31.7.08

The letter from simon



ok...wondering where to start. It's actually a very long story, we've known each other for 15 years, and lived in 2 countries, and did a whole load of travelling throughout.

Could start with how we met at University, in the canteen, or the first dates? It happened that our lodgings were very near each other, and there was a nice English square in between, so we had plenty of excuses to walk home together, and meet for dinner at the fish and chip shop opposite the pub.

Or the night I had to tell her how much I liked her? I sat on the steps of my house for ages, my landlady, this lovely elderly British woman called Mrs F egged me on to go over to her place as I had planned, and just knock on the door and tell her. She lived in a sweet terraced house overlooking a long park, with a small stream covered by weeping willows.

Or the first time she asked me out? It was Monday afternoon, when we had no lessons, and we were both thinking the same thing, that this would be a good day to make a move, but she beat me to it and my phone rang first. She said she just 'happened' to be in a red phone box outside a cinema, and thought of calling me. Would I like to go for a movie with her? (Just recently I found a box with things she kept, she had the receipt from the dinner we had that night, train tickets with my birthday on them, cinema tickets, a hundred sentimental things collected over our years abroad, that I wasn't aware of)

Or the winter night we sat under the stars on a park bench, in Oakwood Park. There was only us, the sky and the stars, and we were freezing but so content.

Perhaps the first kiss? On her 21st birthday, Andrew Lloyd Webber happened to be playing a special one off concert at St Paul's Cathedral. It was the perfect birthday.

Or the years we spent travelling in Asia? In between working, we managed to squeeze in long trips to Bali (with horseriding on the volcanic sands of Waka Ganga, and dawn dolphin watching at Lovina), autumn in Japan (with a beautiful trip to Takayama).

Shanghai, Yunnan (climbing Tiger Leaping Gorge and seeing Shangri La, all the way towards the Tibetan border), Lijiang, Guilin (hot air balloons!), Beijing, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Vietnam (Hanoi, Halong Bay, the tribes of the Sapa Valley, the Mai Chau Valley, Hoi An). Penang, Tioman, Bangkok for quirky things for the house, antique shopping weekends in Malacca, Australia, Xi'an, back to the UK several times, for her San Fran, NY.

And there were many places we wanted to go but never made it. Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, India (Dharamsala to see the Dalai Lama) being top of the list.

The first signs of illness were apparent around April last year. That's another whole long story, and a long battle that literally defied what the Docs told us about life expectancy - she was supposed to die within about 8 months, but fought bravely for over a year. No Doctor had seen somebody fight the disease that long, without major depression, and every sign of wanting to recover and live on.

She now appears in my dreams regularly! The first weeks after her passing, always happy and smiling. And more recently, she's talking to me and telling me things. Two nights ago, we woke up together in England, she went downstairs to the garden, I asked her what she's doing, she said she wants to pick flowers, I said wait for me, I'm coming!

Last night, we were standing on the bonnet of a big white jeep, she came and held me, and kissed me, and said "I built this for you!" I replied "Is it as good as the original?"...she says with a smile "Dunno, try it and find out!"

I could write all day, in fact I've been writing for weeks, everything we've ever done.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is very beautifully written and really touched my heart. People appeared in our life for a reason. It is the beautiful memories and things we shared and do that carry on for a very long time. i wish them well. Thanks for sharing. quietletters

casualpoet said...

this is so wonderful..thanks for sharing this story of simon and his lovely wife with us!

Anonymous said...

This is absolutely beautiful.... Thanks for sharing.

eryka said...

This is so touching I have tears welling up my eyes...Thanks for sharing...

Stephie said...

very moved by this post - I think things happen for a reason.

yAnn said...

This is really touching.....
Her positivity and his memories are beautiful.

Giant Peach said...

It was very brave of you to express your thoughts to such a wide audience. She sounds like a wonderful person and I am so glad that you have led such a fulfilling life with her.

vaneska~tHOmz said...

She was a beautiful person both on the inside and out... this is such a lovely letter from Simon... really touches me...

Riadh said...

Sometimes, it is difficult to say/write things we feel...reading Simon got me there...so i had to do something else before coming back and sharing a few words...to say that i have met Simon and his lovely wife once in Halong Bay, Vietnam on a short boad trip. Before even knowing them, I saw two people in harmony looking in the same direction. It was beautiful. I couldn't resist to take some photographs of them without them knowing - that i shared with them later on. It was just a little more than a year ago...

soon lee said...

hi all, thanks for sharing your thoughts in return. simon and us have been in correspondence and he is aware of all your well wishes. we're also glad to say that he has been keeping a wonderfully positive and cheerful spirit.

give your loved one a nice sunday hug today (for us!) the second you see them.

Beily said...

that is very touching and beautiful but sad...

Amir Ahmed said...

Wow, really nice and heart warming.
You can see the everlasting intensity of love that Simon has for Peikie that seems to grow day by day.
I have known Simon over 18 years and he has always been an inspiration for me.

cubic_kate said...

incredibly sad.

i'm gonna rush up to my boyfriend and give him a great big hug the next time i see him...if he'd let me. :)

mcsister said...

How beautifully written...

Simon said...

Thank you all for your kind responses to this post!

You know...having this shared has created a very therapeutic experience for me, and readers of this blog being touched has touched me back tenfold - you are healing me. For that, I thank you all. Thank you Soon Lee for initiating this. I would never have thought of it.