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Read Letter

The Letter in the Box

“My dear Jil, it’s our wedding anniversary. As usual I have decided to pen a missive to you. It’s a diarisation of my appreciation, a documentation of the state of my heart, a gesture of gratitude.

I am sitting at my desk looking at that picture we took in Venice. You probably don’t recall the moment but it’s a favourite picture of mine. There you are with your head on my shoulder, a contented smile on your face, a vision of Mona Lisa. Your long hair drapes your shoulders, framing your face like velvety curtains parted, revealing your angelic features. You look like a lioness. There’s that mischief on your face, that dimpled smile as you lean into me. Your chin, gentle and smooth is curved upward to join the surfeit of happiness on your face. It was a mild winter. You had a short jacket on over that white dress – the one with tiny grey squares and flowery patterns. There I was in THAT blue Polo jacket, the one you eventually banned – my jacket of all seasons. But you bought it! It’s my favourite jacket for the simple reason you bought it. It’s that simple. I do remember that afternoon. We were by the canal not too far from Rialto Bridge. It’s in the background. Out for lunch. It was the beginning. Since then our life has been a continuing stream of happiness in present continuous. I look back over the years and I’m glad we found each other. I’m glad we found each other, somehow.

You’re a very attractive woman no doubt, and many will attest; but what makes you so beautiful is the quality of your heart. I cherish that heart. It’s full of milk of human kindness, and it oozes unbid. That’s who you are. You’re devoted to us, our oneness, our unity. You’re very loyal to us. Your love is dependable. There are many reasons to love you but what makes you, you is the combination of so many dimensions. Makes you rare. There’s your character, there’s your spirituality, there’s your kindness, softness…that loving disposition… You just want to love me, to be happy, to be cared for, safe and appreciated. I am forever grateful you’re mine and I will cherish you, cherish what we have, forever. Our friendship.

You accept me for what I am, cherish and celebrate me. I am myself with you, even with avowed Sheldonic tendencies. You’re my partner in life, my bosom friend, the one I love and trust. Not easy for a man to let down his guard but you have given me assurances by your steadiness and character. There are no pretences with you. We can be ourselves with each other. We just are. There are no issues. I look back over the years and I’m in awe of providence. Who’d have thought! Many still wonder. When I do think of you (and that’s pretty much all the time) I am reminded of God’s deep love for me. There’s really nothing I can give that can equate to the gift of you.

Your matter-of-factly devotion was scary at first. (I’m still adjusting). It does need some time to adjust. I’m still trying to assimilate the simplicity of your devotion. I pray daily to God to preserve and keep you. You’re special to me. The happiness, the friendship we share, the love…I don’t know what to think. It’s hard to process all the bits working in tandem. You’re my doctor, my nurse, my consultant all in one. You watch out for me like a hawk. I am your project in life. You’re so accommodating. That is not always easy, yet you accommodate all and sundry. That is a gift. You’ve adapted yourself to the demands of my life, the exigencies of my calling, and in the process, you make us so easy. Which is why I look forward to seeing you every day – at the dawn of break, at the close of work, at the retirement of day. I feel safe with you, feel so much at one with you. There’s no equivocation about loving you. Seems so natural. You have so much at stake in our relationship it gives me so much confidence to keep investing. You’re in it for life. I do hope I have demonstrated over the years through my love and devotion how much you mean to me. You’re my guardian angel, your role in my life keeps unfolding and I appreciate you every day.

Perhaps the greatest thing we have is that friendship – that affinity of soul, the fellowship of the heart, the correspondence of affection. You work so hard to give our home a particular quality. It’s warm, soft and comforting. That comforting fluffiness in our home is a combination of peace, happiness, joy and goodwill. I can always confide in you. I trust you implicitly. I am assured my confidences are safe with you. We are one.

I have done everything I know to do to make you happy, I have given you my all, there’s nothing else to give, except the future. If per chance I can give more I will. I do not own the moon or I would have given. But what I have in this life I have given. And yet our life is moving on, unfolding as it were. We’re like a boat, a gondola on the canal of life. We are gliding lugubriously into the distance on the air cushion of providence. And so I row. I row ever so gently, mindful of you, mindful of your preciousness. I just want to wish you a happy wedding anniversary. And I pray for many more to come. This much I promise – I’ll continue to work hard to take care of you and the kids. This much I promise – I’ll continue to love you with all I’ve got, all that I can muster. This much I promise – I will do everything in my power to protect you and to provide for you. There’s a lot on my mind as you can imagine. Only I don’t know how to express myself in words. The words on this sheet…they’re shallow – a long and protracted attempt to express the inexpressible. Forced as they are I do hope they are enough… That they somehow convey my feelings with some adequacy. It’s hard to express my appreciation of you, what you mean to me. There are things in this life words cannot express. You’re one of them. My appreciation of you is another. My heart is yours, your heart is mine. We are one in a covenanted embrace of the heart. Until I write another letter in the coming year, I just want to say, Thank you darling for all the years. Happy anniversary once more! Your loving husband, Jack.”

She folded the letter and put it back in the wooden box. Grandma has two boxes of those letters. Looking wistfully into the distance, she wished for such love as her grandmother had.

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder |

Perhaps the greatest thing we have is that friendship – that affinity of soul, the fellowship of the heart, the correspondence of affection. Click To Tweet
Tags : Commitment, Genuine love, Marriage, Wedding anniversary, loyalty, Acceptance, Honesty, Peace

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