My dearest Mindy,
How can I begin to sum up the past ten years? Perhaps I should go back to our wedding day, which feels both far away and just like it was yesterday. Watching you sleep the next morning, I felt so incredibly lucky and grateful that you chose to share your life with me. Ten years later I feel the same way.
I love that we get to witness our lives together. You supported me and witnessed me get my TEFL certificate and a Master’s degree. You saw me turn 40. You were there for me through Dengue Fever and are always there for me through every migraine. I like being the person you turn to for comfort through motion sickness, stress and ulcer pain.
I loved being there when you got your first goal in ice hockey. I have seen you work hard and rise to leadership roles in every job you have had. I’ve witnessed you overcome your fear of flying, become a public speaker and learn to like mushrooms and beets. I watched you make great calls as an umpire, become a theatrical clown and make friends with elephants.
I’ve gotten to celebrate your 30th and 35th birthdays with you, supported you through cooking classes (and majorly benefitted from as well), and watched you overcome your fear of bugs.
In the past ten years we have lived in three countries and traveled to over twenty. We’ve seen Mount Everest by moonlight and the Grand Canyon at sunrise. We’ve slept on the Great Wall of China, walked on the beaches of Lesbos and skated the entire length of Ottawa’s Rideau Canal. We’ve walked with elephants in Cambodia, accidentally surprised a bear in Newfoundland and were charged by a moose in Alaska. We’ve celebrated the Winter Solstice with Mayans in Guatemala, Yi Peng with Thais in northern Thailand and Ogoh Ogoh with Balinese in Bali.
We’ve played softball and gamelan together. We’ve bought a house together, immigrated together (twice) and written stories together. We were extras in a Hollywood movie and have participated in several Pride festivals. We lost weight together, have volunteered together and have blogged together. We went vegan together.
I’ve enjoyed discovering your family’s genealogy, watching Breaking Bad and learning the difference between a tomato and a bell pepper plant (we’re better green thumbs today!). I enjoy eating popcorn and singing TV intros with you. I enjoy watching Jeopardy with you and how you watch Judge Judy with me.
As I think and reflect on the past ten years, I realize that some things have not changed. I love hearing you laugh, I love how cute you get when you’re grumpy and I love the way you look just after a haircut. I love your loyalty and I love how you always check the front door at night to make sure it’s locked. I love your gentility, your generosity and your commitment. I love that you are a safe driver, a Leafs fan and a fantastic cook.
After ten years of marriage to you, after all we have done together, my favorite thing in this world remains the same: simply being close to you.
With all my love,
Celebrating Our Anniversary
On the actual day of our anniversary we happened to be in Whistler, British Columbia, a village at the bottom of Blackcomb and Whistler mountains, making it the perfect place for gondola rides, alpine hiking and enjoying spectacular views. Still on east coast time, we managed to wake up extra early the morning of our anniversary and we used that opportunity to take a quiet walk through the valley. We got to witness the forest wake up and the fog roll off the valley floor to reveal the sun hitting the surrounding mountains. It was cold, especially by Florida standards, which led us to link arms and snuggle as we walked. What a perfect way to start such a momentous occasion.
Later that day we took a gondola up to the top of Whistler Mountain, where we realized that we were not properly dressed for such cold and wind. But that just made us snuggle closer. We decided to take the Peak to Peak gondola, which is apparently the world’s longest of its kind over to Blackcomb Mountain, where we went on a short alpine hike in the brisk cold air. We were freezing cold by the time we took the two gondola rides over and back down the mountain, but the views were worth it!
Our evening was spent in our cozy hotel room, with a nice bath in a deep soaker jacuzzi tub, enjoying the complimentary champagne and fruit plate from the hotel. Afterwards, we wrapped ourselves in plush white robes and snuggled by the fireplace, talking about our favorite memories of the past ten years. We fell asleep in each other arms.
Renewing Our Vows
A few days later, when Mindy’s work obligations were complete, we began our day with a nature walk. Every year we discuss and renew our vows. When we lived in the Toronto area, we used to drive down to Niagara Falls, to Willow Pond in the Botanical Gardens, where we got married to renew our vows. Since we moved away from the area, we have always tried to find a tranquil place where we can reflect on the previous year and look ahead to the upcoming year. This year we decided the perfect spot was Lost Lake, only a 30 minute walk from Whistler Village.
Lost Lake is a gorgeous quiet lake surrounded by mountains and we found the perfect bench to sit and talk next to the calm water of the morning. We took a few breaks every now and then to appreciate the scenery and the wildlife.
Making a Wish
Eleven years ago, Mindy proposed to me, standing on the middle of the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls that crosses the Niagara River. To highlight our bi-nationalities we each stood on our respective side of the plaque stating the official American-Canadian border. Mindy handed me an American penny and she had a Canadian one and we made a wish before tossing our coins into the water below. Each year since, including on our wedding day, we replicate this wish, always using coins from the current year.
After moving away from the Toronto area, we have looked for places to continue our tradition. We’ve thrown coins into various bodies of water around the world. This year we decided we should use dimes to represent our decade of marriage.
I can only imagine what the next ten years will bring, what new parts of the world we will explore, what adventures we will experience and what challenges we will overcome. No matter what the future holds, one thing is for certain: marrying Mindy was, hands down, the best decision I have ever made and I consider myself the luckiest woman in the world that I get to spend my life with her.