It was 28 years ago today that I forced Michael to marry me, almost 35 since I asked him to ask me out. Our wedding day is as vivid to me now as it was then; I can still feel the prickly net of my sleeves, the drag of my veil as the wind drew it into the air and the pinch of my new shoes. But the best day of my life was the next day as we headed off in the old Volvo to our honeymoon, the freakishly hot weather easily winning the fight against the fans as the remains of yesterday’s confetti escaped through the windows. I opened our wedding cards as Michael drove and it sunk in that I would have him by my side for the rest of my life. Our future stretched out ahead of us and like the first day of the school holidays it felt as if it would last forever.
The diagnosis of MND was devastating but it hasn’t all been about loss. We are closer now than we have ever been, we get to spend more time together than we ever have and we have more freedom to do what we want than we could ever have imagined having at this stage in our lives. We have been on some amazing holidays, spent lazy days in the garden, had outrageous pyjama days and eaten ice cream in bed at 1 in the morning. We’ve also now got the biggest bedroom in the house and a Super King Size Duvet! Life is good.
Many things are still reassuringly the same; he came in this evening with a dozen red roses and the familiar refrain: “I stopped by the graveyard on the way home”, except this time he used his recorded voice. It has become normal to me in a short space of time. Laughter is at the heart of our marriage as much today as it was on the day we vowed to stay together forever and Michael’s speech made me laugh until my sides ached. He began by saying “I’d like to thank Ju for turning up today as she usually works on Saturdays” and his humour has in turns exasperated and saved me as we weathered life’s challenges together.
So happy anniversary darling boy, and let’s hope you get your miracle because I would rather like your company in my twilight years.