cooperlola2 Posted September 6, 2012 Share Posted September 6, 2012 Deb and I became an item39 years ago this week. I basically nicked her off my flatmate, who moved outshortly afterwards! It is all a bit ironic, because in that same week my motherwas dying of cancer on the liver, and I know Deb had been touched by my storyof sitting back to back with mum to ease her back pain. Mum died the followingweek, and my father suffered horribly.The Deb I think FranceForum knew was a strong minded, intelligent person, caring, left-wing, alwayslikely to want her own way. We married in 1974, when deb was 19, on the strictunderstanding that kids would not be borne, and there was never a moment'sregret on that subject on either side. Deb wanted to work with horses, and didso for about 6 months, but the pay was on the low side of dreadful, and so shedecided to join the railway. I had worked there for 7 years, and the previousboyfriend and other friends were also there. She did quite well, and within adozen years was a senior manager in a BR subsidiary – Travellers Fare. She thenprogressed into the Executive Group – beating me into that grade, in whichthere were very, very few women. She was part of the Management Buyout of TF atXmas 1988, but from there things went wrong. There were too many partners – 10 –and Deb was the only female, as well as being the youngest. She was put underenormous pressure, and in mid-1989 resigned, never having made a penny from thedeal. Almost immediately she won a job with Bottoms Up, the wine purveyors, asMarketing Manager, and had a hectic year before the last recession started tobite and sales fell. She was offered a package to go, and did so. That was herlast “demanding” job, and that is part of your story.From 1990 until 2004 shedid menial work, supermarket stuff, then caring for horses and cleaning house.During that time she met some first rate people, several of whom I have had totalk to in the last few days – i.e. enduring friendships. They recognised Debwas more than a cleaner. One – a retired teacher who has herself been bereavedin the last year - told me that her whole family adored Deb and thought theworld of her.In 2004 we moved here asI opted for early retirement, having opted to work part-time for the previous18 months while we got things sorted. I still find it implausible that in BRand its successors, no-one ever paid me to go away! I’m not sure when Debjoined France Forum, but I do know she found it a most gratifying environment,from which she gained a great deal of knowledge and cameraderie in tandem. It fulfilledan intellectual need that had not been met since she dropped out of executivelife in 1990. Thus when the healthcare issue arose, she was determined to takeit to the top and fight the good fight, with a result - due to the input of plentyof others, of course - that put many minds to rest. After the main battleseemed won, she went away for a boozy lads’ weekend in Rotterdam, and loved it.Someone there asked where I was – and she said I’d hate it. True! But when shereturned she was exhausted, and basically had a flu-like condition for about aweek.The accident in 2008 wasa turning point in our lives. On one level it made us closer, because I had anew role as a partial-carer, but on another level it just created new tensions –because Deb so resented needing care. Last year’s cancer was a shock – except thatto me the accident had kinda changed things irrevocably, so I was almost philosophicwhen it was diagnosed. Since 2008 she had been different – Mrs Grumpy in her ownwords.And now she’s gone. I’msure the full impact has not yet hit me, but it is as if I’ve expected it,perhaps right back to 39 years ago, when I watched my father suffer. Livingalone is not a novelty – Deb’s many months in hospital have given mepreparation in spades for that – but no doubt there will be some bad days. Youmay see me on here from time to time, but don’t expect the quality that Debdelivered. That has gone for good. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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