One Boy’s Life & Mine

John Winchurch - Sea Cadets - Wales (Double-click to enlarge)

If you look, you can see my husband in this photograph watching with eyes that are no longer a boy’s, but not quite a man’s yet either.

Growing up in Wales he had the benefit of living half a mile from the harbor in Tenby where he sailed the boat he built with his younger brother’s help. They were both Sea Cadets and for a while John thought he’d join the Royal Navy when he was older. His father talked him into waiting. ‘ Go to University first,’ he said,’ you can always join the Navy afterwards.’

By going to the University at Cardiff, John chose a different path than the one he imagined as a boy and although he never joined the Navy, he still loves the sea. He doesn’t look back the way I tend to and he doesn’t waste energy on regret. Most of my life, I’ve learned by observation and his way looks more peaceful than the route I usually take.

I’ve spent years reading books on letting go, forgiving yourself, and moving on, but living side by side with such a peaceful loving man, I find myself absorbing his natural way of living more in the moment. While I am not wholly a woman without worry and likely never will be, I can see myself changing as my tendency to cast wistful glances of regret over my shoulder at the past, slips away a bit more each day.

It’s funny how the decisions in our life seem to stack up like dominos with those made years earlier affecting the path we find ourselves on later. Fifty years after this photograph was taken and when the time was right, John’s path converged with mine.

I think about that when I look back at decisions I’ve made in my life, especially the ones that I’ve wished I could undo, but one thing done differently and it would all be different.

Can you find my future in the photograph …

6 thoughts on “One Boy’s Life & Mine

  1. I too struggle with letting go, but, as you say ” one thing done differently and it would all be different.” Perhaps that different life would be good, but I have the life I live now, and that has to be enough.

  2. Is he second from the left, middle row? probably not, but worth a try, we all look so different from when we are young. As for letting go, Its so easy to get stuck in the loop, but very hard to get out off, well, I think that we have to travel the path that our lives take, to fulfill tasks that we have to do,
    to make up for anything done in past lives, (Karma), but once those tasks are done, we are rewarded with the one, that we were meant to end up with. Without the path taken however, no matter how painful, You would not have John and his love, or the love that spreads out, from the light that he shares. Be happy, live for the moment and enjoy every second of it, thats what I try to do with my wonderful wife Jacquie.

    • @ Tony ~ Nope, that’s not John, but thanks for searching and commenting. I’m certainly loving the life I have now with him, but that’s not to say my life was not a good one before we met … it was just a different life. We met at the right time for both of us and I learn more about being living in the moment from him each day.

  3. I would guess the far right, back row. But I don’t think John is old enough for it to have been 50 years ago that he was that old.
    Another layer of your beautiful love story. I love reading bits and pieces like this on your blog.

    Now in my late 50’s I struggle with many regrets and the knowledge that there are so many things I can’t change now. When I was younger I thought everything was correctable. Knowing this isn’t true makes for some depressing stretches of time for me now. I used to think I was so smart…..

  4. All we have is the present. Regrets won’t change anything and can slow us down.

    What would I have done differently? Stayed in Paris when I was 26 after my fellowship ended. Not married the wretch who walked out on me two years later…but had I not married him and come to NY from Canada I would never have met my second husband here. We made our best choices at the time with the wisdom we had…at the time. It’s all we can do.

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