Yesterday was our anniversary. Sept 24th. We would have been married for 22 years.
On our wedding day in 1994 the weather was sunny and hot, and our limo broke down on the side of the Mary Hill Bypass in Port Coquitlam. As we stood on the side of the road with sweat running down our faces I recall saying that things could only go up from there. I was right, and in the end we had 21 years, 3 months and 20 days together. Far too short, but I’m grateful for every moment of it.
Twenty one years ago we celebrated our first anniversary. We gave each other Ironman watches that we couldn’t really afford but needed for work. Ben still has his. Well, I suppose I have it now.
Every year afterwards for several anniversaries we would spend the day wandering Granville Island together. We continued the tradition even after we had kids – we would drop them at Mom and Dad’s and head down there for the day. One year we saw David Hasselhoff wearing sparkly gold pants. I’m not sure when we abandoned that tradition – likely when the kids started playing soccer – but we started a new tradition and went out for dinner every year, usually trying some type of new cuisine. I remember once we went to a pub which was very unusual for us. I can recall what I was wearing and how Ben took picture of me and kept it as the home page on his phone for a long time.
For our 20th anniversary Ben surprised me by letting me know that he had been secretly saving money and had saved enough for us to go to New York. Unfortunately, Ben was also really suffering with back pain and we had just decided to get him a hot tub. We got the hot tub for free but had to spend the anniversary money installing a patio slab that would support it. (Surprise! No trip to New York!) I can still see Ben looking at me and saying, “It’s the thought that counts, right?” Yes Ben, it is most certainly the thought that counts.
For our 21st anniversary we flew to LA to watch Doyle Bramhall II in concert. A dream come true for Ben, especially when we ended up meeting him and also running into Bryan Callen too. I knew at the time that it was to be our last anniversary together.
For our 22nd anniversary, I buried Ben in the little cemetery near our house.
We stood at Ben’s grave site and released the Kracken until the bottle was empty, while we listened to a song that would have made Ben laugh and say “Hell yeah!” Take a listen and imagine Ben downing a shot every time Lukas Graham says “everyone better be wasted.”
Zak also played a song that is near to his heart. Take a moment to listen.
When the bottle was empty we placed it inside the grave alongside Ben’s shot glass. I hope he’s drinking himself silly in Heaven.
We took turns shoveling.
Who could have ever imagined as I walked into the church to meet my best friend that it would all be over 22 years later to the exact day?
Our wedding day has now become the day I buried my husband. And so completes the circle.
Just for fun, I’ll show you how my sister and niece ended the day. Make sure you have your speakers on: