ANTONIA ROLLS ARTIST EXTRAORDINAIRE NEWS. An account of an Artist and Mother in Bognor Regis. Worthwhile, but exhausting, so pour the tea and make yourself comfortable...(this painting is a family portrait, about 2'x 3', oil on wood. It is the Ross Family, each family member with items that describe them best. And at the front, on the grass on the right hand side, is a photo of Grandma, sadly missed.)
Tonight my friends, I will tell you a small story. I could tell you a long one but I just don't want to have to think it all through. Here is the story a friend told me today, in her own words and at her own pace.
"There were two people, a Man Person, and a Woman Person. They had not had easy lives, in that their choices had not always been the best for them and so they had had to endure the consequences of those choices. Both had not felt they deserved much, but knew, even in their darkest moments, that life could be better than this.
As life went by, the Man Person managed to find some Ladies to make him happy. They did not last for ever, but while they did last, they filled the holes in the Man Person's life. But people do not always spend their time making other people feel full up with Happiness. Many lessons still had to be endured, and he found out too, that being the Top Brass in his job did not work, and this, along with other Factors In Life, made his current much loved Lady sad, and what with one thing and another, they began to stop being Happy.
This hurt and dismayed our Man Person, who soldiered on anyway. He tried and tried to make himself Happy, and tried to make his current much loved Lady love him again. But it was no use, there were things the much loved Lady needed to cope with and she asked him to Go.
Go he did, and found small home in which to be sad and determined, and he bought it. From this small sweet home he tried so many Ladies hoping one would stick and give him the Life that he Deserved. Which of course, he did deserve. I should say here, that this was a very good and special man, and it was a shame that nothing was making him happy.
The Woman Person in our story had made equally difficult choices for herself. She too knew that there was more to life than the rather dark and disorganised one she had made for herself. Unlike the Man Person, she didn't look for Men to make her Happy. She had children and a sense that she was not Destined to Find Someone, what with her children and the fact that her life was really so very unpredictable on her own. The man she had married had left her, and though that was fine by her, she was very poor and rather run off her feet. All in all, she didn't really feel she deserved much.
Time passed and the Woman Person took her family away to start a new life somewhere far away. There she met, quite as if a bolt from the Heavens, a Man. Oh how this man and she loved each other. It was very difficult, because she wasn't used to being loved and her children did not want anyone loving their mum, so they kicked up a bit of a fuss. Unfortunately, the man died and left her feeling bereft. The Woman Person felt that life was not something she was going to find good, and wanted to die too.
It was at this point that the Man Person and the Woman Person in this story met. He found her and swept into her world ablaze with fiery zeal, to protect and make it all better. She thought that Life had, perhaps, sent her a saviour. Things progressed. They progressed with difficulty. She was heartbroken and defeated and he was heartbroken in his own way too, but he decided that maybe she could Fill the Hole he had never managed to fill for long.
Well, after much time, and many mixed experiences, our Man Person and Woman Person found a common ground on which to hold hands and tell each other that it was OK, they loved each other at last and this was going to Work. There were sunshine days, and holidays. There was the ongoing conflict with the children who still did not want anyone to love their mum, but with the help of the Avenging and Saving Man Person, the Woman Person blossomed and found she could be strong and she could stand up for herself. And the Man Person? Well, he was more complicated than he appeared. He was happy, some of the time, but somehow, most of the time he was not. The emptiness and the Hole in his Life just would not fill up. He began to withdraw and she watched him do it. He cannot love me, she thought, and she was right. She cannot bring me peace and happiness, he thought, and he was right.
This is where the the Man Person and the Woman Person found they could not continue. The common ground which they had found on which to stand and hold hands no longer held them. The common ground was, possibly, not really there in the first place. It was not so much Ground, as a Patch. Too small, as it turned out, to stand on. Too small, as it turned out, to hold them both. Sadly, and with a reluctance that tugged at both their hearts, they decided that neither could fill the other up, and that much as they wanted to, neither was the right person to hold the other for the rest of their lives.
So the Man Person, got into his car and cried; after all they had hoped for, he was so very sad. He really did love her He could not see how he could stay while the children fought anyone who loved their mama. Eventually the Woman Person watched him drive away, and turned away back to her house to make a new life again."
The friend who told me this story is sad tonight, and so talking about it has helped. She would not mind me telling you, as, after all, we all have stories like this to tell.