Our hearts were ready

I can’t get Blanche d’Alpuget’s words about loving Bob Hawke out of my mind.

Have you seen the interview? Leigh Sales spoke to Blanche last week and I found it incredibly moving.

Blanche and Bob had an affair in 1978 … while he was still married to Hazel … let’s just gloss over that bit … bygones …

They reconciled when Blanche was 50 and Bob was 63 and married in 1995.

Bob died earlier this month at age 89, after suffering ill health for more than 12 months, with Blanche as his primary carer.

Tears welled in Blanche’s eyes when she said: “We didn’t have the joy of young love. He had that with Hazel. But we had the joy of mature love and then the love of old age.”

Her explanation of mature love resonated with me: “There’s a great deal of intimacy. There are no secrets, there are no pretences. You’re getting the true human being on both sides.”

My heat swelled because that’s what I was looking for when my marriage ended.

I resolved to be my true self in my interactions with men, even during initial messages on dating websites, even if that meant they didn’t want to continue contact. I decided there was no point pretending to be someone I wasn’t. I wanted them to be attracted to me based on who I really was.

I think DD wanted that too. He spent our first date being brutally honest about every bit of his emotional baggage. I was a little startled, as I hadn’t planned on being quite so forthcoming right off the bat.

But I went with it and was totally frank too.

And we each fell in love with the real person, not some concoction created to paint ourselves in the best light.

There have never been mind games or tricks. Just openness and trust.

I sometimes regret not having the joy of young love with DD. But another part of me thinks we were meant to meet each other later, when our edges had softened and our hearts were ready.

DD managed to squeeze in a quick coffee with me yesterday before he flies off.

We did lots of middle-aged cuddling in the street outside the cafe afterwards, which must have amused/grossed out the young ones.

But I didn’t care because when he holds me everything literally feels better – the endorphins flow and my body and mind relax.

Bon voyage DD. Can’t wait to hug you again next week!

Here’s the Blanche interview:

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