I’ve known my husband since we were teens. We were in the youth choir together in church. He was a little bit older than I was, and was one of the executives of the choir. He taught us a song sometimes and sometimes, he led us through the mass. He was always there, doing things for the church and for the choir.
I never thought I would one day date him, let alone marry him. When rumors were circulating in the choir that he was dating Alberta, I was there. He never looked at me once or did anything to suggest he had eyes for me. The rumors faded and another begun…this was about him and Edna. I heard it, we saw signs to believe it was true but they always denied it.
He went to school and came back to help the choir. He went to the university, completed and still stuck around the choir. By that time, I had left the choir and was in the training college. A few years later, I graduated from the training college and also came back to help the choir.
The choir threw a party for us one day as the long-serving members of the youth choir. We were both no longer young but something about the choir always brought us back. One evening after rehearsal, he walked with me to my house. The next evening too, he did the same. On the third day, he said, “If I tell you I’m in love with you, would you find it strange?” I told him, “No I wouldn’t find it strange but I’ll ask why and why now.” He said, “Then ask me why.” I asked, “Are you in love with me?”
Two months later, we started dating.
I wanted it to be secret until we were both sure. He didn’t have any problems with that. He walked me home after rehearsals every evening and that was where the rumors started flying. There was no place to hide so we came out in the open for all to know that we were dating.
For the next four years that we dated, one thing was very clear, he loved everything I loved. When I say everything, I mean everything and not something. Our love for music was apparent from our childhood. We started singing hymns and gospel until one day I realized he loved the Bee Gees just as I loved them. I went to his house one afternoon and heard Bee Gees’ “Rest Your Love On Me” playing on his sound system. I started singing along and immediately I sang “Lay your troubles on my shoulders…” he took the song right from my mouth and sang along till we got to the end.
It was like in the choir all over again. We put the track on replay and sang every line each time until I left his house.
We got married after four years of dating and we’ve been married for almost nine years now. Anytime I’ve had a reason to talk about our marriage to friends and colleagues, I always talk about the little things that make me want to be married to him forever. It’s not the troubles we’ve conquered together and it’s not the car he bought me on my 35th birthday or the retreat we go to on our wedding anniversary each year. It’s about the fact that for the past nine years that we’ve been married, my husband wakes up each dawn at exactly 4am, kneels next to the bed and prays for us. And before he ends his prayer, he’ll say, “Thank you God for the gift of love and the beautiful woman you placed in the garden with me.”
It’s his moment with God and I’m not invited. But during the day, we hold hands and pray over everything before we step out. So many things have changed in our lives over the last nine years but that hasn’t changed. As I said, it’s about the little things.
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Little things like coming home from work in the evening and immediately he meets me at the door he’ll throw his hand around my waist, pull me closer to his side and squeeze me so tight until I yell. He’ll then ask me, “I hope you’ve been a good girl to the kids while I was away?” I’ve come to love the squeeze so much that when I close from school and I get home, I stay closer to the door so I become the first person he meets when he comes home from work. When he forgets, I tell him, “The squeeze, let me have it.”
The little things.
Like the way he traces along the line on my butt when we are alone and lying naked together. I don’t remember how I came to have that long scar on my butt. During my dating days, I was very shy to allow my boyfriend to see it. You ought to turn off the light before I go naked. But with him, he’ll put his head on my butt and be reading. When he wants to be naughty, he’ll use his index finger to trace along the scar until he gets to the end of it and then spank me. I know the spank will come so some times before he gets there, I just turn over immediately and say, “You won’t get me this time.”
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The little things like sleeping with the Bee Gees playing and waking up at dawn with the Hillsong United playing while my husband whispers his prayers.
Nine years is not that long but the joy I feel in his presence makes nine years look like only yesterday. Three beautiful kids, a husband who never grows old and a household full of songs, what more could I ask or wish for? It’s not always about the big things; even a song, a prayer, a squeeze and a scar on the butt can paint a beautiful union if love and friendship exist between you two.