A few days after the first Christmas that Clive and I were together in 2008, he appeared in the bedroom with my breakfast on a tray, a single red rose, a card and a package in gold paper with a red bow around it. And tears in his eyes.
I slowly unwrapped the parcel and there to my delight and amazement was an eternity ring! I have been married twice before and I had told Clive once in passing that I had always wanted an eternity ring but never got one. Until now.
Clive knelt at the side of the bed with tears streaming down his face, slid the ring on my finger and kissed me tenderly telling me how much I completed him.
He then asked me to open the card. On the front was written
'If life is like a rollercoaster .... you might as well sit at the front'.
Inside was the message:-
'To my beautiful Princess,
Eternity rings are usually given to celebrate an anniversary and also as a tangible symbol of a promise to love someone forever.
Today is an anniversary of our first kiss.
This knight is devoted to his Princess forever.
I adore and cherish you.
Your most fortunate of Knights'.
On numerous occasions Clive asked me to spend the rest of our lives together and to get married.
I initially refused to marry him as I was worried about 'what other people would say'. How many times did Clive say from the platform that 'what other people think of you is none of your business'? What are you putting off because you are concerned about gossip? I suggest you think again ....
Yet it did bother me. I was worried that other people would roll their eyes and speculate how long 'this one' would last. Clive had been married three times before.
Mainly I wanted to wait until I had my son Dominic's approval. We had just got it.
As we had begun to work together too and were totally besotted with each other, the notion of becoming man and wife was the next natural step. Clive and I had discussed and speculated different types of weddings but we couldn't come up with the right one. Every now and then he'd have an idea - 'Las Vegas? White Chapel?' 'Nah' I'd reply with a wrinkled nose.
We did joke that our idyllic cruise last September was a perfect honeymoon - we just hadn't had the wedding! Clive also said he would have married me in this dress:
We had also discussed the fact that when we got married I would keep Hanzak as it is my son's name and also mine as a writer and professionally and add Gott.
It is too late now to have the official wedding but if I can do some of what we intended then I am determined to.
It is no use me saying ' I wish I had said 'let's do it' sooner' as that is now impossible. Clive's memory and legacy will be with me forever and therefore I am proud to now carry his name. I do so with the blessing of my son, my family and Clive's brother, sister and family.
We have decided that the next thing to organise is a party to celebrate it - but not just yet.
If anyone thinks I am being stupid or pathetic, do you know what? It's their choice and frankly, none of my business.
N.B. Clive's products can be ordered via here.