My darling. My tall, dark, handsome darling, Tane.
I was love struck. I never thought he’d be interested in a plain Jane. In fact I was asked many times by various people, “How on earth did you get him?” to which I would reply, always miffed, “Possibly because he saw something in me that he liked.”
Experiencing the love of this beautiful, quietly confident man changed my life. He would prepare delicious picnic baskets that we would share at our favourite hollow in the sand dunes at Piha watching sunsets on long, lingering summer nights; loving each other.
I followed Tane around the world for his job as a pilot, a job that he adored. He told me he was in heaven every day, flying in the sky, not a care in the world.
The arrival of our baby daughter. From the beginning he was an adoring, doting, loving father. Nothing was too much effort. He wanted to be a stay-at-home dad, he wanted to home school our kids. He would push Mary in her home-made swing for hours, with the patience of a saint.
When he took a regular flying job with a commercial commuter airline company affiliated to Air New Zealand we felt secure in our tiny family and private universe.
And then Tane died – the engines failed. He went to work and never came home. His kiss on my cheek at 5am lingers in my cells. The police knocked abruptly at our door. How can they be telling me this? They must have it wrong.
Am I hearing this? They are asking me the colour of his underpants. For Christ’s sake I don’t know, he left home at five this morning.
I would never feel his touch, never see his smiling face again.