Tuesday, February 20, 2007

My tribute to Michael

I haven't written much about Michael here, because we lived apart in recent years, and he would not really have understood about blogging, and so it did not seem appropriate while he lived. But I would like now to share something of him with you. Here is what I said in my tribute:

Michael and I first met at a Christmas Eve party in 1946, and I fell in love with him there and then.

For 60 years we have been part of each other’s lives, and I can scarcely remember a time when Michael was not a determining factor in what I was thinking or doing. I cannot imagine that this is ever going to change.

In these last sad months, while I have cared for him, as he has cared for me in the past, I have come to know Michael in a way that I did not do before, and that is very important to me. Even at the last he has added value to my life.

A man of determined independence, who gave freely to others but would ask nothing for himself, Michael met the indignities of his final illness, not only uncomplainingly, but with spirit and humour, refusing to become any less of the man that he has always been.

He spoke of me to others as “My Judith”, and despite his confusion, from time to time he would ask me: “And how are you doing in ‘all this’, dear – are you coping?” I feel his love for me more strongly now than ever.

Seven years ago, when the whole of our family came together for Michael’s birthday, we made a special book for him, in which each of us wrote our personal tribute. I cannot do better than read to you now what I wrote for him then:

Michael ~ For me you have always been ~

constant and dependable; patient, generous and forgiving.

You have supported and encouraged me in being my own person.

You have been strong for me where I have been weak, but prepared to follow where I could lead.

Together we have raised four splendid, loveable and loving sons, and reliably and equably, you have maintained the fabric of our family life.

For all of this ~ and for being hardy and long-lasting ~ I love you.

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