Over the last couple of days, I spent some time with my friend Porgie and his two kids, John (13 years old) and Meg (11 years old). Porgie and family live 1,600 km away and seldom come to Kuala Lumpur. The last time they were here was more than 3 years ago when Porgie’s wife was hospitalised for chemotherapy treatment of cancer. Unfortunately, soon after she returned home and passed away.
This time, Porgie’s visit was with a happier purpose. Porgie had found a new love and they are planning a life together. This trip was to introduce his two kids to her two kids from a previous marriage. My wife and I were privileged to be part of the introduction process and to back Porgie up in case the meeting of families did not go well. However, as it turned out, there was nothing to worry about. All four kids got on well and when we met up with them (a day after they actually met), they were already behaving like life-long friends. Perhaps it helped that Porgie’s kids have long been concerned about their father’s loneliness and had hoped that he would find some new love.
So we had a riotous weekend with them, taking them shopping and sightseeing and generally giving them opportunity to have fun together. However, in a quieter moment, when everybody else were busy shopping, Porgie reminded me that the next day was the 3rd anniversary of his wife’s passing. It was something that did not surprise me. Porgie would never forget.
Coincidentally, that same day, I received an electronic message from another friend, Charles. The message noted that that day would have been the 5th birthday of his wife since she passed away from cancer. It celebrated everything that he had loved about her and thanked friends that have helped him in his grief all those years and continued to make her memory real for him. Charles will never forget.
I don’t believe that Charles will ever re-marry; that’s just not him. He will have only one love in this life. At the same time, I fully understand and appreciate Porgie’s decision to remarry (and he seems to have chosen well, his new partner). I don’t think it in any way diminishes the love that he will always have for his first wife. Charles and Porgie have just chosen different paths.
I am thankful for my wife of 18 years and look forward to many more happy years together. Still, thinking about Charles and Porgie, I wondered how I would have reacted in their position. I believe that I am more like Charles but who can really be sure?
This squirrel is just pondering the imponderables.
(The names have been changed to protect young lovers all over the world).