In the sixties, I was in a really abusive marriage. I used to watch the ‘Go!!’ show and there was this beautiful guy who used to be in a band called The Purple Hearts. I remember sitting there with my daughter on my knee and thinking ‘I’ll never be able to have that kind of freedom’. He was so free, I just loved him so much. I snuck out and bought a 45 of their disc. I was only allowed to listen to classical music, so I had to hide it. As the years went by, I was 64. I was on my own, I was really fit, and I was feeling good. My daughter said to me, ‘I had a dream last night that I should put you on RSVP’, and I said, ‘oh, no, no, I’m not going there’. But she did anyway and eventually this man convinced me that we should meet.
He said, ‘I’ll have a rolled-up newspaper of The London Times and the password will be the moon shines brightly over the steps in April’. It’s Tolstoy. I thought he is either a wanker or a really interesting person. We met, and we just knew we were clicking really well. About three weeks later, he asked me to marry him over a toasted cheese sandwich and a cup of tea.
It wasn’t until I went to see him sing at a jazz club that I realised exactly who this man was. The man next to me was so excited to see him sing, he said, ‘don’t you know who that is? Mick Hadley was the lead singer of The Purple Hearts.’
I went down the aisle with him singing, ‘wild thing, you make my heart sing.’
Up till then my life had been absolutely shit. Mick was a big part of my reformation. I started studying ontology. I really started to look at myself and the victim that I was and how sorry I was for myself, for my childhood. As I was going through that he said he could see me lift, you know, like a veil lift off. We didn’t know he was sick at that stage. I think his brain tumour had probably started because his behaviour did change. He just absolutely adored me, and then some really difficult behaviour started happening.
But before he died, he did come back to me because I’d lost him for a year. He was confused, and so the last year was sad, and then he was in palliative care. I used to hop into bed with him and hug him tight, and one day he said to me, ‘I want to go darling’. Then he said to me, ‘there’s going to be somebody else in your life and you mustn’t let what we’ve had stop that from happening’. I said, ‘how could I ever have anybody else in my life?’ You know, we only had eight years together, but I had been abused by men all along. And he was the first man who ever told me he loved me.
His daughter hated me. I tried so hard to include her. After his death I got a phone call from one of his fans, and she said, ‘Mick’s been cremated’. I said, ‘oh, no, we’re still working on that’. And she said, ‘no, it’s on Facebook’. They had had the love of my life cremated without telling me. And then they sent me the bill.
It’s never too late. I’m 80 and my life is just beginning all over again. I’m the happiest I’ve been in a long time. John’s come into my life and he accepts me with all my craziness. I feel free to be that person.