Today is our 22nd wedding anniversary. My 2nd without Paul.
Our last one together was our 20th anniversary in 2019 and we had an amazing day. And I'm glad we did. And I'm even more glad that Paul planned it. He'd asked me to take the day off work and said we are going to spend the day in London. We had lunch at the Shard and then walked by the river to Shakespeare's Globe where Paul had booked a tour for us.
While Paul is definitely not a city person, we both loved spending days and weekends in London exploring on foot. We never bought travelcards or tube tickets - just walked everywhere; hand in hand enjoying the city, its sights, its architecture and its history. I won't do justice writing about our time in London here. That's perhaps for another day.
We used to reminisce about our wedding day in 1999 in India and it was usually followed by an eye roll and a laugh. It was definitely not a 'normal' day by any means. There were about 800 friends and family from my side and 5 from Paul's side – well, technically just 3 on Paul’s side as the other 2 were our friends.
Although 09/01/1999 was legally the first day of our marriage together, our love story started more than 2 years before that, when we fell madly, deeply, truly head over heels in love together.
I look at our boys and I can see Paul in both of them. I take pride in the fact that they are growing into sensible, clever and gorgeous young men. They are a product of a strong, solid, loving and communicative marriage. I'd be lying if I said we never argued or never had fallouts, but, I hope the boys have seen up close the foundations of a solid relationship. People talk about the 5Cs or 3Cs of a healthy marriage. It was 4 for us - communication, compromise, chemistry and commitment.
The communication didn't come easy! He was a typical British bloke and I was a feisty Indian girl who wears my heart on my sleeve. I basically wore him down over the years with my constant talking - indicated by a present my mother-in-law got for me - a mug with the words 'though she be but little, she is fierce' from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
I don't know where I'm going with this....I don't know what I'm going to be doing today. I was going to walk down to see Paul and take some flowers with me; but, it is too cold! I might drive to the garden centre first, pick up some flowers and bulbs, and then walk up to see him. I was very careful not to dwell on it too much in conversations with the boys yesterday. I told them that when they wake up and I'm not home, that's because I'm visiting dad as it is our wedding anniversary.
I gave Paul a card for our 20th anniversary with the words below. Never in a million years did I even imagine that my world would turn upside down and be knocked off its axis within a year.
I love him more and I thank him for the love and the life we had together. And I miss him with every fibre in my body every nanosecond of every day.