Friday, 13 June 2014

The truth behind the waterfall

I wanted to write some more about the waterfall poem I posted the other day.

It seems like such a romantic poem standing under the cascading torrent together, embraced by the water, but the truth is quite different.

I have never stood under a waterfall with anyone.

Life doesn’t always work out the way you plan.

While some of the memory is real I was actually standing there alone while my friends and my boys watched and laughed. But it was a hot day, the water looked so inviting and I wanted to cool off.

I wished Andrew was there but to be honest he’d have probably been a little way off laughing at me too!

We were on holiday visiting friends near Chicago but “we” was just me and the boys.

Andrew suffered from badly from depression and hated travelling, especially airports.

I hated never going anywhere, never doing things together, things had reached crisis point. Our friends had asked us to visit and Andrew agreed if that’s what I wanted to do I should take the boys on my own.

It was never what I really wanted.

Life doesn’t always work out the way you plan.

The thing is he was meant to be working away the week we left but his ankles had swollen and the doctors were investigating the cause. We only found out afterward that he’d been quite seriously ill. He never did anything by halves!

However I, seemingly with very little concern, got on a plane and left. 

No not really! He was well enough to take us to the airport for our adventure and as ever I hated saying goodbye.

Inside I was torn in two, why couldn’t he just jump on the plane and come with us? Why couldn’t he “do” holidays like a normal person? Why couldn’t we be a “normal” family?

Life doesn’t always work out the way you plan.

Yet another part of me was desperate to leave, maybe we shouldn’t be together at all. Neither of us expressed it in words but looking back I can see that this holiday was almost a trial separation. We needed the time apart. 

It’s so hard being with someone who is depressed, walking on egg shells around them and carrying on as best you can for the kids, trying to find some stability. 

Life doesn’t always work out the way you plan.

So there I was a few days later under the waterfall, laughing, enjoying myself, feeling happier than I had felt for a long time.

The water was refreshing, I was doing exactly what I wanted, no responsibilities,  no one to stop me or hold me back or say I was just being silly. Andrew would perhaps have been that voice of “reason” in my head. Or just maybe he would have joined me and we could have shared a carefree romantic moment…

I missed him terribly, I was going to write I ached but I know it was nothing near how I miss him now.

One day in a giftshop I found a stone with the word “soulmate” on it so I bought it for him as a gift to prove he was. It is still stuck by blutack to the side the draws by his side of the bed, the first thing he saw in the morning when he woke up! 

The time apart reinforced the knowledge that we were meant to be together – forever.

Life doesn’t always work out the way you plan.

We still had lots to work on, the road ahead got rockier for a time but we clung on together and things were coming good right up to the point he died.

Life doesn’t always work out the way you plan.

So in my head I wrote another plan…

With our separation now enforced maybe there was a chance to embark on something new.

I plotted and planned – I’d sell the house.

I’m still here.

I plotted and planned – I’d find someone new.

I’m still on my own.

I plotted and planned – I’d write a book.

I’m still writing, it’s hard work and I am nowhere near finished.

Sometimes I could just cry.

Life doesn’t always work out the way you plan.

At the beginning of this year when everything around me was crumbling I made a new plan to NOT plan anything ever again! 

For someone who likes to know exactly what’s happening and when it’s been hard to let go. I’ve not always managed it but every once in while things happen that I haven’t planned. Good things, surprising things and suddenly I am not quite the same person as I was at the beginning of the year.

The seemingly big things haven’t changed a bit but I think I have changed a lot inside. I might write more about that another day…

It was quite by chance and serendipitous Twitter conversation that I discovered the waterfall again and remembered those feelings, a mixture of happy and sad thoughts, love and loss, brokenness and joy intermingled.

Once again I feel like I am standing underneath letting the water surround me, wash over me just going with the flow. Enjoying all the good things that sparkle brightly in the sunshine. Laughing loudly.

Meanwhile the memories tumble and I am letting the good ones fall now. For so long I desperately tried to change things because I would only allow myself to remember the pain and the hurt. It is far easier to remember the difficulties of being married to Andrew then I could convince myself that I am better without him and plan how to change my life for the better.

But life is not better just different and just as I was reminded once before so I remember now.

Andrew really was my soulmate – will I ever find another?  I don’t honestly know if anyone gets two chances.

Will I move house? One day I hope so but I have so much clutter to clear before that can happen.

Will I write a book? Well only with a lot of hard work and I need to give it much more of a priority that is has had of late. ((sorry Twitter TL but I may need to leave you for a while!))

Can I plan any of it?

Life doesn’t always work out the way you plan.

Then I found this quote on Twitter ((OK so I won't wander far from the TL - I love my new found Twitter friends too much! x))

We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us. - E. M. Forester

So I’m sticking with the idea of making no more plans and let’s just see where the water falls. So far it seems to be working out fine!


  1. Beautifully expressed and very poignant. I return your poem to its true home xxx

  2. So interesting, Sarah. I know that feeling of living with a person who is depressed (or for that matter, has ME). It drives you mad. You have described the emotional journey really well here, with its frustrations and with the things you see which are both good memories and reality-really-wasn't-so-good memories, and the frustration it must be to have the future cut off is all there in this piece. And you write without any self-pity for the difficulties, which makes it powerful, and we can go there with you and see where what you feel is also what we may feel. A great bit of honest writing! I hope one day you will be back at Scargill: we had a precious lovely time this year,and yes, it was painful too - I could see how cynical I can be and that has to change!

    1. I always try to be honest, I'm glad that comes across. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment x

  3. Beautiful and thought provoking truth x

    1. thank you for commenting and being such a good friend who always knew what was behind the waterfall anyway x

  4. Beautiful and thought provoking truth x