It was 5 am in the morning, I heard J came home through our front door. He didn’t know I was in the kitchen bathroom when I texted him “Good morning! Blessed 3rd Anniversary! <3” to which I received no reply.
I thought he just returned from his early morning jog, then retreated to his room to cool down. But his room was locked… So I stood there knocking… After a while, he opened the door slightly such that I could only see 10% of his face. Through a gentle whisper, he told me to give him 20 min. Hmmm… at this juncture, I knew he has prepared a surprise for me. So I feigned ignorance, and told him ok! and asked if I could go to the gym instead.
When I came home from my morning exercise, I saw my favourite picture of us, blown up in size, eternalised in greyscale, and neatly framed up in dark wood – staring back at me.
It is a picture I treasure a lot, a selfie that was taken on Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh, UK. It was a cold windy day, back in September 2010. I was there to attend a bi-annual ophthalmic ultrasound congress (SIDUO) followed by a month-long internship in the Leighton Hospital in Crewe, England and the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary in Aberdeen, Scotland.
J took leave to travel to the UK with me, he was my travel companion. We spent days in London, where we totally enjoyed the River Thames Festival, before traveling to Edinburgh for my congress. This picture was taken on the last day J was with me, after which I continued my journey on to Crewe and Aberdeen alone.
The period while we were in Edinburgh coincided with the time when Pope Benedict XVI paid a Papal visit to the United Kingdom from the 16-19 September 2010. He was welcomed and received by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. As we walked towards that palace days after the event took place when the hype of it all and the assemblage have died down, we decided to hill-walk up Arthur’s Seat.
The hike up was not only easy, it provided us with excellent panoramic views of the city. I remembered it was drizzling periodically, yet occasionally sunny throughout the short time frame we spent up there. Well, that is why the Scots say “sometimes you can feel as though you’ve experienced three (or even all four) seasons in just one day!” Although the weather was unpredictable, the Scottish climate is what makes Scotland, well… Scotland!
Thanks to the Scotch mist, we witnessed a total of 4 rainbows when we were up on Arthur’s Seat. Rainbows always fascinate me. They symbolize the faithful promise of God. That fateful encounter with the 4 beautiful rainbows was the impetus for us to move forward in our 5-year relationship. We got married one year later on 17 September 2011.
The little things that J does touch my heart – paying attention to the things I treasure, finding time amidst his very busy work schedule, just to print this photo and to frame it, waking up early to write secret messages on the back of the photo, etc.
This man is precious. He knows the way to my heart. Blessed 3rd wedding anniversary my beloved!
Thought I should end with a collage of some photos of our wedding day, exactly 3 years ago.
O’ gracious Lord, may You bless our marriage and continue to do so throughout the days of our lives. Bless us and keep us. Make Your face to shine upon us. And be gracious unto us; giving us peace as You lift up Your countenance upon us and our love ones. In the holy name of Jesus my Lord, I pray this. Amen.