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Archive for July, 2011

Two weeks ago, our wonderful sons threw us a party. Its purpose was twofold: an official housewarming, and a celebration of our forty years of marriage. Surrounded by family, close friends, and some of our new neighbours, the day couldn’t have been more perfect.

In many ways, it symbolized a turning point for us. For over two years, we’ve been weighed down by sadness and a sense of doom, but on this day, we were ourselves again. Able to laugh. Able to feel joy. And everyone with us felt it too. They’ve worried about us for so long, but finally, they too felt hope.

The day was warm and sunny, ideal weather for entertaining. Our guests spilled over from inside the house to the backyard and front porch. Conversations were loud and peppered with belly laughs. I reminisced with friends from high school – women I hadn’t seen since the last alumni luncheon, nearly ten years ago. Being with them reminded me of who I was at eighteen, and who I still am inside.

My husband felt the same spark. At one point, my youngest son observed “I haven’t seen Dad this happy in a long while.” Later, someone made the same comment about me.

Towards the end of the evening, when most people had already left, we realized that we’d yet to make a toast to our anniversary. It seemed fitting that the ones remaining to share the tradition with us were these same high school friends – women who were there forty-five years ago, when my husband and I first met, who were there on our wedding day. With a finesse that only a veteran bartender can manage, my son cracked open a bottle of champagne and carried eight flutes back into the room. We toasted to love, to friendship, to new beginnings.

Later, when it was just the four of us, we drifted to the front porch of the house. Between the rush of preparation and the excitement of having so many wonderful people in our home, we were all too wired to sleep. For nearly an hour, we shared our feelings about the day.

We realized then that here, on our fortieth aniversary, not one picture had been taken of my husband and me together. Our porch “papparazzi” decided that had to be rectified. It didn’t matter that my make-up had melted hours ago, that my hair was askew, and my husband slightly tipsy. We were happy.

You can tell just by looking at us.

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