In 2011, I read with interest about Spain’s Duchess of Alba who, at the age of 85, married for the third time after being twice widowed.
We’re all familiar with the expressions about “second time around romances” – and people seem to feel most touched when a new couple have kindled a meaningful and promising relationship after being having being bereaved and feeling bereft when a former partner has died.
The ringing out of new names together is always exciting – as the royal example of “Will & Kate”. Some names just seem to “fit” together and are years later always thought of as a single unit, such as Bonnie and Clyde!
In my house, the names are Mur and Shirl. Spoken of with fond remembrances, their memories bring pleasure, sweet recall and humourous recounting of once upon a time. Their photos are not on the mantle; nor are they face down in a dusty box. If, once in a great while, either my husband or I call each other by the wrong name, both of us take it as a compliment that we each see in each other, and enjoy and value, the comfort of a happy marriage, the second time around.
Lyrics sung by Frank Sinatra are all about “The Second Time Around” - which extol the glories of having both feet on the ground . For some what was “before” stays before and is no longer admitted as part of the present - but for others, their partners from the first time around still have a place in the heart and a room in one’s mind.
And good luck to the Duchess who, on her wedding day, danced the flamenco.