The Other I

January 23, 2011

One reason why I’m still married

Filed under: Husband — theotheri @ 2:40 pm

An editorial in the London Times yesterday reflected on the heroes who both died and survived the Arizona shooting several weeks ago.  As I read the description of the 75-year-old man who died because he threw himself in front of his wife, I was reminded of a very old experience.

It was close to forty years ago.   Peter and I were camping on Hunting Island, an idyllic barrier island off the coast of South Carolina, and had fallen into a deep — probably wine-assisted – sleep one afternoon in the sweltering heat of our tent.  There is a large military airbase not far from there, and a flight of planes, flying very low, buzzed the island.  I think they might have been practicing bringing the planes out of a dive but it made a rather terrifying racket.

Peter was a child in the north of England during the second world war and he had heard and watched real bombers dropping real bombs and killing real people.

What I remember about that hot summer afternoon in South Carolina was that, only half awake, he threw himself on top of me, the only protection he could give me from the bomb that his unconscious screamed was about to kill me.

That was when I knew that, when it really really counted, I was always going to be able to count on him.

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