It was 27 years ago today that my husband aged 16 years old, proposed to me and we got engaged. That was 1979, it was a beautiful sunny spring day, we sat round the back of his dad’s pub in Shettleston near where I lived and he pulled out a small brown box from his trouser pocket. I jumped off the silver beer barrels where I had been sitting and opened it up to look at my very first diamond.
It was a simple diamond solitaire ring set in 18 carat gold. I was so chuffed and happy I thought I would burst with happiness. I kissed him, slipped it on my wee grubby finger and ran all the way home to show my mum.
I met her standing at the bottom of our street, she was waiting on Peter (the boyfriend she had who eventually killed her in 1982).
“Look mum what my boyfriend gave me, we are engaged” I blurted out as I put my finger up to her face.
“That’s a lovely ring Janey, I wish you health to wear it” She smiled. Her face looked distant I remember and could see she was distracted and worried about something.
“You ok Ma?” I asked her.
She smiled and told me she was fine, just need some money for fags and Peter was coming along soon and I could show him my new ring as well she added.
“No, I don’t want to Ma, I really don’t like him” I said.
“Janey, don’t start this again, he is really ok and you cause trouble when you argue with him, if you cant keep your mouth shut go away and I will see you later then” She snapped.
I walked away, felt the ring on my finger inside my jeans pocket and wandered up to my house. I sat in the dirty old room I lived in, wondered if my life would always be like this, waiting for something to happen or would I end up like my mammy, aged 45 and dating a violent man who gets you fags.
I couldn’t have ever imagined my life where it is now, I could never have sat in the filthy house in Shettleston back in 1979 and foresaw that I would be 45 years old and sitting in Westminster in a smart apartment that overlooked Big Ben and was working as a stand up comic and writer.
All those years ago when husband and I were teenagers, that night in 1979 when we lay in is big bedroom in his dad’s house, we both wondered if we would last forever.
“Will you always love me like this? Will this feeling always be here?” he asked me.
“Yes, I will, I cant imagine not loving you nor ever wanting to be somewhere you weren’t, lets never fight and lets never ever spend a night apart!” I naively but happily suggested.
Twenty seven years on, we have spent many nights apart, we have spent many days wanting to be where the other wasn’t we have screamed our hate and vile threats into each others face….but this morning he rang me sleepily and before I could speak he said “Will you always love me like this? Will this feeling always be here?” I could not believe he remembered, but he did and he sounded like the sixteen year old boy whose skinny arms and long legs used to wrap round me and hold me till my limbs got pins and needles.
I miss him today and I miss my mammy, she never got to see my daughter who will turn twenty in two days time._