So, what kind of a wife would forget her 15th wedding anniversary? Someone like me, apparently…
My husband and I celebrate our civil wedding anniversary every 21st of March and our church wedding anniversary every 28th of June. This 2018 marks our Crystal Anniversary, a milestone in our married life. Yearly, even when we’re apart, we would celebrate our anniversaries by simultaneously going to the movies or having a special dinner. Our celebrations were never extravagant, although my dear husband has always made it a point to send me a gift, be it a bottle of my favorite perfume, a signature bag, electronic gadgets, or shopping money.
When we were still together, i.e., he hasn’t gone abroad to work as an expat yet, we would go out, watch movies, and buy a cake to share with the whole family both on our birthdays and anniversaries. We would also greet each other first thing in the morning, sometimes even staying up late the previous day just so we could greet one another at the stroke of midnight. Such has been our tradition for years now.
Unfortunately, on our 15th wedding anniversary, things changed and I must shamefully admit that I was the one who broke the tradition. Mind you, I’m big on family events and I don’t easily forget birthdays (and anniversaries) in the family. I’m also usually the one who would initiate or organize a family gathering on such occasions and you can expect me to mark all our calendars and planners to make sure I won’t forget. So how come I have forgotten our 15th wedding anniversary? Even if I’ve already marked the dates on my planner and desk calendar?
I probably would have been so hurt if my husband totally forgot our anniversary or my birthday. If that happened, I might have refused to talk to him for days until he gave me a present and show how much he’s sorry. In fact, when I thought he had forgotten our 15th anniversary yesterday, although I wasn’t really hurt, I told him he owed me big time.
He, on the other hand, was certain that I had totally forgotten it and just laughed uncharacteristically as he countered my threat, saying I forgot about it too. I didn’t have the heart to get angry or stay disappointed in him, however, because he’s actually right. It’s not that I forgot that it’s our 15th wedding anniversary, instead, I simply lost track of time. I had no idea what the date was, and I just thought it must already be Wednesday since the garbage truck came by the previous day, but didn’t realize that it’s also the 21st of the month already.
And to think I had already been thinking of ways to celebrate our anniversary as early as the last week of February! I had originally planned on watching a play with the girls at Resorts World and having dinner at a nice restaurant. I had also thought of watching “A Wrinkle in Time” since we weren’t able to do so with our homeschool playgroup, as well as having dinner at the newly opened Pancake House in our village, but the girls and my husband really wanted to see the movie last weekend and so we did. I suppose changing plans only made me more confused.
I wish I could tell my husband that I have prepared carbonara–my specialty–in celebration of our wedding anniversary. It’s something that I normally would do, anyway. However, I have prepared carbonara because Big Sis asked for it, not to mention we were expecting guests that evening–my husband’s best friend was supposed to drop off some documents. Instead, I was so quick to admit my mistake, especially that I felt certain that my husband had forgotten about it too. Until my husband’s best friend came to our house–girlfriend in tow–late last night and handed me a huge bouquet of white roses, saying, “Happy 15th wedding anniversary, Malot!…” as he handed it to me.
I was so shocked to realize that my husband had planned on it and never really forgot our anniversary, and that knowledge left me teary-eyed and feeling so small. His best friend had confirmed it–my husband had planned on it weeks ago and had asked him to deliver the flowers.
I felt humbled by the enormity of my blunder. I shared it as something funny on Facebook, but I was secretly berating myself for not looking at the calendar or paying attention to the date on my mobile phone, or not coming up with Plan C. I only realized my mistake when I opened my planner and saw what I had written months ago under March 21, Wednesday: 15th
civil wedding anniversary. And to think I could not be mistaken about yesterday being Tuesday and I was well aware that our anniversary was this week.
I loved the flowers my husband sent me that I decided to bring it to bed with me. It was the first time he gave me a huge bouquet of white roses. For some reason, he’s so fond of giving me white roses. The only time he gave me a red rose was when I gave birth to our firstborn child. (To this day, that rose is in between the pages of my Student Bible.)
I love the fact that my husband never forgets our anniversaries, including the day I agreed to be his girlfriend. I love that he would shower me with gifts, saving as much as he could just to give me something really nice, while I almost never give him anything (i.e., anything pricey because I don’t have a steady income from my freelancing gigs). Sure, he’s definitely earning much more than I do, he’s miles away from me and it’s such a hassle to send him gifts abroad, and of course, he’s the man, so he must be the one to spend, er, give… Excuses, you say? I know!
As I held the flowers in front of a mirror, I wished that I were not overweight and were more youthful-looking, though. I felt so unattractive and thought I was unworthy to be given such beautiful flowers, and wondered why my husband sent me a bouquet of fifteen long-stemmed white roses in a gorgeous arrangement, knowing that it must have cost him a lot… until I felt a gentle rebuke. If my husband sees my imperfections and still consider me both lovely and lovable, how much more does God love me that He sent His Son Jesus to die for me?
At that instant, I saw the condition of my heart, and it brought me to my knees. Gratitude was the appropriate response.
I thank God for giving me a loving, kind, sensitive, faithful, generous, and responsible husband. I thank God for always blessing the work of his hands so he could fulfill his role of being a good provider. I thank God for keeping him away from harm, temptations, and illnesses. I thank God for blessing our marriage. I thank God for giving me a partner in life who shares my faith and challenges my convictions when they’re not in line with God’s Word. I thank God for our family, for our two daughters, even for our pets. I thank God for all His blessings upon our family. I thank God for making me Paolo’s wife, and that makes me want to be a better wife in turn.
Further, I thank God that I have a keeper for a husband; he’s so good-natured toward my shortcomings. ❤
(Featured image by James Coleman on Unsplash)