I wish I could buy you a thousand amazing gifts for your birthday, but I know the things that make life happy can’t be bought … like love and the closeness two people share … time … days spent together when we’re happy no matter what we are doing … kindnesses … the little things we do for one another. These things can’t be bought and yet they are the best gifts of all.
And so, for your birthday, I’m giving you this promise as part of my gift — to love you even more and make you happier, to make all our days together days to remember always.
This was my card to John on his birthday last year … I never dreamt it was his last birthday and our days together were so limited. I miss him every moment of every day.
Tonight I went to John’s favourite restaurant and toasted him as the sun went down. I love you John … you are still my world.
It would have been my 35th anniversary today. John and I planned to spend the entire month of October celebrating in Hawaii. We made such wonderful plans, a week on Oahu, a week on the Big Island, a week on Kauai and a week cruising all of the islands. Instead I am in Florida wishing with my whole heart that I could have one more hug, one more kiss, one more moment with the man I loved.
I’m sure everyone feels their wedding day was special or unusual but I felt mine really was. The night before we were married John put his back out scraping a plate after dinner (I think that was the last time he helped clear the table). He could barely move on our wedding day (which is why he looks so stiff in our wedding photos).
We were to be married at City Hall at 3 pm. Around noon his brother (our best man) called and said he could no longer be our best man. He said he couldn’t do it in good conscience because he felt our marriage was wrong. John had been married before and had two children from his first marriage. John was shattered. It was bad enough that one brother just refused to attend the wedding and now his other brother would no longer be our best man. Fortunately my brother agreed to step in. It was, as they say, the beginning of a beautiful friendship between my brother and John.
Even with all this family turmoil John and I were incredibly happy on our wedding day. My family loved John and accepted him into the fold. John and I had many happy years together and our family grew. As I said before we had a daughter and a son and the two daughters from his first marriage spent a great deal of time with us. (The oldest actually moved in with us when she was 14 and stayed with us until she finished college and the next one lived with us for almost ten years while she was an adult.)
But suddenly things were not so perfect. John changed drastically and our relationship suffered. I don’t want to concentrate on it here as it is in the past and I feel it has to do with his undiagnosed diabetes. Whenever John’s sugar levels were high he would be quite difficult to be with and once he was diagnosed we knew how to handle it. But there was a period of 4 to 5 years where our relationship suffered because of it. Once he got his diabetes under control we decided to reconcile. For our 25th anniversary we decided to show the world we were united and we renewed our vows on a pirate ship out on the gulf of Mexico. For the next ten years (until his illness) we were incredibly happy together.
John and I weren’t just married; we were in business together. This meant we spent more time together than most couples. We were an extension of each other and that was wonderful. I would drive John crazy when I’d finish sentences for him but it just showed me how in sync we were together. There were times I was in Florida and he was back home but we would talk several times a day on the telephone and we shared everything with each other. We were a team.
Today I celebrate the time we did have together. Every moment, every smile, every kiss, every tear, every laugh … every second we spent together. I was very lucky to find my soul mate. Many people go through their entire lives looking and never find them. He was and still is my happiness.
FOREVER AND ALL WAYS