifice that all lovers are obliged to pay in one form or another at some future date.
And yet, I know that if one is to feel the essence of life, one must be prepared to live one's experiences actively, for love is not a passive but a passionate emotion. We miss out on life when we sit out the dance. If the possibility of love offers you its hand, seize the opportunity which fate has brought your way, accept it willingly, and take the floor in the dance of romantic life. It is possible to even step on your partner’s toes and yet, still impress them with other personal attributes you possess. It is even possible that by being prepared to change some baser characteristics that we each possess in some measure, we will find ourselves more in step with our lover and may never need to change partners again!
However, 'true love' is very unlikely to tap you on the shoulder if you spend your life being 'a wallflower' on the dance/romance floor. People do not decide to ‘fall in love’; it just happens! However likely 'true love' may enter an open heart, is most unlikely to ever fall into the lap of any 'wallflower' who is sitting out life’s romantic dance.
If there was but one wish that I could bestow upon all my five children, it is that each of them finds the type of true love and happiness I found in the autumn of my life with Sheila. All I did was to decide to take a walk in Haworth, never knowing that I would finish up in Heaven.
Enjoy your special day, Adam. Love dad and Sheila xx
Love and peace Bill xxx