“In my wildest dreams, you always play the hero. In my darkest hour of night, you rescue me, you save my life.”
Today is Valentines Day. Yes, that day of days when loved-up people all over the world let their partners know how much they cherish them. Or something along those lines.
For the record, we don’t celebrate Valentines Day in our house. At least, Julian doesn’t and, over the years, I have followed suit.
This morning, Charlyse woke up and came bounding down the stairs. Now, I hate to say that I was not in the most receptive mood for any bright and perky child this morning as I had been up for hours during the night doing Controlled Crying with Patrick. Not my idea of a peaceful night, when I have to stand outside his room at 3am for 90 minutes and hold the door shut so he can’t escape.
But I digress. So Charlyse came bounding down the stairs all excited, and wished both Julian and I a happy Valentines Day. Apparently, they have been discussing it at school, though I’m pretty sure the discussion has taken place amongst her friends and not in the classroom. But she was excited nonetheless. And I’m afraid I was too tired to be excited with her.
Now, before I start sounding melancholy about the fact we don’t “celebrate” Valentines Day, let me clarify for you this very point – if you wait all year to express how you feel to your loved one, then you don’t deserve them. You should tell them every single day. Or at least every second day. Once a week at the least. But not just one day a year.
I am lucky, I have a husband who does just that. Even when I am driving him crazy (which is often), he still pulls me into a big bear hug and tells me he loves me. I really don’t know why he does, but he does.
We knew each other as 18 year olds. He was the school friend of my boyfriend at the time. I always thought he was nice & friendly, though I thought his twin brother was the cuter of the two. I was surprised, when I went to university, to have him sitting next to me in Geography lectures. He only lasted 6 weeks, and I was sitting next to him the day he walked out. After that I didn’t see him again, much to the relief of my boyfriend, who told me to “watch him, he can’t be trusted”. Funny how things work out because it turns out my ex-boyfriend ended up being the one who couldn’t be trusted.
Ten years after Julian walked out of uni, I went out for a night on the town with my girlfriend Christine. We spent the night at The Slip Inn, a popular establishment in the city. After catching the last ferry back to Manly, we decided to have “one for the road” at our local. And that’s where I met Julian again. He was hairy and he was pale, but he was funny and interesting and such a gentleman (which was a nice change).
To cut a long story short, we dated for a few months and then he broke up with me, so he could be “single” and have fun during the Sydney 2000 Olympics with his American mate (and flag bearer for USA at the opening ceremony) Cliff Meidl. After the Olympics, we became “friends with benefits” and that’s how we remained for the next 6 months. It worked for both of us. Hahaha.
And then he got a job as a Foreign Exchange Broker in Tokyo, Japan. And he left me. I had already resigned from my job at Harlequin Mills & Boon and was going to go to England. I asked him if I could go via Tokyo and visit him for a few weeks. He said one week was long enough. His actual words were “you don’t take sand to the beach”. Not his finest hour in my books. It took him 2 weeks of hostess bars and strip clubs (sorry Jules) to realise that he didn’t want to be up there alone, and so he rang me and asked me to move up there “for 6 months, a year, forever”. And the rest is history.
This year will be 10 years since we married in a registry office in Tokyo, followed by our wedding in Manly 12 months later. These 10 years have been exciting and boring, happy and heartbreakingly devastating, easy at times and incredibly difficult at others. It’s hard to maintain a marriage in normal circumstances, but even more so when you have a child who is terminally ill.
But through all our heartbreak, Julian has been the strong one, the one who has held us all together, the one who has stopped me from falling to pieces. He has been my hero, he has made me laugh, he has made me want to live, he has saved my life.
I don’t have to tell him I love him only on Valentines Day. I wish I could say I told him every day, the way he tells me. But I don’t. And I know I should. Because I truly got one of life’s “good ones” and, even though he drives me crazy sometimes, I really do love him. Valentines Day or not.
I love you Julian. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Happy Valentines Day to everyone. If you don’t have love in your life, I hope you find it. If you did but it is no longer with you, I hope you will find love again someday. And if you have loved someone and lost them, I know you will be together again at the end of time.
Because love is grand, and true love can survive anything.