This painting is a memorial to my dear wife Pam.
It is taken from an old black and white photo I took of her four days after we met. I was eighteen and she was fifteen.
We met at the Wednesday evening dance at St. Cuthbert's church hall and met up on Sunday to go for a walk. We walked out of town through Newsham fields and that is where we came across the horse. I found out that Pam loved animals and they loved her. If I had been alone the horse would have stayed in the middle of the field but as soon as it saw Pam it came over to be petted.
That afternoon we talked for hours and walked for miles and as we approached Blyth again along the beach we realised that we were in love.
Two years later we married and were inseparable ever since. We simply hated ever being apart. We had four children, seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren Seventeen years ago if my wife had died I would have been devastated, heartbroken, inconsolable and disappointed that we would miss all the plans we had for retirement but she didn't pass away. Instead she contracted an incurable disease which ate away at her organs.
As her physical and mental health deteriorated I still loved and cared for her but got less and less in return and lately the physical care and mental stress were wearing me down. She still loved me, it showed occasionally, but in the end I was receiving more hostility than love.
When she did pass away at the beginning of January I was not devastated or inconsolable. Heartbroken and sad to be sure but glad she was finally at peace and relieved that such a weight had been taken from my shoulders. If you believe in God maybe it was His way of sparing me the inconsolable grief I undoubtedly would have suffered seventeen years ago.
We did miss out on those retirement dreams but I choose to remember the good times and feel privileged that I had so many wonderful years with my soul mate.
As for the rest I am reminded of a line from one of our favourite songs by Garth Brooks.
" I could have missed the pain but I'd have had to miss the dance"