1 August 2014
Hanna Part 2
Today as almost every Friday for the last 11 years I have gone shopping with Hanna. When she could no longer go shopping herself, she would send me an email and I would get her stuff too. Then when she could no longer send emails I would go and write the shopping list for and with her, and later still I would write it myself. Either way at the end of the day we would sit together and eat our evening meal and chat into the night or watch TV until it was time for me to go home.
As I entered the supermarket car park where we would normally shop, it hit me in the face like a wet fish. She was gone. I need not shop for her, or try and think of meals I wanted to cook for her when she came to visit, or later meals I cooked for her at her home. I was now all alone in the world, had no one to cook for anymore. I suddenly felt all alone and found it hard to continue. What was the point of it all.
When I got home and began to unpack my shopping the door bell rang. It was Natalie, at 40 on the 24 July, Hanna’s youngest daughter. She said I have something to show you. So up she came and showed me a small bunch of dried flowers she had found in Hanna’s bedroom! It had a label on it from 1990. Now you have to know that in Hanna’s first Will written in 1992 she stated that she wanted the many dried baccarat roses, which were the flowers I had given her over time, to be placed in her coffin as they meant so much to her! Sadly as she herself stated in the last Codicil to her Will, these had fallen to the passage of time and no longer existed.
Natalie asked if she could put these flowers in her coffin instead. Needless to say I gave her a hug and said of course as I knew exactly what the bunch she found represented for me and Hanna.
In 1990 I was stationed in Bielefeld as a Staff Officer in HQ 1 (BR) Corps and living in a flat in the centre of town. Although Hanna and I had recently become lovers I did not want a permanent relationship, I was not ready. Instead I started an affair with an American soprano in the Bielefeld Opera Company. Nor did I keep it a quiet affair I told Hanna what I was doing and why. The affair did not survive the first Gulf War, as the lady was not best pleased when on my Birthday I came home late due to some crisis or other at the front.
This taught me another valuable lesson in life and when I realised I was foolish and Hanna WAS the woman for me, I just got in my car with the said fresh flowers and drove down to Mönchengladbach. It was a surprise for her when she saw me, but she knew how I felt without saying or asking anything. She just took me by the hand and straight upstairs to bed. The rest as the say is history and this was when the spark became the all consuming fire.
When Natalie left I wept a little. I wept for the pain I had caused Hanna, I wept for the love and forgiveness Hanna showed me and I wept for the joy of the love we shared.