After six months my hairdresser friend Alice persuaded me to go out drinking at Osborne’s in Newcastle. I didn’t want to go but her husband had just left her for someone else so she was desperate to meet new people. We’d been out a few hours and were just having a last drink before going home. It was only half nine or ten but I was desperate to leave. I noticed a good looking guy across the room. I didn’t want to meet him or anyone else but I could appreciate a handsome guy and I just thought ‘wow’. He started talking to me. I didn’t want him to but I had a wedding ring on and he did too and he was talking about his daughter so I felt safe and comfortable.
At the end of the night- Phil- as I learnt he was called, and his brother told us that taxis were hard to catch so we shared one. I lived in Low Fell so got dropped off first. When I’d got out of the car Phil mentioned he liked me and Alice explained my circumstances- that it was the first time out since my husband had died. Bizarrely, he then revealed it was his first time out since his wife Karen had died. She’d got diagnosed with leukaemia and died seven weeks later. Alice got his number and passed it on. We just clicked.
We’ve been married twelve years now. To be honest there are four of us in this marriage we talk about Karen and David every day and because we’re both in the same situation neither of us has a problem with that.
He didn’t used to like Bon Jovi but I’ve brainwashed him. I’ve seen them eight times including two years ago in Sunderland and four years ago when Phil surprised me with tickets to see them in Madison Square Garden. They always sound amazing but seeing them singing in New York was something really special. Their song You Had Me From Hello is so perfect, it sums up everything.
I walked down the aisle to it. He’s my soul mate.
The first time I saw you it felt like coming home
If I never told you I just want you to know
You had me from hello.”
Photo: sent by Aileen, Washington, Tyne & Wear