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Read Letter

The Things That Are Just Are


My very own Jil, I was in church yesterday and the minister preached on gratitude. (I know you couldn’t attend). In order to make us appreciative of God’s graciousness, the minister asked us to list five things we’re thankful for. These five things she said must be non-financial items – essentially things money can’t buy. She reckoned our problem many times is, we limit gratitude to answered financially denominated prayers. She shared a surprising list of gratitude with us. She was grateful her kitchen cabinet doors aren’t falling apart for example. She was grateful for the health of her family. Their family fortune is not devoured by health expenses. I didn’t need to bring out a piece of paper to list my five items of gratitude. They were right there on my mind.

At the very top of my list was you. I didn’t need to think. It’s just so obvious. It’s obvious to me because I’ve experienced life. A young man can’t easily realise. Life refuses to give young men free access to such obvious information – that a wife is a most determinant factor. It’s why many young men can’t appreciate what they have, can’t understand the importance of what they have. But I am no longer a young man. I have seen life, experienced life. So I have access to that information. Life has taught me the things that are important, and the things that are unimportant. Life has given me discriminatory capacity to distinguish between the vaunted and the important. The most important person in my life is you, and the most important thing in my life is you. I know this from life, and from everyday experiences, and from living with you.

I’m lucky to have learnt one particular lesson in my lifetime. (Not everyone does). The lesson is simple: The most potent things in life are not always obvious. A spouse is a potent force of destiny. It’s why I exert so much energy trying to warn youths not to trivialise marital choice. It’s a life determinant. I know what you are to me. I have gone past the excitement stage of marriage. I’m in the “knowing” phase. It’s why you just are to me, why we just are. There’s no other way to express it. It’s like we’ve always been and so we just are – always in the moment, always in the present. It’s not about happiness. I am happy. It’s about something much deeper, something called joy. That joy is on the inside of me. It just is, like something that will always be. A present tense continuum. And so I’m thankful for this joy, even thankful for the emotional dependency that gives you joy but places a demand of care.

I’m thankful for the trust – the simple faith in my abilities to take care of you and the kids. I AM thankful for who you are, the values we share, your simple determination to safeguard your marriage. I’m thankful for the fact that you are my friend. That’s never been debatable, it just is. I’m thankful you take care of our home. Everything runs! And despite the fact you have your professional calling. I’m more than thankful for the peace in our home, the understanding that just is, your desire for peace and cooperation. I’m thankful I can trust you, and love you with all I’ve got. Without fear. I’m thankful for your beauty, inside and out. That incredible heart of yours. I’m thankful for your caring sacrificial nature. How you think things through and manage my existence. I’m thankful for your loving disposition, the desire to give from the heart, always. I’m thankful for your fashion sense. I never have to worry about functions and outings. You’re my image. I’m thankful for those little “troubles” of yours. The colonial manoeuver for my den, the forcing of me to eat. You see, I reckon if you’re not there to manage those things I’d rather not manage, I can’t do those things I’d rather do. And so your incredible management of our home and life frees me to contemplate the higher things that define me.

I’m thankful there are no quarrels in our home, no fights. Our home is full of peace. I look forward to coming home every day. I’m thankful we can spend time with each other, for days unend, never tired of even silent fellowship. I’m thankful you sought to understand me, and you let me be me, even celebrate my uniquenesses and expressions. We are so different yet so much alike. You complement the state of my heart. And so you’re my bundle of thankfulnesses and gladnesses. So, thankfulness for me needs no ecclesiastical prod because of you. My heart is ever grateful. I have you. I have no option but to be thankful. It’s a simple factualism, something that just is, not a doxological contrivance. And so as I sit here in this moment, typing this I’m sober to the realities of life. I have an appreciation of what life is. I’m also thankful for those prayers I can always count on. I have an invested life partner. You already know how I feel about you. You can judge my love by my sacrifices, great and small.

My desire is to make you happy, make you feel blessed. To make you feel whole, complete as a woman… In the things that I do, the things that I pursue, you can see my simple vision for our life. This Valentine, I just want you to feel assured about the things you know in your heart about my love for you. There are things human language express rather poorly. Love is one of them. It requires the vocabulary of the heart. The definition of peace is another. It’s hard to cobble the words to define it. In a marriage, peace is not the absence of fights. It’s the presence of love – a deep, committed and powerful love. Where there’s no love there won’t be marital peace, no rest of mind. The heart will be in a defensive state. And yet no man can thrive in a marriage without peace. The soul of a man can’t abide the strain. But when a marriage is beautiful like ours, things just are. But it takes raw sincerity and openheartedness, a vulnerability. There’s no fear in love. Perfect love casts out fear. I have penned this letter to you from a deep and wonderful place. Happy Valentine’s Day my love!

Love as always, LA

© Leke Alder |


Tags : Love, Appreciation, Wife

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