Kathie and I had a great time at dinner party a few months back. We participated freely in the table talk, possibly too enthusiastically for my (Ken’s) part. A day or so later we were speaking with our lovely host who said, “you two have so many great stories.” I hadn’t thought of that, but yes, we do have many great stories, some from the places we have lived including Kamloops, others from many destinations around the world including many places across Canada, South Africa, the UK, Jamaica, New Zealand, Scotland, and soon to be included in this number, Ireland.
We have lived and loved together for 35 years already. (As we will have three new toilets installed on our anniversary Monday, we like to think of 35 as the porcelain year.) We have welcomed two children/now adults into the world; we have enjoyed the company of many dogs and cats; we have bought, sold and renovated three homes. We have each engaged deeply and sacrificially in caring professions/vocations and commiserated with each other in struggles, anxieties, even failures.
We have made space in our lives for creative endeavours including textile arts and photography. We have entertained many visitors to our cozy home and generally (and this deserves special mention) have cared for other people and served the needs of groups, initiatives, clubs and communities I think well, though possibly, sometimes to excess.
Beyond compassion we continue to communicate with each other honestly, with sincerity and a lot of humour. We have shared a faith journey together. We problem-solve together and tell each other stories, constantly. As I review 35 years together, a romance which commenced just down the road at the Sorrento Centre during the summer of 1986 (she needed my air pump and I was pleased to oblige) looking back I notice our ability — often born of necessity — to navigate changes and challenges. We have spent time together in prisons, hospitals, the African bush, cathedrals and airports. We have enjoyed the company of dogs and their humans. Every day is an adventure. The biggest opportunity has come with our early retirements, Kathie first and more recently me. Living together 24/7 does change things up quite a lot. We are however still smiling, most days.
Well I could go on, but I should bring things into sharper focus: Kathie I am so grateful that we continue share life and love together – I cannot think of anyone with which I would prefer to enter the riper years of life. The presentation of flowers seems such a small gift to offer, but I will do my level best.
You are the kindest person walking the face of the earth, and as you know it is kindness I value above all things. I am proud to walk through life with you. And we have had so much creative fun together. Thirty-five years is a long time in this disposable and transitory world. We have so much to celebrate and this we shall do with good friends on Monday. Who knows how much more time we will have together (will it be eternity? That does seem rather long). So let the celebration continue all day, (until your book club in the evening). I will simply sit at home, alone, though marvellously content.
Love you, Ken
Sidebar — As I type, our love-child is barking. Best to go and deal with the situation