#FOWC. Encounter

It is almost 19 years since I had an ENCOUNTER with death in a big way. In July 2001 my father died. I was with him. It changed my life for ever – as were the events to follow. I was 53 at the time.

My father’s death made me think a lot. It felt like a cataclysmic event. It wasn’t that I hadn’t met death before. I had. But this was my father, and life with my family had had lots of strange twists and turns. We were not an ordinary family by any means. I guess I shouldn’t have been where I got to really, with all that I had gone through. The odds were stacked against me. But I made good,

When my father died, however, I suddenly realised that if you don’t just take life by the throat, and do what you want to do regardless of any risk, or negative feelings, you may not ever get another chance. 53 suddenly felt a bit old to me, and I knew that I had to do something about my dream NOW, or never realise it.

It had always been my dream to live in the hills, where I could walk every day, and where I could be close to nature. I love the wild places. And so, I persuaded my husband to do something radical and just up and move. No planning, no leading up to it – NOTHING!

The week after my father’s death saw us on holiday in Derbyshire in a cottage on a farm. Just right! I swear that I saw my father sitting in a chair in the corner of the bedroom every night that we were there, smiling,

One day, we were travelling along in the car, and suddenly, there was a cottage. It had a board outside it saying, “For Rent.” We looked at each other, hardly daring to voice our thoughts. Yet we both knew what the other was thinking. There was a number on the board, to ring, we rang it, and within half an hour we were inside it looking round. As it happened, it was no good, being far too small, and very cluttered. Just as we were explaing this to the Agent, he said,

“I have another one that you might like. It is in Tideswell.” Well, we did not know Tideswell at all, or even where it was, but we both jumped at the chance to see another cottage. The Agent led us in his car. We soon found ourselves inside another very old stone cottage, but this time it had charm. I don’t to this day know what happened to me, but I stood there in the tiny living room of the cottage and said,

“We’ll take it.”

I had not even asked my husband. I looked at him, wondering what his reaction would be. I had decided his future for him. But then I heard him say,

“Yes, we’ll take it.”

Phew! Four weeks later we were moving in. We had not sold our house, and we had done everything upside down!

We had only been in the cottage for a few days, and it was my husband’s birthday. I could not think what to get him, and in desperation I drove into Buxton, praying for inspiration. Suddenly, there it was in a flower shop. A HUGE beautiful yellow orchid. I knew he would love it.

I took the orchid home in the car, very carefully. I placed it on the window ledge of the tiny, tiny window, and it looked gorgeous. Oh how he would LOVE this!

Suddenly I received a phone call. It was my husband.

“Quick, put the telly on,” he said, urgently.

“Why? What has happened?” I asked.

I put the telly on. It was September 11th. A plane had flown into the World Trade Center, and as I watched in horror, another plane flew into the second tower.

It was 2001, and it is now 2020, nineteen years later. I am wondering what to get my husband for his birthday. I am blind and unable to walk now, and need help with everything that I do, so I can no longer go and buy him a present. On 13th. September it is our Wedding Anniversary. We will have been married 51 years! We no longer live in Derbyshire, but had to move back to my home county of Lincolnshire when my husband had to go into a wheelchair, suffering from post polio syndrome. We have no surprises for each other any more. But oh, how I wish I could go and buy him a yellow orchid again. Sigh!

17 thoughts on “#FOWC. Encounter

  1. We have an anniversary and a birthday – reversed from you. Even though it has been 19 years the memories of that day remain. It was not a very enjoyable week and the celebrations were muted. I wish I could send you a bouquet of yellow flowers… to make your anniversary cheerful! Give your husband a wish for a happy birthday from me!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. blindzanygirl

    Thanks. Yes 51 years is indeed a veeeeery looooong time . I just remember that day so well (9/11) as it was like SO happy and SO sad and terrible all at the same time!


  3. blindzanygirl

    It was wonderful. We had eight great years there. It was thebhappiest time of my life. We are back in my home county now though, sadly, though it does have its good points. 😊


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