Monday, October 31, 2022

Nine years married

Nine years ago today, Nigel and I were married, and this is now the fourth anniversary I’ve observed without him. In his last days, Nigel said that the day we got married was the happiest day of his life, and it was for me, too. But these anniversaries now fall six weeks after the anniversary of the worst day of my life. Nine years ago today, I got a title I never expected to get: Husband. Six weeks shy of our sixth anniversary, I got another new title, widower, and the two are now welded together.

Two days from now, November 2, is the 27th anniversary of when our life together began, the date we always used to consider our anniversary in those years before legal recognition was possible (Nov 2 was the date in 1995 that I arrived in New Zealand to stay). We also had January 24, the day in 2009 when we had our civil union. The thing is, despite having so many anniversaries to choose from, we didn’t actually celebrate any of them. It just wasn’t something we did.

What we did do, though, was talk about memories. For the day we were married, it was about the ceremony itself and the big family party two days later. For our civil union, it was the ceremony in front of lots of family and friends, and the big family party afterward. And Nigel often cracked jokes about the parties. In other words, they were memories pretty much similar to lots of others, ones centred on good times with the whānau.

And yet, those two days, our marriage in particular, were actually both about us, and our love for, and commitment to, one another. That’s why our marriage day was the happiest day for the both of us (and our civil union day was the second happiest). We knew how lucky we were, starting with what was a highly improbable meeting in the first place, and continuing on, right through to being in the right place at the right time to have our love and commitment recognised by our government, and celebrated by so many of the people who meant so much to us. Because that’s the other reason those two days were important: The people we also shared them with.

So much has changed since that day nine years ago—change has been pretty relentless, and much of it was dramatic or a big deal. But October 31, 2013 was a very big deal, and a happy one, for us both. For me, it still is.

Happy Anniversary, sweetheart. I love you.

Eight years married (2021)
It’s still seven years married (2020)
Mixed feelings day (2019)
Fifth Anniversary (2018)
Fourth Anniversary (2017)
Third Anniversary (2016)
Second Anniversary (2015)
Still married (2014)

To be married
Husband and husband
Just one more

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