Love is our driving force, and it is bigger than us, bigger than this world. If you loved and lost, you have experienced life’s bitter side.
“I think anyone who opened their heart enough to love without restraint and subsequently were devastated by loss knows that in that moment you are forever changed; a part of you is no longer whole.
Some will never again love with that level of abandon where life is perceived as innocent and the threat of loss seems implausible. Love and loss, therefore, are linked.”― Donna Lynn Hope
If you ever travel on the subway in the London Underground, at one stop, you’ll hear a distinctive voice advising people to “Mind the gap.” It was replaced in 2012, but weeks afterward, it was back, as a grieving widow desperately missed hearing the voice of the love of her life.
The love of Dr. Margaret McCollum, a general practitioner, and Oswald Laurence started in 1992 when on a tour to Morocco when he was working for a tour and cruise company.
They got married and lived happily together in north London until 2007 when Oswald died.
His death devastated his wife, and the only way she could find relief during the years was to hear his voice in the tube. His voice was used on the northbound Northern Line to advise passengers to “mind the gap.”
Yet, after some time, his voice was used only by the Embankment station.
Dr. McCollum said she traveled a lot via Embankment, and she always waited until she heard it.
However, she once failed to do so.
When she asked about it, she was told that “there was a new digital system and they could not get his voice on it.”
The story went viral after being tweeted by transport expert and London Reconnections editor John Bull, known for his travel-related stories.
The historian remembered this one, that melted everyone’s hearts.
“It is election season. The world is busy and rubbish. But it is also Christmas.
So take a breather and let me tell you a story about London, trains, love and loss, and how small acts of kindness matter. I’m going to tell you about the voice at Embankment Tube station.”
Bull explained that he was reminded of it while he was passing through Embankment and heard the announcement again. By sharing it, he hoped that people would understand that that small acts of kindness are all around us, and if we work together, we can make a difference, “even if it’s for just one person.”
At the time, Nigel Holness, the former London Underground director, confirmed it:
“Transport for London were approached by the widow of Oswald Laurence to see whether she could get a copy of the iconic ‘mind the gap’ announcement her husband made over 40 years ago.
We were very touched by her story, so staff tracked down the recording. And not only were they able to get a copy of the announcement on CD for her to keep but are also working to restore the announcement at Embankment station.”
And it did happen later, so Oswald’s voice was brought back where it had been since 1969.
The powerful love story fascinated people online, and many admitted it brought tears in their eyes.