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Paul McCartney

 

 

 

 

Paul McCartney

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paul - The Interviews

 

Sir Paul - My Love for Linda

 

Page 2

 

They bought the 160-acre farm with a two-bedroom cottage in 1975. Over the years they rebuilt the house to include five bedrooms. Today her ashes are scattered in the woods where she used to ride.

 

“Linda had had a lump under her arms and at first she’d just been given some antibiotics by the local doctor who said: “Don’t worry, it will just go away.”

‘But then she talked to a few women friends who said “”You’ve got to get that tested.” She got it tested and the results came back. The doctor rang her and said: “I don’t normally say this on the phone but I think you would want to know. You’ve got breast cancer.”

 

‘Lin rang me. I was at a meeting not far away and I ran to her. Our whole lives changed at that second. You’d better believe we cried. We drove up to London to try to get some facts, just scared stiff and crying a lot. It was a terrible day.’

Paul had been deeply affected by his mother’s death. He had been extremely close to her and now, to have to watch the disease destroy the only other woman in his life he truly loved, was dreadful. ‘Twice in a lifetime is bad news,’ says Paul. ‘One of my memories of Mum was that, because the illness was kept from us, she’d get tired and my Dad would say; “Why don’t you go and have 40 winks love?”

 

‘I made a point of never saying to Lin go and have 40 winks. I’d say; “You might want a little nap” But I never used the expression 40 winks. It was like a superstition. ‘Linda faced her illness with astonishing courage. It was amazingly difficult but Lin was really strong,’ says Paul. We had many laughs during the two-and-a-half years that she going through treatment. She’d come back home after a piece of not really good news but she was always hopeful. We’d say: “There are statistics that show people make it through this.” We’d get the statistics and if it was 60/40, we were in the 60. We always thought of ourselves in the other group. I remember coming back from London once and all the kids were there. we were going to spend the weekend at home together. James had a rap record that he used to shock us with when he first bought it. It was Snoop Doggy Dogg and it was all effing and blinding.

 

He played it and we were will relating it to the treatment and the doctor who was looking after Linda. One of the lines went: “He’s the man, he’s the man with the master plan.” Linda and I were rapping and dancing in the kitchen at the sheer freedom of it. “He’s the man with the master plan” - we were applying that to the doctor. We were all completely rapping and laughing. There was something so shocking happening to Lin and we were laughing at those ridiculous lyrics. It just gave us a moment where we could get away from it all. We had a great laugh that evening and it cooled things down. We just took it one day at a time, which is all you can do. That’s how I’m doing it now, one day at a time.”

 

Linda remained determined to beat the cancer until the very end. She was, however, aware of the possibility of death and made certain plans. This year on June 18, Paul received a present from her for his birthday. Linda had been dead for two months. “She gave me a beautiful boxwith a picture of the two of us in the lid. She’d had a friend of hers Brian Clarke, with whom she made stained-glass photography, do it for her’, says Paul. ‘It is just a little boxto keep things in, which is very beautiful. ‘She’d planned everything over the last couple of years. She said the sweetest things to the kids - private things just to help them through if anything happened.’

 

But they never gave up hope. ‘We found really good people who knew the most about her condition and the best treatments in traditional modern medical science,’ says Paul. ‘The truth is, she tried them all.’ She also smoked dope, in the beginning, to ease the side-effects of the chemotherapy.

 

‘We were Sixties people,’ says Paul. ‘So we’d smoked pot for a long time. Medical people said it might help with the effects of the chemotherapy so she smoked for s bit but then she stopped, in case it wasn’t doing any good.’ Following the early diagnosis, the initial prognosis was encouraging. Linda recovered well from treatment and did not even lose her appetite. ‘She loved her food. She was a gourmet. Even as a kid she would raid the cocktail cabinet for silver-skinned onions. She loved them. People would say “you’ll go off your food”, but she didn’t, until the last week. ‘Linda was such an up person. She was never an ill person. She’d say “Right, what shall we eat?”

 

‘She was so sure she would beat it and she stayed so positive. Of course we felt anger at times. Anger is a phase you go through. Everyone warned us about it and said “Go on, have a good shout at God.”

 

‘But there was a nurse who had had breast cancer who said: “Don’t be angry, it doesn’t help”, and she was right. If anger wasn’t going to achieve anything, then Lin didn’t see the point.’

 

The following year, medical tests carried out in New York revealed the cancer had spread to Linda’s other breast. The treatment started a second time.

 

‘It was terrifying,’ says Paul. ‘The indignities of cancer are the treatment and for a woman to have to lose her hair is a terrible thing. ‘It’s known as your crowning glory and if they call it that, it’s obviously not fun to lose it. Linda had the most beautiful, strawberry blonde hair. It was a tragedy for her to lose that. ‘But she was so gutsy about it. She said: “Right, I’m going to lose it, so let’s crop it off.”

‘She had a crew cut and when she knew even that wasn’t going to last, she shaved it right off. ‘It was very modern and she looked great with it, like a Buddhist monk.

 

‘The indignities she had to go through - one or two of which were very, very difficult like losing her hair and things - she took on the chin. And she still tried to love her life to the fullest, right up until the end,’ says Paul. ‘She was a very strong woman and I was always in awe of that. I didn’t mind being told off by Lin. ‘I remember when I first knew her, before we were married, somebody had said something about her to me. Our relationship was beginning to look pretty serious, so I thought I’d better check this out. ‘We were in New York late that night and I said so-and-so said such-and-such: is it true?’

 

‘She just stopped in the street, put her hands on her hips, coloured up and said: “If you ever say that again..........” ‘It was so powerful, I was in awe of a woman being that powerful.’

 

By the beginning of 1998 Linda’s hair had started to grow back. It was slightly darker, but still blonde. (She had dreaded it growing back dark and curly as she had been warned it might.) They started to look forward to the future.

 

Then, in March, liver cancer was diagnosed. ‘It was the big setback,’ says Paul. ‘We’d been on holiday and were beginning to feel really good. She went to see as doctor and he said her liver was enlarged. ‘He warned her that it was probably liver cancer. That was a dreadful day We’d thought we were through it.

 

‘We asked if anyone ever came back from this. He said that there were statistics that showed that people did. we were determined to be one of those statistics.’

Linda’s courage was astonishing in the weeks leading up to her death. On March 11, she and Paul attended their daughter Stella’s show for the Paris fashion house Chloe. Linda appeared radiant and justly proud. Stella dedicated the collection to her mother.

 

A week later she recorded three of the last songs for her album at the Hog Hill studio in Sussex. Paul and Linda then travelled to America.

 

‘Linda’s dying in America was just a coincidence,’ says Paul. ‘We’d meant to go out there earlier but then we heard the cancer had gone to the liver, so that held things up.

 

‘She was having treatment for that in America, so we thought we might as well go on to the ranch. She loved that place. ‘We knew that things weren’t good but we never lived as if the worst was going to happen.’

 

Paul and Linda went riding for the last time two days before her death.

‘She was a bit tired but riding had always been one of those things with us. In the past, we’d said “Oh heck, what happens when we’re 80 and can’t ride?” I’d always joke and say we’d get a chance. We always laughed at that.

 

‘That day I said I’ll tell you what. I’ll make it easy for you. I’ll get the horse ready and give you a shout.

 

‘I got a bale of hay so she could get up easily, which she loved. “Wow,” she said. “I like this pampering and having a groom.”

 

On that final ride, a rattlesnake crossed in front of the horses. They stopped and watched the snake’s progress. Linda did not know the doctors had told Paul she would soon be dead.

 

‘I knew a week or so before she died that it wasn’t going to work. I was the only one who knew. One of the doctors said she ought to be told, but I didn’t want to tell her because I didn’t think she’d want to know.

 

‘The next morning after our ride she didn’t want to get up. She said she was feeling very tired and she stayed in bed the whole day. I joked and said you just fancy a lie-in’.

‘The doctors had warned me that she would slip into a coma. I went to bed that night with her and thought things looked kind of serious, but I kept hoping. I just tried to do the things as normal.

 

‘Lin loved bed more than anybody. It was one of her great dreams actually to spend more time in bed. It was our plan for our retirement: to take dinner to bed and operate from the bed.

 

‘In the middle of the night she started getting restless, as I'd been told she might. So I called the nurse about three in the morning.'

‘The last moments were very peaceful.'

 

Paul The Interviews

All His Lovin'

Page one

Jasper Gerard meets Sir Paul

Page one

Page two

My Love for Linda

Page one

Page two

Page three

Page four

Page five

The Interviews Index

 

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Paul The Interviews

All His Lovin'

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Jasper Gerard meets Sir Paul

Page one

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My Love for Linda

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The Interviews Index

Paul on Tour

 

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