Vhairi’s Story

FRIDAY, APRIL 24TH, 2015.

If you had asked me what I knew for sure about my life, and who I was, on Friday, April 24th, 2015, this is how I would have replied.

Fifty-nine years of age, I’d been married for thirty-seven and a half years to a man I loved very much. We had two great (adult) kids.  Both were married, our eldest and his wife having two gorgeous girls.  That Friday was our youngest daughter’s third wedding anniversary. She’d told us the previous Monday that she was pregnant with her first baby and were going to have a big family dinner on Sunday April 26th where she was going to announce the baby news to her brother and his family.

The only cloud on my horizon was my husband’s health. Less than two weeks earlier, I’d come dashing back from overseas after he’d experienced yet another health crisis.  We always took a one-month holiday overseas in April, but this year I’d gone ahead to spend a few days with an old university friend.  My husband was scheduled to fly out and join me three days later.  But as soon as I got off the flight and checked into the hotel, I got a message that he was ill and couldn’t travel – but I was to continue on the holiday without him.  Even the kids tried to persuade me to stick with the holiday because they knew how much I was looking forward to it. Dad wasn’t ‘that’ bad, they said, and they’d look after him.  But he has suffered from a chronic illness for over 10 years, and if he was sick enough to cancel a holiday we had been planning for months, then I knew something was very wrong, so I called the airline and booked a flight home.

To be fair, he didn’t look great when I arrived home that Sunday evening, April 12th, but he felt well enough to go in to work the next day for a few hours.  On Tuesday, he again went into work in the morning, and after I picked him up at lunchtime he booked tickets for a concert series in the UK in November that we were looking forward to.   He finished off the week by continuing to go into work each morning and I’d pick him up around noon. Late Friday afternoon, he asked me to take him back into the office so he could pick up some papers to work on over the weekend.

On Saturday, we had our eldest granddaughter stay for a sleepover. The kids came round for Sunday lunch, but it wasn’t a great experience.  The BBQ ran out of propane and our daughter didn’t feel well, so she spent the afternoon on the sofa sleeping.

Next day, Monday April 20th, he was bright and happy and felt well enough to put in a whole day’s work at the office. It was an odd day for me as I received both wonderful and bad news.  That was the day our daughter found out she was pregnant – hence her feeling so ill the day before –  and I got news that one of my cousins back home had died.  So when I picked him up and he yelled at me because of the route I chose to drive home, I yelled back.  It didn’t seem fair that we’d had to cancel our holiday, yet again, because of his health when he was more than well enough to put in a full day’s work. It seemed he was always well enough to go to work or travel on business trips, but I was starting to lose count of the number of holidays we’d had to cancel, like this one, at the last moment because of his ‘health’.

So there was a bit of an atmosphere between us that week – and it didn’t help that our elderly dog had become quite sick and was peeing all over the house –  but apart from that, Friday April 24th felt normal.

SATURDAY, APRIL 25TH, 2015

Love is giving someone the power to destroy you – and trusting them not to. Unknown.

I don’t remember exactly what time it was, but I was making breakfast when my husband came downstairs. I was surprised, because he was already showered, shaved and dressed. “I’m going to tell the kids our marriage is over,” he said. “Do you want to come with me?”

What?!?

 Just like that?

 Could we talk about it?

 No.

He’d make his decision and had already called the kids to say he was going over to see them.

I couldn’t believe it. I tried to stop him going out the door. Our daughter was newly pregnant. Her husband was at work. Couldn’t he at least wait until her husband got home before he went to see her? What if something happened to the baby?

For the first time in our married life, he physically pushed me aside in his rush to get out the door, got into his car and drove off.

I stood there, just stood there, frozen to the spot and shaking.

With no warning at all, and with breakfast still cooking on the stove, the man I loved had just walked out on me.

Our marriage was over.

What the hell had just happened and what was I going to do?