Stories

Compassion


Jennifer | Aged 81
St Margarets | November 2015

It was love at first sight. Jennifer was swept off her feet by her husband to be, quite literally, during their first meeting at Richmond Ice Rink. Len asked his friend to bump into Jennifer so that, on falling, he would be right behind to catch her. It broke the ice and Jennifer was smitten. They saw each other every night from then on and, after a few months of courting, announced their engagement and were married in 1956. The first year of the marriage proved particularly difficult though for Jennifer who was 22. Her husband, nine years her senior, was confident his opinion was the right one, and unfortunately the newlyweds spent a lot of time disagreeing. Arguing every night for almost a year wasn’t easy, and Jennifer wondered often whether she’d done the right thing in marrying so quickly. Gradually, however, things calmed down and the periods of peace and calm started to outweigh the rows and crossed words. Jennifer isn’t sure what triggered this new found harmony, perhaps they settled into each other, perhaps Len gradually allowed her to be more independent and trusted her to make decisions for herself, and perhaps too, she found skill in raising certain sticky topics at more appropriate times! She recalls what a lovely man he was, that he wanted only the best for her, and wishes they’d been able to deal with their differences better so less time was spent harbouring bad feelings.

The years went by and their marriage became stronger and stronger, the lumps and bumps of their arguing smoothed over by love. In later years Jennifer suffered from severe illness, her Len’s new found compassion nursed her through the harder times. After 39 years of marriage her husband passed away, Jennifer was shattered, she had lost her rock and a huge void was left in her life. It’s not easy to fill such a vacuum but Jennifer decided to get on with things in her own way, enrolling at college months after Len passed away and keeping herself busy with various new hobbies. That was 20 years ago and, although the initial shock may have subsided, Jennifer confides that the void of Len’s love still remains.

To hear Jennifer’s advice on how to cope with arguments in a relationship watch the video below: