Friday, 15 January 2016

Happy Anniversary

Katherine and I are celebrating our first anniversary today. One year ago, on January 15, 2014, a miracle happened; Katherine fell and broke her arm. That is not really the miracle. The miracle is that she called me to say she could no longer be my caregiver, that she had to quit because she broke her arm. The miracle is that, when I asked her if she wanted to come over and talk, she said yes. The miracle is that she did not walk out when I made my advances.

I've been really lucky with Katherine. It's not like it's all free and easy; we have relationship challenges just like anyone else. The thing with Katherine is that she doesn't keep things in her mind and bring them out later. When something comes up, we deal with it. When it is gone, it is gone. Most of the time we laugh, talk, work things out. Most of the time we discuss; agreement is not a requirement. She just asks that I accept responsibility for my actions, just as she accepts responsibility for hers.

In the last year, we have spent more time together than most people, traveling thousands of kilometers on road trips, staying in dozens of hotels in dozens of towns, eating in just about every kind of restaurant you could imagine. Mostly it's the hours and hours in the truck, driving to virtually every corner of the North American continent. At home we are together almost all of every day, most nights too. Those nights when I am alone, I miss her.

Notwithstanding our tight relationship, she has her own life and I have mine. She makes sure that I get out to my Trivia nights, and that she maintains her commitments to her church life. I support her in her life; she supports me in mine. There is time enough for us to be together, and time enough for us to be apart.

Perhaps the best thing in our relationship is the absences of judgement, or at least the absence of judgement-based behaviours. If she does something I don't agree with, that's her business, and vice versa. I respect her, and her decisions. She respects me, and mine. When I do something foolish, she may scold me, but quickly lets it go. If she does something that annoys me, I just put it down and leave it. There is no need for anger. We may disagree, but we rarely fight, if ever. Our willingness to forgive and move on is what makes it so worth while.

In all of this, a year does not feel like a long time. At the same time, it feels like we have been together forever. We like to be with each other. We love each other. That's a pretty good anniversary present.

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