Our Morning Routine

I faithfully rise out of bed at the sound of my alarm. Pull out of the wardrobe, my finest shirt and tie, plus the trousers I had freshly ironed the night before; only the very best for you, my love. Looking smart with my combed white hair, shined shoes and warm overcoat, I step out the door and start off my favourite part of the day – visiting you. It’s a cold, breezy autumn morning, the bitterness of the wind brushing my cheeks until they turn as red as a robin’s breast. I warm up a little as I pick up the pace, getting closer to the entrance of Moses Gate Country Park, our place to walk in all seasons.

In spring we’d see the dark sea of trees slowly coming back to life, flashes of colour starting to emerge amongst the mass entanglements of branches. We’d quietly admire the many nests of eggs dotted around the park, excited to soon see the babies with their mothers, all fluffy and bright-eyed.

Long summer days were filled with picnics—freshly baked pastries, newly picked fruit and your famous triple cheese and onion sandwiches. You looked so beautiful as you sat on the bench in your floral dresses watching children feed the ducks and the geese. Lily pads decorated the pond behind us so perfectly, it was like we’d stepped into a Monet painting.

Autumn gave our little world an orange and red glow in the reflection in the water, a crunch beneath our feet and homemade knitted hats and scarves for the colder days. Winter was my favourite just to see your excitement, spotting beautiful robins against the fairytale-like white, glistening backgrounds. You loved the quietness of the park and our footprints making the first marks in the snow before anybody else came along.

Memories such as these fill my mind with joy and happiness as I make my way, a smile of delight warms my face and I no longer feel the cold. Reaching the hill, I take a deep breath and slowly edge my way up, hauling my essentials as I go. I stop momentarily to regain my strength, taking deep breaths and blowing my nose with my cotton handkerchief. I’m almost with you now.

At the top of the hill, I cross the empty road to the cemetery where I go to your spot and open up my camping chair and place my flask on the ground. I tell you any news I have and then continue to read your favourite book from where I left off the previous morning. We sit quietly while I take out my sandwiches from my overcoat pocket and have a cup of tea or two. Then I tell you how much I love you – although I know you already know. I gather up my things and blow a kiss as I head towards the park, promising I’ll see you again tomorrow.