A message to my wife


The day that I proposed to you was utterly unremarkable in so many ways. You were working in a shop in Kingston and I was at an IT company nearby. I think you got back to work after me. I had a ring burning a hole in my pocket and was a little nervous. You were your usual, lovable self after dealing with idiotic, rude customers so I gave you time to cool down and get changed before suggesting we go out for a meal. You weren’t in the mood and try as I might, I failed to persuade you. So you made a Shepard’s Pie and when we’d cleared the plates, I passed the box containing the ring across the table to you and watched your face as you opened the box. I asked you to marry me. You were speechless at first and then I suppose you must have said yes, but strangely I don’t recall the exact words. You tried to phone your parents but dialled six consecutive zeros before I pointed out that no telephone number in the world begins with ‘000000’. I may have dialled it for you, I don’t recall… it was over fourteen years ago.

If I had known then just how wonderful you are, I would have been a thousand times more nervous than I was. If I knew that fourteen wonderful years and three beautiful children hung on the balance of your answer, I don’t know if I would have been brave enough to ask the question. It’s difficult to imagine that any alternative outcomes to my life resulting from an answer of “No” would have come close to being as fulfilling as the one which did result from “Yes”. You have been and continue to be a rock and an inspiration. A wife, a lover, a mother and a saint. I often think of myself first. You always think of others first.

How extraordinary it is that such a burden of fate hinged on such an unremarkable day. If I were to spend every waking moment of the rest of my life in a ceasless campaign to repay your kindness and love, still I would not be worthy of your devotion. You are a wonder. I love you.

I should send it to her.

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