Childhood Sweet Hearts

Joe Lanzon

Pat and Jenny Rawlings and Rod Maudling had known each other for almost all their young lives. The two families had been close friends for as long as any of them could remember. They experienced their childhood years being pushed in their buggies by their mothers, their teen years playing together in the park, going to school and so many other things besides. 

Both families had hoped that Rod would end up marrying Jenny. So they were surprised when Rod and Pat started living together. Indeed, Pat’s father did not hide his disapproval. Both felt disappointed at this hurdle in their life. But Pat, always the philosophical of the two, told Rod – “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain, to accept things as they are, to adapt to the situation and live as best you can.” So they set up house in another town and only occasionally visited their families. On the other hand, Jenny appeared to have overcome her disappointment over Rod and had since married. She was in fact expecting her first child and had asked Pat and Rod to be her godparents.

The christening of Jenny’s little girl was an occasion for members of both families to meet. For Pat and Rod, who had been away for some time, it was an ordeal. Even though Jenny had eventually found her love and settled down well with her husband, her father still resented that Pat took up with Rod and were living together. In fact he hardly spoke to both of them. When they returned home that Sunday evening after the christening, they resolved to continue living their life as they felt it. Both were in love with each other. They professed, during romantic moments, that they could not live without each other. “Love”, said Pat, “is that new feeling which surmounts any obstacles found along its path.”

Prior to settling down with Pat, Rod had a somewhat turbulent life–dropping out of college, changing several jobs, experimenting with drugs. But Pat had now stabilized his life. They were good together. “I just wish that I could turn the clock back,” said Rod. Pat looked at him directly and replied – “You will never be able to do that. Most of us have done things in our lives that we later regret and wish that they never happened. But Rod, what’s past is passed now.” These wise words encouraged Rod considerably. They felt like soothing balm on a fresh wound. He felt confident and ready to face anything. Pat’s words had that effect on him.

Their apartment, in the most fashionable area of the town, was tastefully furnished and decorated. Both were book worms and also loved operatic music. There were, naturally, books everywhere. They often relaxed reading or rereading a good classic story and later enjoy the music of Chopin, Verdi or Mozart. Evidently, both had good tastes. There were times, as always happens in life, when one of them, or both of them, felt somehow below par. That was when the genuine love and affection for each other become evident. Love is the strong bond that unified and fulfilled the lives of Pat and Rod.

The years rolled by. Jenny had another child. Pat’s father died and both Pat and Rod attended his funeral and wake. They mingled freely with the visitors accepting their condolences. It was on the day after, when his obituary, appeared in the local paper, that the neighbours raised a few eyebrows – “Jack Dawson, died on January 28 at the age of 70. He is survived by his wife Sue, his daughter Jenny and her husband John, his son Patrick and his partner Rod.