This grieving thing just keeps on twisting my head in new ways and I am not sure whether I should even attempt to finish writing this post lest it brings misery to others on a day of love. So if you are loved up and sharing today with your partner, then close this link down and give them an extra kiss, you can come back here another day.
I’m just back from a great weekend away with the lads watching the rugby in Cardiff, drinking too much and celebrating good times together as a group of mates. All weekend though I just couldn’t shake the very strangest of feelings, kind of like a ship adrift at sea that had slipped its anchor and although everything was fine in its current position, where would it return to later. That’s a crap analogy that doesn’t really work at all but the sense I had was of not having a base to return to at the end of a journey. A tree with no roots. I have travelled extensively for work and play all my adult life and never felt anything like it, my “live for the moment” attitude is well developed but I have massively underestimated how that confidence starts and ends with the most solid of foundations, my anchor point for when the journey is over, my home, my love.
I am of course aware that many of the aspects of home are still there and I am a long way from being a wandering vagrant with no place to call home, I am much luckier than that. But if home is where the heart is, then with a broken heart, home can tend to feel more like just another destination on the journey. Every time the negativity and drifting feeling descended this weekend I felt such a strong need to message Jackki, the only person who could understand me, all of this knowing that Feb 14th was going to bite me on Monday. Even on my more selfish trips away, like Morocco on the bike in 2009, my dreams of solo adventure were firmly rooted in the absolute confidence in the love and strength back home. Once I turned the bike around and headed North after Jackki left Marrakech, all I could think about was getting home and it took some resolve to continue to enjoy each day. If I am honest with myself, the travel spell was broken as soon as I headed North and after that trip I knew for sure that all future trips would have to be together and shared, the motorcycle mileage dropped to very little from there onwards.
Simple maths tells me this would be the 35th Valentines Day we should be spending as a couple. I cant honestly remember the first one but I suspect it is mentioned in the University letters sent between Lancaster and Cadishead in 1988 but I am not ready to re-open those just yet. A more memorable one would be 1991 when I splashed out on the best value diamond ring in H. Samuel, Morecambe and Jackki agreed on my proposed upgrade from girlfriend to fiancé. By the same date in 1994 my valentine was also my bride and mother to our baby girl. Jackki loved to be spoiled so valentines was always an excuse to show her and the world our love, I did make the mistake of dismissing it as a commercial gimmick one year and not buying cards and flowers, talk about fucking sulking! Sorry x.
Our last valentines was spent in our little paradise in the snow, see cover photo for this post, we had a picnic down by the river and laughed a lot, I’ll just remember those laughs and many happy times and try not to feel too lost at sea.