Shotley: Man’s poetry book is dedicated to his wife who has Alzheimer’s. He has written a poem for each of 48 years they have been together.
06:42 21 August 2014
A 76-year-old man has had his first book of poems published which he created as a labour of love to his beloved wife in celebration of every year they have spent together.
Len Biddlecombe, of Shotley, has written a poem for each one of the 48 years that he has been with his 71-year-old wife, Barbara, who now cannot speak and struggles to walk as she battles with Alzheimer’s disease.
Mr Biddlecombe now dedicates his life to being by his wife’s side at Anglesea Heights Nursing Home, Ipswich, and said he was proud to have the poems published which told their personal story, and which is appropriately named Life of Love.
“I wrote the earlier ones about her and as we had our family they came into it, then as time went on they were more for her than about her, it’s the complete kaleidoscope of our life, from when we first got together to today”, he said.
The devoted couple met in 1966 and have been married for 46 years after being set up by Mrs Biddlecombe’s father. They now share three children and three grandchildren together.
Mr Biddlecombe said it was love at first sight and that she was the most beautiful person he had ever seen.
“I stopped writing after she went in the home. I did insist on writing a final poem to finish the book off, we had to draw a line on that part of our life.
“She doesn’t quite comprehend, but she does tend to smile, she liked the little picture of us on the back cover but she doesn’t understand the wording. Every story I’ve written I read to her before I even did anything with it”, he said.
The pair married in 1968 at Ipswich register office and lived in Shotley all their married life apart from a short spell in Holbrook.
Before retirement, Mr Biddlecombe was a self-employed taxi driver while his wife took care of the home and spent her time painting.
Mr Biddlecombe added: “The best poem in the book is the one I wrote when our first child was born, one of life’s most precious moments; it describes the thrill of holding your baby for the first time, something that many people can relate to.”
Life of Love is available on Amazon.