The week leading up to our anniversary was brimming with excitement. With each passing day we traced our memories and came up with things we found special, forever endearing. We were days away from our second anniversary and the happiness was written clear across our faces. At one point we were two individuals unsure of our collective romantic futures, and here we were about to celebrate and recollect over the greatest day of our lives.
When I first met W I knew she was different. And not in the familiar way in which different is bandied about. There was something about her willingness to do things that felt right and not blindly follow traditions that have been set in stone. Because of that, we don`t exchange gifts. Not usually. We choose instead to spend time with each other and do things with each other. Instead of a gift that is all but forgotten about in a year`s time, we share a day together and a meal for two. Maybe a day trip or a day away. These gifts come with precious memories that last forever.
Except something happened. On Wednesday I returned from work feeling unwell. I assumed it was something minor and I`d wake up feeling none the worse for wear. Thursday morning I spent in bed, my eyes struggling to adapt to the soft winter light. It still felt some similar to the night before. I told W I was heading to work but would come home early if it continued. And it did. So late afternoon I returned, now noticeably more fatigued and feeling it. I went straight for bed and slept off periods of the night. Hot, cold and full of aches.
It had been a long time since I had the flu or cold last. Or at least a long time since I remember having it. I was thankful for the long gap between visits, but with that came some gaps in my memory. I forgot what being sick was all about it. Maybe I even took it for granted. But that first full day was a quick reminder that the flu isn`t something you ask for. And yet that was just the beginning.
As I lay awake in bed late Thursday evening, just two days shy of our anniversary, W asked me how I was feeling. I was optimistic that Friday would be a better day. I held out hope that I`d be back to normal in time for our big day. Yet I still suffered from those reoccurring aches and pains and alternated between hot and cold. I took my medication and passed out. I dreamt of better things to come. They didn`t.
Friday morning was so promising. I was sure of myself. Told W I would be going to work, and almost convinced myself. Felt slightly refreshed, although just barely awake.I was anxious to return to normalcy. One problem. I just laid in bed. My body was weak. I continued laying there, as if weighed down. Time ticked away, an hour came and went. She came upstairs and asked how I was doing. My lack of movement was the only answer she needed. I wasn`t going anywhere.
I spent the morning sleeping. I was just hoping to sleep away the remnants of this flu. I lacked energy, focus and optimism. But I still held out hope that Saturday would be about my wife, not me. By early afternoon W came into the bedroom and told me she wanted me to go for a walk and take a shower. I was reluctant, but I did. I didn`t make it far but the fresh air and hot water seemed to help. I changed and returned to bed. And the rest of the day was spent the same way. I went downstairs. Told her I felt I was finally on the mend. The walk helped. So Friday evening we went to bed and, for the first time, I meant the words I said. Tomorrow would be different.
Saturday came quickly. I felt like a kid on Christmas that morning. I took a deep breath and rolled over. My wife met me in the middle. I just stared. I didn’t feel great, but I felt like a million dollars. There`s something about the very moment when you stare in your partner`s eyes and you see their soul. I did. This was the day we waited for. We shared more moments from that day two years ago and just took a moment of pause to let it all soak in. W never thought she`d get married. I never thought I could marry a girl like her. And yet, here we were.
I decided to give it my best shot. Showered and got dressed and left the house with her. We did some errands and enjoyed the unseasonal warm and fresh air. I ate something small for the first time in days. We talked about plans for the night. A drive to wine country or a dinner date out at our favourite restaurant. But as we walked back through the front door we knew it wasn`t meant to be on this day. I wasn`t all that better. Just slightly. I lacked strength and an appetite. So we spent time together in the living room and then went to bed early. Really early. We watched a movie and fell asleep, now both of us feeling under the weather.
A funny thing happened during all of this. We didn`t get to share in a night for the ages, but it was memorable. W looked after me, made me soup and toast. She got me outside when I didn`t feel like it but needed it. She did everything a great wife does when her husband is sick. As much as I`d still prefer that day healthy to celebrate the moment that changed our respective lives forever, I realize everyday that I`m the luckiest man I know. And I would marry her all over again. In a heart beat. She`s my light, strength and inspiration. And nobody feels more blessed to be married than I am.
As things would have it Sunday was a new day. I convinced myself that I needed real soup, not the canned variety. So I went down to the kitchen and made this soup. And it was terrific. Wendy had a couple of friends over so we shared a table and this pot of soup. I was finally on the mend, although a day late. But, as things would have it, I did too much too soon and it came back to haunt me. I spent that day and the two since fighting and sleeping and hoping.
My anniversary has come agone. But the day itself will never be forgotten. The two of us with our closest family standing on a beach in Mexico and sharing our vows. Heartfelt and real. I shed tears at that moment but gained so much more.. I stared at my soon-to-be wife. i couldn`t keep my eyes off of her. To this day I look over at my wife and it takes me back to that time. That place. Although it only happens once, it feels like it happened just yesterday.
W, sorry we didn`t get to celebrate our occasion in style. But know that every day with you feels like the first time you called me your husband. I take pride in that and comfort in it. I never take it for granted and appreciate each day with you. Thank you for two glorious years married. They have been the best of my life, all thanks to you. When I met you I said I would be with you forever. Well, we`re on our way! And I`m glad I`m taking this path with you.
From my kitchen to yours,
Two Potato Bisque
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
- 1 large potato, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
- 2 leeks, cut in half and washed, thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1/4 grated nutmeg
- 2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tsp. pepper, 1 tsp. kosher salt
- In a large pot over medium heat combine both potatoes, leek, bay leaves, garlic, salt & pepper, nutmeg and stock. Bring to a boil. Cover pot and bring to a simmer for 20 minutes.
- Once the potatoes are tender, pour into a food processor and puree until smooth. Return to pot.
- Keep heat at low and add cheese, heavy cream, milk and salt and pepper. Once heated through, serve.
- Serves 4. Serve with a dollop of lime juice-infused sour cream.
- 8 slices of baguette, cut thinly
- 1 cup of grated mozzarella
- 8 sage leaves
- Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Place the baguette slices on a baking sheet and cook for 2 minutes, or until slightly golden.
- Turn the bread over and top with the cheese and sage. Cook for a further 2 minutes, or until cheese melts.
- Serve 2 toasts with each soup.