I do wonder what my brain does when I’m asleep. This morning I woke at about 5.30am and couldn’t get back to sleep, a) because Horace was snoring and b) because I had the words ‘That’s the funny thing about love, it never quite lets you go’ running around in my head. It was almost as if someone had just said them to me, as if it was half of a conversation. I don’t remember who I was talking to in my sleep and I have no recollection of a dream with anyone else in it at all…only this phrase being foremost in my mind. I know it made me feel very peaceful. I’m sat here now just after 6am with my scalding cup of tea sat on the desk in front of me, the kids (hopefully) still sleeping upstairs, Horace snoring like a bear in our room – thinking I need to get that thought down before it leaves me. It’s funny how random things can feel so important.
I laid there in the pitch black trying to make sense of that phrase until I couldn’t bear it anymore and got up. It’s true to say the words were haunting me a little, maybe in more ways than one. The ghosts of yesterday were perhaps whispering in my ear, I don’t know. It brought back memories of when I was 16 or 17 and the first love of my life. I’m not betraying Horace by writing about this, he knows exactly how it all was and how I feel about it all. I’d not change a thing about where I am in my life now, not one single regret.
It’s just I think back to when I first thought I could never live without someone, the naivety and the freshness of it all. Walks through snow laden fields holding hands with someone who I think I’d have died for at the time. Honestly, I was so in love nothing else seemed to matter. I think the rest of the world went blurry for a while and all I could focus on was this 17 year old lad whose hand fitted in mine more perfectly than anyone else’s ever had done. Fingers and hearts interlaced. I’d never felt special before, I thought when it ended that I’d never feel special ever again. It’s no exaggeration to say my heart broke when it all ended, none too tidily either. Even though it all happened literally decades ago, I can still feel the pain of it all if I allow myself to think about those days. I’d rather lose an arm than go through that again, it took me years to get over it – but with the help of that great old antibiotic, ‘Time’ the wounds eventually healed.
So here I am, a middle aged mum to two gorgeous kids, with a husband who I love endlessly. I am happy with my lot and I’m not even typing that to reassure myself, paths lead us to where we’re meant to be. In the past I’ve felt guilty about looking back on those silly teenage years and I’ve hated myself for shedding the very occasional tear, it’s not as if he was worth it in the end was he?
The thing is I loved him, would have travelled to the ends of the earth for him, at the expense of everything else that was going on in my life at the time. I refuse to feel bad about still having the memory of that, it was a character forming part of my life and that relationship contributed to the person I am now. It was worth it for that reason alone.
I always compare love to invisible threads. When you truly love someone you tie your thread to someone else’s heart with knots that are so tight they can’t be undone. Well, I know that’s the way my heart works anyway, maybe other people are different. I still have an invisible spiderweb of a thread that links me to that boy I loved all those years ago. When I’m 80 and old and wrinkled I’ll still smile sadly when I remember him. I won’t feel bad about it, it doesn’t devalue what I have now, it’s gone, but…
‘That’s the funny thing about love, it never quite lets you go.’