I'm not sure if I mentioned it last year. A very elderly lady from church spent quite some time in hospital and I visited every week. Let's call her Miss London.
Miss London is in her mid-eighties so during my visits, not being sure what to talk about, I asked about her life. She mentioned a woman friend who she was quite close to, they served in the Army together and retired together. If I remember right, they bought a house together. At some time the friend developed breast cancer and died. Miss London was alone in the world again and it was at that time she moved to Australia.
When she retired from nursing, she sold her flat and moved to a retirement village where she met Miss Missionary. They shared a car and travelled to church together, they shopped for each other and accompanied each other to medical appointments. The more I think about it, the more I imagine they may have been partners....
Miss Missionary shuffled off the coil last week after a tough enough and long enough illness and Miss London was quick to tell me I was the only person she received condolences from. I once asked Miss London if she had boyfriends as a young woman and she said she did but that she knew marriage was not for her. I was offering her a chance to come out to me, if appropriate but she never did and I can't help but wonder if Miss London has lost not only a friend but a partner.