Jade. The modern 35th wedding anniversary gift.
Jaded. The color of 2020.
So how do you blend the two together and celebrate three-and-a-half decades of marital bliss?
Two weeks ago, it was hubby and my 35th anniversary, and I think the first we’ve celebrated apart. I’ve probably said it before, but for those who don’t know … I got stuck in Cape Town at my son when our country went into lockdown. And I can’t fly home until the grandkids are back at school. Their return should happen in early August, but who knows? On Sunday night, our president reinstated a curfew with no one allowed outside their home between 9pm and 4am. The sale of alcohol was also suspended once again, with immediate effect.
I’ve booked hubby a ticket to Cape Town on August 5th but that can only happen if leisure travel opens. As we just took a step backward in this COVID-19 fight, I can’t see him being able to make that journey. My ticket home has been booked for August 11th, 4.5 months after I was meant to go home after coming to Cape Town for a wedding and to look after the grandkids during the first term school break. A friend suggested on Facebook that by the time hubby and I finally get together again, we’ll need a second honeymoon.
I think she might just be right.
While here, I’ve celebrated my son’s birthday, my grandson’s, a virtual Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and my anniversary.
When I dragged myself into my son’s kitchen early on Monday, June 29th, I just burst out crying at what awaited me … flowers, presents, and 35 red hearts strewn on the kitchen counter from my hubby (with a lot of help from our daughter-in-law).
Of course, it doesn’t take that much to make me cry lately … just a song, or a memory, video, meme, a difficult day …
I got the most incredible bouquet of roses and blushing bride proteas, stroopwafel (which hubby and I latest shared virtually), chocolates (some of them Lindt), and beautiful Le Creuset mugs. The pink, ceramic cups were hubby’s version of coral, the traditional gift for 35 years.
I guess hubby’s pink mugs are about as coral as the turquoise powertool I got him is jade.
The red, heart-shaped cards on the table had 35 reasons why he loves me…
- Your love for the Lord.
- I love your positivity.
- Your interior design skills.
- Your nostalgia.
- You are an exceptional navigator.
- I love watching you shop.
- Your infectious laugh.
- Never say die attitude.
- Your love for your family.
- I love your special perfume.
- Noel’s delight.
- When you help me with projects.
- Ongoing “courting”.
- Making our home “homely”.
- When you wore your “Jeeves” cap.
- You are not afraid of confrontation.
- Your neck “tickle” reaction.
- Your drive to complete a task.
- Your focus for tasks on hand.
- Your writing gift.
- Your eye for a bargain.
- Your attention to detail.
- I love watching movies together.
- When you do your experimental cooking.
- You are an exceptional tour guide
- You are an exceptional travel planner
- Unexpected surprises for me.
- I love your cooking.
- Upliftment when I am down.
- Spur of the moment decisions.
- Your love of travel.
- Our quiet times together.
- Your love of life.
- Your heart for the less fortunate.
- Your love for me ALWAYS.
In response, I sent him 35 reasons why I love him … as well as something I wrote for an Inspy blog way back in 2015. I thought it fitting to share that again with you today.
I love you because…
- You’re the best hubby in the entire world.
- You’re God’s choice for me.
- You’re my soulmate.
- You’re so handsome :)
- You’re the most humble person I know.
- You’re the most caring person I know.
- You’re the most selfless person I know.
- You’re my best friend.
- I love you for your thoughtful ways.
- I love you for all the surprises you spend months, weeks, years planning.
- I love you for your little love notes you leave me … on my computer, in my lunchbox, at the breakfast table.
- I love you for being such an incredible father.
- I love you for being such a fun grandfather.
- I love you for your heart for God.
- I love you for your heart for people.
- I love you for always going way beyond the extra mile for everyone
- I love you for your integrity
- I love you for supporting my dreams.
- I love you for all the cups of tea.
- I love you for all the meals you make, leaving me to write.
- I love you for your romantic ways.
- I love you for always being eager for an overseas adventure with me.
- I love you for always putting me first.
- I love you for the two wonderful sons you gave me.
- I love you for your sacrificial ways.
- I love you for letting me be me.
- I love you for loving me just as I am, no matter what shape that might be
- I love you for being such a hard worker.
- I love you for doing all the hard house renovations alone while we’re apart.
- I love you for your generous spirit.
- I love you for always seeing the best in people.
- I love you for knowing what my favorite things are.
- I love you for your sense of humor.
- I love you for every rose petal you’ve scattered on the floor or bed, for every candle you’ve lit for me.
- I love you for all the fun times we’ve shared.
- I love you for loving me (the extra one’s for this next year of married life with you).
And as we’ve been apart for quite some time now, let me remind you where love resides…
It resides in the morning hugs and kisses of my childhood sweetheart.
It resides in candlelight and curtains draped in just the right manner, hinting that tonight there’ll be romance.
It resides in a picnic in our loft, our tall wooden giraffe statues carted upstairs to add to the outdoor ambiance.
It resides in rose petals trailing upstairs.
It resides in a breakfast tray in my room every morning, and in my lunch box packed each day for work. Sometimes there’s even a surprise love note tucked inside, or chocolate—both sweet enough to melt my heart.
It resides in flowers delivered after a fight.
It resides in the box filled with love letters that I stubbornly cling to.
It resides in fun-filled days and adventures with the love of my life. Helicopter rides. Quad biking through the Namib desert dunes—love coming to my rescue because my bike broke down. Jumping into a Finnish ice hole in the middle of winter after a hot sauna, and completing that crazy act with a roll in the snow. Building houses together for Romanian gypsies. Seeing the Zambian bush go by from the top of an elephant called Danny.
It resides in a million memories. Sightseeing though European cities. Climbing the three hundred stairs of St. Stephens Basilica, just so we could see the view of Budapest together. Sharing a mopanie worm. Building snowmen. Swimming in the crystal clear waters of Melbourne’s Port Phillip Bay. Washing our hair in a cold mountain stream. Taking the road less traveled on through Britain. Visiting Santa in Lapland, even though we’re far too old. Holding hands over the Arctic Circle. Castle walks. Pillow fighting a monkey in our Royal Livingstone hotel room because the blighter had snuck in and stolen my candy.
It resides in uprooting our lives and moving to a far-away country, all because I thought it was a good idea. It resides in the strong shoulder I cried on for the six long months that followed.
It resides in supporting my dreams, even though most times they come at a cost.
It resides in bubble baths gone wrong, and those that didn’t.
It resides in dinners cooked and served, freeing me to write.
It resides in sharing a glass of our favorite wine.
It resides in each of my Willow Tree figurines.
It resides in our first date, our first kiss, and the myriads following after.
It resides in buying land, building our first home, remodeling others.
It resides beside hospital beds, always there for each other.
It resides in the tears shed together at funerals.
It resides in growing older together.
It resides in memories, in good times and bad. It resides with me in everyday life.
And long after my love and I are gone, it will continue to reside in the sons and grandsons God has blessed us with.
Let’s chat: How long have you been married?