Upon Roisin’s insistence, I renewed my vows with Delia too. Actually, Delia was rather hesitant, but she saw my longing face so she obliged. In my mind it seemed just yesterday when we had our wedding. At the same beautiful chateau. It was the third time we recited those same vows. “As long as we both shall live.” First just the two of us, the second time when we reconciled, and now in front of our daughter.
It was incredible so many years had since passed. And so many things had happened. I still couldn’t comprehend I’m grandpa now, of two teenagers and a child, and I should be careful with my old back.
Or that woohoo, so enjoyable in my youth, could be hazardous now and could potentially kill me. Indeed how time flies.
Delia and I had our ups, and our downs. We had separated once due to differences, but we eventually made up. It was as if all along, we knew we could not do without each other. At this age, I was glad I managed to somehow fulfil my promises to her. That I would be there for her, as long as we both shall live.
I hoped the same for my daughter. I was glad I get to witness her wedding.
Some days Delia and I took long trips to Windenburg. I would never forget this little town I grew up in. I knew all along, my heart would always be in Windenburg. So many things had happened here. So much memories. This place would always have a place in my heart.
“Still remember this place?” I nodded at the small fountain in front of me. Her eyes glimmered. I couldn’t believe it was something that happened decades ago. That memory was still fresh in my mind. Even after so many years, I still think she is beautiful.
“Our first date! I still remember receiving that call from Eleanor”, she teased, “I confess I laughed a whole minute after that.” I could not help but laugh too. I couldn’t believe I was so indecisive then. And secretly, I was eternally grateful to Eleanor making that call on my behalf.
True love never fades. That was what daddy used to say. And now I could fully see why.
The last time I felt the same level of sentiments, was after my parents’ demise. Papa and mama had always been inseparable. Like each other’s shadows really. They were the epitome of union and harmony. For me, I think Delia and I might have our disagreements, but in the end we realised we were better off together. We might not be perfect, but I can confidently proclaim we were right for each other.
I wished I could say I lived without regrets. Well, mostly so. Except that if I could turn back in time, I would have spent much more time with my daughters. I knew the girls never got along, due to some rivalry which regretfully I might never have the chance to understand. I hated to admit there was so much more we, or rather I, could have done. But back then, I was too obsessed with my painting, and fame. I might have pandered to my patrons so much that it took away precious time with my daughters. For sure there were things I could have done differently. And Delia and I might not have parted in the first place.
No parent should have to bury their child. But unfortunately I had the cruel privilege to. Riona perished in a fire. I cringed every time I tried to recall my daughter’s final moments. Twisting in so much pain as the flames consumed her. It was extremely barbaric. My heart broke each time I thought about it. I sincerely hoped she was at peace now. In a better place. And I might be reunited with her, and with my parents, someday soon.
And for Roisin, I wished she would marry for love, instead of simply going after the richest guys she could find. Of course she didn’t tell me anything, but as a father, I knew. I really don’t care how rich her husbands were. Delia wasn’t rich and my parents didn’t care either. I just wished the reason she married them was because she loved them, and not because they had billions. Like Delia and I. And my parents before me. Somehow it might be my fault that she turned out this way. But unfortunately nothing could be done, or undone now. I sincerely wished she would be happy. Truly happy.
And raise her children right. Treat them well, respect their wishes, accept their decisions, no matter how much she may disagree. Like I have always tried to do. And I hope her children will too appreciate her, knowing she meant well for them, even though her actions may not be right at times.
I’m an old man now. And soon my time will come. I’m at peace, really. I had lived a long life. But I know wherever I am, I will still be looking after Roisin. And my family.
Like always, a parent will always be concerned about their child.