Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Commitment, Love and Marriage

Sadly for many, these do not seem to go together or at least stay together. All too often its only 2 out of three sometimes only one.

Anita and I were lucky that first we loved each other and second got married because we wished to make known that "love and commitment to each other" to all our friends and family. For us marriage was something about putting a name to that commitment and making it a clear statement to all who knew us.

In the early days of us being together it was challenging for us to be together, us living in Finland and me being Australian. She suggested we get married back in about 2006 so that we could be more easily together. I wanted us to be married for all the right reasons, not the reasons of State and Boundaries.

So I began taking steps which would allow me to remain in Finland on my own rights without needing my residency to be based on being married to a Finnish National. I felt that was the best thing to do because:
  • it erased all doubt as to why we were getting married
  • it gave our friends and families time to grasp that we were actually comitted to each other
  • it allowed us to simply be ourselves and not worry about any external forces (like being a foreign national and being able to reside)
When we decided to get married, our wedding was was something which was enjoyed by everyone who came.

I do not think that I could have imagined a more perfect event. Anita was so filled with joy and anticipation, it was clear on her face in every picture (such as this one of her father bringing her to me).

At the reception she (and well everyone) was simply happy and celebrating, filled with the anticipation of our future together and confident that it would be on the whole happy.

Everything from my friends visting from Australia for the wedding through to the interactions of the families just went well. All the pictures we have of the wedding showed happy smiling people. The weather was just what we wanted (-20°C) with puffy powder snow everywhere (this way her dress would not get dirty or wet and it would be a proper Finnish white wedding). You just couldn't ask for a better day.

Why get married? Its about promises and integrity.

For us the reason to get married is to make a clear and public announcement of love and promise of intent to be commitment to each other. We wanted to make it clear that we were committed to each other, that we had not only love for each other, but a willingness to make our lives work together.

Integrity is about:
  • consistency of actions,
  • values,
  • principles,
  • expectations.
I regard integrity as the honesty and truthfulness behind actions. Making promises in public (in front of everyone who makes up your life) makes that promise clear and unambiguous to everyone who matters to us, rather than leaving it as something implied or assumed.

Perhaps its lost on many modern / city / social media humans, but once upon a time people had ethics. A promise meant something. A promise was not just words, but the words were both the meaning and the bond to fulfill that promise.

The mark of a man (and by this man I mean human, not male or female as it is so commonly taken to mean in English) is their ability to stand up to their word. A promise is a promise, it is not like the worms of law where lawyers do battle over contracts and what someone is or is not bound to do.

My bond, my promise is not about law, but it is about honour. Shallow and hollow people make promises and fail to keep them, for they have no commitment to anyone,  themselves either.

Anita and I did not like 'pomp an circumstance' (me being an Australian Australian and her being a Finn) so we didn't feel like doing the "tired traditional wedding vows" which mean very little to many and equally little to us. Eventually (either Anita or I, I can't be sure) we stumbled upon this set of vows, which at first glance looks like it is flippant and trivial, but if you read the words carefully (as we did) the meaning suited us perfectly.

Minister: Will you take her as your wife? Will you love her all your life?
me: Yes, I take her as my wife, and love her all my life.

Minister: Will you have, and also hold Just as you have at this time told?

me:  Yes, I will have, and I will hold,
        Just as I have at this time told,
        Yes, I will love her all my life
        As I now take her as my wife.

The essential components of this are that I promised to love her all my life. Simple isn't it. No extra clauses to get interpreted, no get out of it clauses ... my promise was and still is to simply: to love her all my life

That was my promise then and it remains my commitment right now.

Being a man of integrity I will honour that commitment for as long as I live. I will love Anita all my life. After all it isn't hard to love her.

What is hard is not having her by my side.

Life is full of the unexpected. Certainly when we were married the thought of either of us dying was distant. In fact we had discussed aging together and ways to deal with the disparity in ages between us (I being older).

In our minds it would clearly be me who died first leaving Anita alone. It was my fervent wish that Anita not be left alone and uncared for after my passing.

The thought of her being left bereft, abandoned and desolate was (and is) simply painful to me.

I had plans and stratergies for this which I had great confidence in. I was sure in my heart that when she passed away she would be be surrounded up till that point by people who loved and cared for her. She would not be abandoned and would be supported up to the last moments of her life.

Strangely this is exactly what happened, altough not in any way as I had hoped.

So with my wedding anniversary looming tomorrow I just wanted to share something of the lessons I learned in my love of my wife, for those who are getting married and those who may be already married.

Love every day, love your partner every day, settle your fights and work towards being happy together.

cos you never know what will get in the way.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

More tough love

Hi Folks

well the purpose of a blog is supposed to be a "web log" of what I'm doing ... so with that in mind I thought I'd post something here on what I've been doing and thinking last few weeks.

Things have been a little tough for me with "the God who loves me so much" dishing out some more of his love and kindness by seeing me back in hospital again for another debridement operation.

Yep, you guessed it, they didn't get all the infection last surgery back in November last year.

This time they followed a trail of infection oozing from deeper and dug in behind my sternum (thats the white bit in the bottom of the hole) and removed a bit of goretex which had been placed there back in 2011 when they closed up after the valve surgery. The hope is that this has been harbouring the infection and with its removal I can now heal.

Lets hope so.

Its been a tough road this last year and I must say its wearing me down,

Our wedding anniversary is coming up soon too. So I intend to post something on that day too.

Thanks to all my friends for your support, I am not sure I could have done without it.

Friday, 8 February 2013

a Jewelers job

The role of a Jeweler is not to make a diamond, but to bring forth its beauty so that everyone can see it (as clearly as he did).

Something I saw from the first time I laid eyes on my wife was her beauty. It was over time that I was able to see her inner beauty.

Something that Anita said to me early in our relationship was that she wanted to be beautiful. I immediately told her that she was beautiful.

But (being a woman) she had heard that all too often before from men trying poor lines to "pick up", so the words had no meaning when simply spoken. So it became my job to reveal to her the beauty she possessed.

I guess the first thing one needs to do is build upon self confidence, and that is something which is perhaps less well nurtured in women. For in the competitive world all that matters (to all and sundry) is success. Winning. Second is just part of the group of losers.

Through ups and downs I took every opportunity to remind her she was beautiful, to show her how I thought she was beautiful, not just in her appearance but in who she was. To encourage her to see, to know know this and be confident to express her beauty herself.

I know I was successful.

our engagement ring

Its not just about vanity, its about caring attitudes, strong character and self respect. Building confidence and helping them to see their own beauty.

I think that the only thing you can take with you from this place to the next is your heart and soul. I'm glad that I got to help her see how beautiful hers was. She remains my Exquisite Jewel
 Shouldn't we all be jewelers on the ones we love? I think we should.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

is there light at the end of my tunnel?

One day we were walking through a disused railway tunnel, I was interested in the walls of the tunnel while walking in the darkness. Anita walked on leaving me in the darkness, waiting for me at the end of the tunnel in the light.

Somehow I never expected that this photograph I took would come to describe my condition.

Every day there so much I want to say, but I feel that there is noone to say it to. Noone who I feel would really understand it. Perhaps I shouldn't even want to say it.

Every milestone passed just feels wrong, yet do I want time to stand still?
Not really because then I would be trapped here forever. That I couldn't bear.

My life changed forever on that day in August, yet nothing really happened to me.

People say I need to let go and move on. I don't really know what that means, for I am holding nothing which I wish to give up.

I will not relinquish the memories, or give up on the love I have for her or the promises I made to her. So I must learn how to function as I am.

Perhaps somehow Anita can lead me into the light again. I know that she's up there.