Thursday, November 02, 2023

Twenty-eight years later

28 years ago today, on November 2, 1995, I arrived in New Zealand to stay, and Nigel and I began our life together—which is why we used to think of Nov. 2 as our anniversary. 10 years ago today, we had a big family party at our house to celebrate our marriage two days earlier. All of which is why I’ve felt so contemplative lately.

I clearly remember that after I got to our house that hot 1995 day, Nigel picked me up and brought me into the city. While he finished up work, I went and got a power cable for my Macintosh, and then went to McDonald’s at Victoria Park Market (long gone) to wait for him. We went home, and, being totally exhausted from the trip, I don’t remember anything about that evening, except for one thing: We cuddled up on the sofa to watch some TV and I fell asleep with him holding me.

Facebook “Memories” told me this morning that one year ago today I was in the midst of clearing the bank along the side of my property and I assembled one of three planters I bought. That bank is now thoroughly overgrown again, mostly because of all the bad weather over the past year, and I decided against using those planters—maybe I still will? Currently scheming. Again.

The thing is, my reality this year is like last year: November 2 is an ordinary day, though one with powerful memories and emotions attached to it. I did ordinary, routine stuff on my own as I have for the past four years (and Leo will helped by wagging his tail, running around, and by barking ad invisible dangers out on the street). Instead of celebrating an anniversary, I’ll be living it: The life I’ve had for the past 28 years began that 1995 day.

In recent weeks, I’ve been talking about the various way in which uncertainty is still all around me. This is, of course, nothing even remotely new, and it has, in fact, been with me to varying degrees since Nigel died. Last year I wrote something that’s just as true this year:

I have no idea if this uncertainty will change in the years ahead, or how it might change if it does. Right now, the fact that Nigel and I always saw this anniversary as our main one is still the main thing I see when I see the date on the calendar. And I’m still perfectly okay with that.

And that is what’s been on my mind lately. Except for that part about what I did last year. I don’t easily remember that kind of thing. Nigel would be the first to point that out, too.

Happy main anniversary, sweetheart.

Twenty-seven years later (2022)
Twenty-six years later (2021)
Twenty-five years later (2020)
Twenty four Years (2019)

Posts from happier years:
Twenty Three Years Together (2018)
Twenty Two Years Together (2017)
Twenty One Years Together (2016)
Twenty Years Together (2015)
Surreal 19th Expataversary (2014)
Eighteen (2013)
The day that really mattered (2012)
Sweet sixteen (2011)
Fifteen (2010)
Fourteen (2009)
Lucky 13: Expataversary and more (2008)
Twelfth Anniversary (2007)
Eleven Years an Expat (2006)

Ex, but not ex- – A 2006 post about being an expat
Changing policies and lives – A 2011 post about becoming a permanent resident
12 years a citizen – A 2014 post about becoming a NZ citizen

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