This is for my wife Kathleen.
I remember that morning very clearly. There’s a piece of music I love to listen to, “Pegasus” by Bear McCreary, from the second album of music from Battlestar Galactica. It starts off quietly and slowly and then builds to a crescendo.
That morning I lay there in what felt like a very empty bed without you and I listened to that music three times before I got up. I felt a certain… rightness about that day.
Normally I take my daily walk in the forest in the afternoon on a weekend, but that Saturday I was out there at 8am. It was a beautiful day, blue sky, brilliant sun and I remember thinking about your brother’s joke that they’d brought the sun from Oregon with them.
By the time that I got back to the house your cousin Ivy was having breakfast and the cats were looking for you yet again, so I slipped into the shower before coming down to have breakfast.
Naturally my father was late in picking us up as he’d misunderstood the plan.
When we got to my parents house we found your brother Patrick and his family starting to run around a bit getting ready, whilst my mother had dashed out to Waitrose to get some sandwiches – just in case she’d said.
Everyone kept looking at me a bit oddly, as if they were expecting me to be frantic or something. I wasn’t. I was very calm.
I remember walking about in the garden whilst Charley gamboled about my feet and showed me her latest disemboweled toy. And I remember when my Aunt Lesley arrived and hugged me and then gave me that odd look as well.
“How are you doing?” she asked.
“Fine,” I smiled back.
She blinked at me. “I’ve never seen anyone look so certain on a day like this.”
“I guess I know exactly what I’m doing.”
She smiled at me and then she dashed inside to sort her sons out.
I remember getting dressed very clearly as well. Crisp clean white shirt, the green tie with red dragons that you’d bought for me, as well as my father and my cousins, the Welsh kilt, the waistcoat, the socks, the shoes, the sgiann dubh and the jacket. And I remember the arrival of the stretch limo and the sudden emptying of the house as everyone got into the cars.
Oddly enough I don’t remember the ride that well. I do remember my father marveling at the sheer size of the car and of the assortment of drinks inside it. I think that I looked out of the windows and enjoyed the ride.
But I do remember the first sight of the London Eye in the distance – and how my heart swelled when I saw it, because I knew that you weren’t far from it.
Arriving at the Eye we all disembarked and thanked the driver – and then we wondered where the others were, especially Patrick as he had your flowers in his car.
And then we walked to the Hall near the base of the Eye, with the eye of almost every tourist on us as you don’t see three men in kilts every day. My cousins and I could have made some serious cash that day as a tourist attraction – but we had far more important things to do.
And then you arrived, with my sister and your best friend escorting you – with your flowers! You’d had your own moment with the tourists, when that little girl had watched you open-mouthed and then told her mother that there was a fairy princess here.
You looked stunning. I remember looking at you and thinking how lucky I was.
Because it was our wedding day, two years ago today, when we were married on the London Eye, with family and friends and sunshine and happiness. And I’ve never been happier.