This anniversary means very much to the family.
For our children, their parents are still hugging, loving and enjoying being together.
For Michelle and I, we are glad to have had another wonderful year of being together, loving, caring and encouraging each other.
31 years seem to be a long time, especially for a couple who have known each other even longer - 40 years to be exact. Yes, Michelle and I were teenage sweethearts. We were casual friends since 14 years old, became at pair at 17, courted and married at 23. We became parents at 25 and brought up three wonderful gifts from God - they are 29, 24 and 22.
My youngest daughter recently completed her last semester at SMU. On the day she finished her last exam paper, I told her that it was her liberation day. She replied that it was mine instead. Indeed, Michelle and I have led another of our children to the point that she will be paying her own bills soon! Liberation indeed.
But what really amazes Michelle and I is this - after 40 years of knowing each other, we are still craving for one another. In fact, more that when we got to know each other.
While the sky was not always blue and we did not have beds of roses without the thorns through the years, we are glad that we have not just made it thus far but we have grown deeper in love. Many issues that caused us to be angry, irritated and even quarreled over when we were young are still with us. The difference is that these issues do not make us angry anymore, we no longer feel irritated and do not quarrel over them anymore.
So what has changed?
I believed that with God's love, grace and strength, Michelle and I have learned to put each other's interest above our own. We have learned to give each other respect and the full benefit of doubt that not matter what was said or done wrongly, we love one another.
We are able to espouse the wise teaching - "When your spouse does something bad to you, it is unintentional. When he/she does something good to you, it is always intentional."
We have learned the spirit of give and take, esteeming the other higher than oneself and forgiving as we are forgiven.
My eldest daughter gave us a cartoon book, "A Lovely Love Story" by Edward Monkton, as our anniversary present.
"What? A cartoon book as an anniversary present? Is she out of her mind?"
No. In fact we are absolutely delighted. In each page of that book where the cartoon was, she captioned it with words which she said was from "reading your blog."
Those words touched our hearts. They are nearest to being told that we are leaving a legacy of love for them.
The following pictures show the cover of the book and the first few pages ... just to wet your appetite. I shall be sharing more of what she wrote in the pages in the next weeks following.
Great lovers crave for each other more and more.
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