In 1965, I met the most beautiful girl in the world. I met her at a dance. I visited her home and we went out once or twice. I fell hopelessly in love. I was 18. She was 19 and when I asked her for a kiss, she told me I was “a nice boy” but too young for her. Of course she was right. I wrote her a letter but she never replied. Cést la vie. For the next 51 years I was never able to get her out of my mind, even though I married, had 2 children and 4 grandchildren in the meantime.
She was training to be a nurse. She lived over the road from the hospital. It was the same hospital where I was having my radiotherapy and oncology consultations. As I thought more and more about the end game, I knew that when the time came they would put me in their hospice. The hospice was very close to where she lived, you could see her house.
Many times over the years I had felt strong urges to contact her. I will call her ‘S’. I was sure she had married well, had a wonderful caring husband and a beautiful family, and would not really be wanting to hear from someone she had dumped years ago. However, many times through the years, her name had haunted me at night and I could not shut it out. The only thing I could do was pray for her, so I did. Somehow that gave me peace.
Now, 51 years later, I felt the strongest urging to contact her. I just wanted to know where she was and if she was OK. I could not bear the thought of being in that hospice, seeing her old home, and not knowing what became of her. When I could not stand it any longer, I went online, searching old records for any information. I did not even know how to spell her name. Finally I found electoral rolls that listed her and her brother. From there I decided to phone everyone with the same name until I found him. I was sure S had changed her surname. First call was her brother!! He told me she had moved to Canada! In fact she had just gone back after visiting him 3 weeks earlier! At one point we must have been within a kilometre of each other. However he gave me her email address. I was surprised, but very grateful.
To cut a very long story short. S replied to my email. We began to send each other emails and fell in love with each other all over again. She was single. My marriage had never been a very good one but I kept my vows as best as I could. Judge me how you will, it makes no difference and believe me I agonised over my decision before deciding to leave.
I packed a few things, left everything to my now ex-wife and flew to Canada…….