Loss, Jealousy, Anger, Desire – Understanding?

S.S. Athenic, Featured image
Aug 26, 2016

Loss, Jealousy, Anger, Desire – Understanding?


Flash of Silver…the leap that changed my world

Question #38
Rite of Passage Fourteen –A Journey Resumed–
1959. I am twenty-five years old.

Q: Hope Dashed? Hope is a fine thing…until it is “dashed” suddenly leaving a sense of despair…even anger? Did this ever happen to you…and how did you deal with it?


S.S. Athenic

S.S. Athenic. Photo Credit, Ruben Goossens Maritime Historian http://www.ssmaritime.com/

I had spent six months apart from Treena and Tessa and had spent much of that time imagining how it would be the day we were re-united.

I planned and allowed for every eventuality; I have always been good at fixing things by looking ahead.

They came down the gangway from the S.S. Athenic looking radiant from spending at least four of the six-week trip in the sun.

Compared to her slim-tan I was pudgy-white with all the indoor struggles to be accepted coupled with Army food and my added 30lbs…not that appealing!

I was convinced that I had done everything I could to provide for them. I had saved six hundred NZ pounds -about seven hundred US dollars, with which I’d purchased the bare bones furniture we needed for our small apartment.

At first, because of all the apparent (to me) sacrifices that I had made I couldn’t understand her ‘cool’ reception to all my ’worthy of praise’ efforts.

“Yes but,” she explained, in a very quiet and controlled voice. “You didn’t write…just six letters in six months?” –she left the question hanging for me to…consider.

I sort of got it but my mind buzzed with very logical self-serving excuses that I never had the opportunity to deliver.

“Because I didn’t know if you still loved…us (she hugged our tiny golden haired daughter). I had an affair of the heart with the first officer on our ship.”

So, there it was, I had sown a seed of perceived indifference even though I didn’t see it as such, and reaped…what could I call it?

So…what about now?

Treena gave me three months in which to reassure her that I was not in the least indifferent!

I must admit that mine was a mix of shock, anger and jealousy mixed into a desperate desire to win back her love and affection. In a word, I was preoccupied with our fractured relationship and so wanting everything to be fine…as it had been?

They had arrived in the New Zealand Fall in 1959, around April. Our son Andy was born on 7 January 1960 and if you can count nine backwards that brings you to…May. Our relationship now had a lovechild to grow up alongside our three year old.

Graham Kerr family circa 1960

Treena, Tessa and newborn Andy 1960

As it happened I had nothing with which to woo Treena. I couldn’t afford flowers or perfume; I walked to work, we had no bike or car. Life was absolutely wonderfully basic –where love can blossom all on its own without being ‘bought’.

I did come to completely understand why she had felt so “left out” and how I was the responsible party…and yet, there was still a small seed of jealousy that is so hard to completely smother. Only absolute forgiveness can do that and so the seed remained dormant for a season yet far off.

P.S This week I read Treena’s poem Warmth of Love


  1. Lynn Severance Says: 6:58 pm

    It was heart-wrenching to read this segment of Graham’s story even visceral in how I experienced it. Matters that go heart-deep either tear apart or uplift. We can spend our lives in tender balance praying that we never offend or intentionally hurt another. Yet it happens. Without the the knowledge that only forgiveness mends the tears in the fabric of a relationship, we may never learn the joy of restoration or that hearts grow stronger when one step closer to unconditional love is neared.

  2. Sevag Shanlian Says: 3:25 pm

    My memory of the Graham Kerr Show on Discovery brings me joy every time. I recall explaining Minimax (insert appropriate trademark) to my Junior High teachers–minimizing risk, maximizing flavor. Ahhh, those hallowed halls of Charles W. Elliot Middle School.
    I prefer this series — for the entertainment, the energy, the science, the humanity– to all the current ‘food’ shows all rolled into one (because they do oftentimes all roll into one).
    What a coincidence on the news that you’ve received word you may be able to have those available here! Godspeed and God bless, Sevag

  3. Kerryn Says: 10:22 am

    How incredibly difficult & painful that time must have been for you both! I can’t even begin to imagine how tough that was! Having to live apart from my beloved hubby & family for over 9 months, due to illnesses I have, has been unbelievably difficult. However I’ve had regular visits, texts & phone calls that reassure us both that our love is strong & deep for each other, despite the physical separation. Praise God that this time of separation is nearly over, as we move into our next home over the next few weeks. YIPPEE!!
    During this time we’ve had many times of “hope dashed”…… nothing like what you went through though! Our “hopes dashed” have been around sale of our home. We’ve had 3 contracts that have all failed to meet the timelines of our buyers getting finances sorted for buying our home. We’re about to sign our 4th & final contract with the same buyers! Each time that our hope is dashed brings further uncertainty, disappointment, frustration, cynicism, grief & even anger! It sure isn’t easy & requires us to come to God & learn to trust His timelines & relinquish our control yet again. We’re about to move to a wonderful home & can now see how God has orchestrated this. We will really value being together as a couple & as a family after such a long time apart!! Many lessons have been learned along the way.

  4. Jean Says: 8:20 am

    Support is the key on both sides. That is the wonderful thing about having the Christian Bible as your foundation. You are always on the same page. There can be no false presumptions. I wonder what you did write in your few letters that Treena did not feel supported, loved, hopeful? Perhaps it isn’t the quantity but the quality of what we give to each other – in all our relationships – that really makes the difference. I’m loving all the photos you post with each article. Wow – 6 weeks on a ship – I can’t imagine. Perhaps a few storms and rough seas would have kept matters more at home. Shame on that first officer!!

  5. Graham Says: 7:28 am

    Sevag. I am impressed that you can read and listen at the same time and then in the midst of that amazing multi tasking you recalled, in just a few notes, the signature tune of the Graham Kerr Show on Discovery, the one with the ‘computer styled podium’ upon which I would show what I had achieved to ‘Mini Max’ (less risk max flavor) my older Galloping recipes! You were right! Even more remarkable…I heard, on the very same day, about how I may be able to gain the rights to that series so that I can play them for you on this actual site…I would love to do that but that will depend upon other people’s willingness…stay tuned! Oh and thanks for the ‘lighter note’ it helped me over what was a very hard experience and no fun at all to discuss but wonderful to eventually know was completely overcome with joy! Graham

  6. Mark W Says: 7:37 pm

    We live and learn – when I look back (from relationship number 3!) I can see all sorts of things that I could have done, but was too young and ignorant to do. Your number 1 worked out, despite it all. Congratulations !

  7. Sevag Shanlian Says: 4:34 pm

    This WAS a tough one. The overwhelm of striving to do everything right to the best of our planning and the best of our intentions often leaves us blind-sighted to the immediate needs of those closest to us–those we love.
    I can appreciate the “wonderfully basic” environment in which love had to make its stand once again. All too often there are fabricated means which money can buy some kind of demonstration and display of love.

    (On a lighter note—I was scrolling down reading while (whilst?) listening and the music at the end took me back to a certain Discovery Channel Series I grew up with. I hope you have some say as to when (if) the series will ever be released for purchase!)

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