On 10th July, Elaine and I will have been together eight years; not the longest relationship in history I know, but it’s a measure of how much better life has become, that I can barely remember what it was like before we met. Maybe negative thoughts and feelings are easier to suppress when you’re in a happier place, I don’t know, but however many obstacles we have had to overcome, it has been worth it to be sharing my life with someone so special.
Elaine was arguably fortunate to have met me shortly after my cricket playing days had come to an end. The sport played a massive part in my life for a quarter of a century, and much as I wasn’t that good a bowler, I actually would have loved Elaine to have seen me play just once...
She could have stood outside the ground and fetched the ball back in...
Writing quickly replaced cricket as my main hobby. Being a properly published author was a long-standing ambition that I never really expected to be fulfilled, but whilst I owe a debt of gratitude to a number of people as the process gathered momentum, there’s no doubt that Elaine’s constant support is the real reason why Desperately Seeking Susan Foreman is now sitting proudly in my bookcase—soon to be joined by my Marie Prevost biography.
Likewise with my charity challenge, Elaine has been with me pretty much every step of the way... and that includes a near four hundred mile round trip to Leicester, and another lengthy (but enjoyable) drive to Huddersfield last week. Without her friendship, love and encouragement, the challenge would never have happened, but on a larger scale, my life would not be what it is now. She is normally content just to fade into the background, but not today...
Yesterday was a particularly difficult day. Those who know Elaine will be aware of the significance, yet she carries on, quietly dealing with a sadness that must weigh so heavily. I’m not going to go into any great detail, suffice to I’ve never seen anyone show so much strength and dignity in trying to cope with a set of circumstances over which she has no control.
Much as I wish this one particular part of Elaine’s life was different, change becomes less likely with every passing month and year. The only thing I can guarantee is that whatever may or may not happen, I will stand by Elaine’s side as her husband and her friend, and give her every bit of love and support that I possibly can.
So this is just to say thank you for everything darling. I’m incredibly proud of you and love you so much xxx.