My song today is ‘She’s the Only One’. This was a song by the group 'Bread'. 'Bread' was an American soft rock band from Los Angeles, California. They had 13 songs on the Billboard 'Hot 100’ Chart' between 1970 and 1977.
If you have found the perfect partner, then rejoice in your good fortune. If you are still looking for that special one, I wish you well in your love search. If you found the one you loved, but it did not work out, I am sorry. Or if it worked out perfectly and you had many happy years ahead until they sadly died, I regret your loss.
My message today is that unlike the title of today’s song, there is more than one person in the whole wide world for you, should you make yourself emotionally available. This is not to lessen your depth of disappointment or loss, merely to point out that should you desire otherwise for your future, he or she never needs be ‘the only one’, unless you choose it to be so!
A quick evaluation of what I have personally seen and experienced in life is that there is no such thing as a ‘perfect time’ to meet your 'perfect love’. Neither is there a ‘perfect place’ for your meeting or a ‘perfect age’ for your ‘perfect one’.
If there is one thing that I know for certain about love, it is that it responds to events and chance meetings. It cannot be planned and is likely to happen when you least expect it. In fact, I do believe that the more one actively looks for love, the less likely one is to find it. Love is like a needle in the haystack of life. Look for it and you will search in vain. Do not actively seek it, and one day when you are relaxing, it is likely to prick you in the backside and make you jump for joy!
I was 68 years old, divorced, and most certainly never entertaining the thoughts of getting married again when I was jolted out of my haystack. I met Sheila (fourteen years my junior and much prettier than me) in the Main Street in Haworth, and over the next hour or so, we talked over a few cups of tea in a local café. I was in the autumn of my life and, although Sheila had been widowed three years earlier, she looked like she still had some spring in her step and would be wearing summer beach costumes for many more years without looking out of place. Blessed with a fitness and food regime that made her body beautiful, her facial bone structure and general attractiveness belied her age of 54 years, making her look at least ten years younger.
For the first year of our relationship, I was starry-eyed with my good fortune. My world had been transformed with one meeting, and my happiness barometer went off the scale. Even had either of us been subconsciously seeking a new love that afternoon, we knew that we needed to look no farther, as the needle of destiny had ‘stuck it to us’ when we least expected it. Come to think, my bottom still pains.
Within months of our wedding day on my 70th birthday on November 10th, 2012 in Haworth, I was diagnosed with terminal blood cancer. Initially, I felt like fate had been terribly cruel to blight our future years ahead with worry over my health and life expectancy, thereby shortening whatever time we had together to do the things we had spoken about doing.
An additional feature of my blood cancer was that it would give me new cancers in my body as time went on, and our remaining years as a married couple would be hampered by numerous hospital operations and treatments, and assessments, and restrictions in my contact with others outside my wife and home. In short, the longer I lived beyond a three-year life span after diagnosis was confirmed, the more cancers I would develop in different body organs.
Another feature of my blood condition was that it effectively robbed me of any effective immune system, making the mere shaking of hands, a kiss on the cheek, a hug, or simply sharing the same two-metre air space of another person who might have a cough, a cold or a bug highly dangerous and potentially deadly. Such could put me in my sick bed or a hospital ward. The cold of another person picked up by me became my instant flu. I was advised to avoid all crowded situations and to wear a face mask when in the presence of more than two people. Whereas the rest of the country would not start their lockdown and contact restrictions until March 2020, I began mine in March 2013!
I currently have three different body cancers (two of them incurable) with the possibility that others may be on their way. One of my cancer is entering its fourth stage.
Now here’s the strangest of things you will have probably never heard. Despite everything that has happened to me since I contracted terminal blood cancer in March 2013, the past decade since Sheila and I met in Haworth has been the happiest decade of my life. Instead of feeling that fate had been cruel to us by depriving us of some of the time we could have otherwise expected together, I believe that fate has been kind to us both, by bringing us together in the first place, and enabling us to share many happy times together at all!
If having two people love each other throughout their entire relationship from their marriage to their death is considered as being 'good fortune', then destiny has served me and Sheila well. And if destiny is responsible for two people being together to share their life, what better time is there made available to demonstrate their love for each other than being together when one is dying?
I refuse to believe that destiny has served us ill. Each day, I awake, and I kiss my wife ‘good morning’, I pinch myself to discover if I am still on earth or have been transported to heaven in my sleep. I believe that being prepared to live one’s life to the full will better prepare one to depart life on earth when their time arrives. Of course, I will be naturally sorry to wave to my loved ones 'farewell' when my train departs the station, and I cannot deny that I will be reluctant to go. However, because I truly believe that we shall meet back up again, my heart will be that bit less heavy than it would otherwise have been as the steam blurs the last sighting of my loved ones who were there to see me off.
Love and peace