Tomorrow will be 4 years since the day that Mr C and I went on our first ‘date’. It was a Thursday and he took me for a drink at lunchtime. We worked together and didn’t want anyone to know so we kept it quiet and went to a pub a little further away where we hoped we would not be spotted. He asked what I wanted to drink and I had a pint of lager, my usual drink back then. I remember worrying about what he would think about a pint drinking girl and that I teased him about the fact that he had never used a washing machine. I remember the hour going far too fast and being disappointed when we had to return to work.
At the same time that he was asking me out my Nanna was being taken into hospital. She lived in Surrey and I would travel to see her early in the morning or after work. It was quite a trek but the truth was that she had not been herself since the death of my Grandad less than a year before and we knew that we had limited time left to spend with her. I felt that as my family were in Cornwall that I should regularly see her and keep her company. It was a 2.5 hour round trip but each visit was worth it.
So this is a bitter sweet time for me. It was the start of something wonderful in my life at the same time as her life was coming to an end. For years, whenever I called her on the phone or went to see her she would always ask me if I was ‘courting’. It used to make me smile, that old fashioned word and only the most serious of boyfriends were talked about. At the time she was in hospital I had been single for over a year and I think she was beginning to give up on me!
I remember being at the hospital the weekend after we had gone for that first lunchtime drink together. Mr C text me and asked me if I wanted to go to the cinema with him and I was over the moon, particularly because I didn’t even know he had my number. I was floating on air as I walked into the ward to see Nanna and realised that she had a number of other visitors, people from her side of the family that I did not know. She smiled at me as I reached her bedside and introduced me to the five people around the bedside. “This is my Granddaughter, Kelly. She is not married yet.” She turned to me and said “Are you courting yet?”
It was the last time I would see her, she sadly died a few days later while I was on a short holiday in Italy. The day I returned I was so excited to see Mr C again, having put our fledgling romance aside to be a tourist in Verona but I spent most of the evening sobbing on his shoulder. Valentines day was not spent with the new man in my life, instead it was her funeral. It didn’t matter. I had an inkling then that turned out to be true. I had met my soul mate.
I don’t believe in regrets but if I did this would be one I suppose. That I didn’t tell her I had met a wonderful man. One who I would marry and we would have a family. That I would be happier and my life would be more complete than I ever imagined possible. I hope she knows somehow.