We met in a café which sold meringues dipped in chocolate and then made them into little animals, soldered together with ganache. Loads of sugar and not a lot of goodness. You were addicted. I was vegan. Repulsed by all that dairy.
Nevertheless we went on a date. Turned into three years. No longer addicted to meringues wired together with ganache you’d moved on to cheese burgers and fries while I still threw up at the thought of dead meat.
When we married we were the first couple to request a salad bar with non dairy options while also offering rare beef fillet. The honeymoon was spent kayaking through the Marlborough Sounds. I watched you fishing for dinner while I munched on my vege casserole. Romance under the stars was special and when we discovered the child was on its way we were so excited to welcome them-the next generation.
The children grew – two boys and one laughing little girl- grew into the adults we have encouraged them to become- wisely or not. They are the product of their family, their generation and their time as we are of ours.
Letting the ones you love go is the hardest test of life. They are happy with their own families now, they visit often which is its own reward.
That morning you woke and looked panicked – the look of distress as you attempted to recall the name of your best friend. We made a game of talking around a subject, searching always for the hidden meaning. The diagnosis was obvious, the length of the sentence unknown.
The tears are hot, unbidden and cleansing. I have shut the door now and as I get into the car to drive away I shudder. The person in the room I have left is a shell waiting to depart.
My love- I still remember you under the summer stars laughing in surprise when I caught you- gently removing the hook and returning your dinner to the sea.