I miss you like crazy

Dear Sammy,

It has been exactly a year since you’ve been gone. I miss you like crazy.

I think about you everyday. Every time the kids see a black lab on the street, they point and exclaim, “Sammy!”

I miss watching you sleep and twitch your whole body in running dreams. I miss you nuzzling my hand and forcing me to pay attention to you. I miss you laying at my feet when I sit on the couch. I miss you running over to me the second you heard me crack the shell of an egg, and wolf down a whole egg in 2 seconds flat. I miss how you look at me with your big, gentle, soulful, brown eyes that are so full of love. You are one of those “best” things that has ever happened to me.

Thank you for all the love and joy you have selflessly shared with me. I miss you so much, buddy!

Mommy

Sammy

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The big fish

I remember many years of doubting if I’ll ever find the right guy.  Everyone always says there’s plenty of fish in the sea, but no one ever tells you how to find the right fish for you.

I met Cliff at the church we went to.  He was a geeky UBC engineering guy, and I was a snowboard-bum-wanna-be SFU economics gal.  We were great friends for many years before we dated.  And once we started dating, it only took 5 months before he asked my parents for permission to propose to me.

I was never one to believe in marriage.  I felt that it was an institution to bind two people together and it sounded kind of like prison to me.  But when Cliff asked me to marry him, I screamed and jumped with joy and said yes.  Has my view on marriage changed all of a sudden?  I guess I just didn’t know what it is like to love someone enough to want to be bound to him, until I met Cliff.

Cliff has always been known as the creative and artistic one amongst our friends.  He made me a gazillion handmade cards when we were dating.  One time he made me a little glass globe of Vancouver that lit up with tiny little lights.  When I went on business trips, he made me advent calendars with love notes in them for each day I was away.  He made animated cartoons for me.  He cooked gourmet meals for me.  Yeah, it was difficult not to fall for this guy.

Through the years we’ve been together, Cliff has been my biggest support.  He never questioned me intentions, and he always let me make my own choices.  He encouraged me and he helped me.  Whenever I failed miserably, he has never said “told you so”.

For the longest time, if you knew me back then, you knew I didn’t want kids.  One of the biggest factor for that change of mind is Cliff.  I always knew that he would be an amazing dad, so I eventually caved to the idea of having kids because I knew they would have a 50/50 chance of having a good parent.  I was right; Cliff is the most patient and loving dad I’ve ever seen.

I have to admit, having kids (as wonderful as the experience is) has given our marriage a good beating.  We are both tired and our finances are stretched thin.  But I think our friendship as the foundation of our relationship is strong enough to pull us through this time, and we’ll look back at this time one day and be glad we did this together.

I am glad I found my big fish in this big sea.  Happy 10th anniversary, Babe!

Do you like my vail with the rugby warm-up jacket look?

Do you like my vail with the rugby warm-up jacket look?

Brunch before the wedding.  Kath has been a constant in my life for many years.

Brunch before the wedding. Kath has been a constant in my life for many years.

It was a warm day. I spread my arms out to cool off.  Lovely eh?

It was a warm day. I spread my arms out to cool off. Lovely eh?

The first child I've ever loved with my whole being.  She's now a preteen.

The first child I’ve ever loved with my whole being. She’s now a preteen.

The ceremony at the Hotel Georgia.

The ceremony at the Hotel Georgia.

First picture together after the ceremony.

First picture together after the ceremony.

Just married.

Just married.

Nine years

Nine years ago today, I said “I do” to my bestfriend.  Looking back now, it’s hard to believe that it has been nine years.

I was never one to have much dreams or hopes of marriage, as I felt like it was an institution I didn’t believe in.  But when Cliff proposed to me, I couldn’t say no, because I wasn’t going to let him get away. 

Cliff and I are quite different in a lot of ways.  He couldn’t care less if he only had $5 in his bank account, and he never bothered balancing his cheque book.  He would spend his last $5 of the month on buying a friend coffee and donuts, and he may end up just eating rice with soy sauce for the rest of the month.  Asking him to stick to a budget and keeping his receipts is nearly impossible.  But he is generous beyond measure, and his heart is always open to his friends and family.  He never turns down a request for help, and he always gives his best willingly.  He does not have a mean bone in his body.  When people use the expression “a heart of gold”, that’s what Cliff has. 

Cliff made me believe that people aren’t always as synical as I am.  He made me believe that you don’t need material possessions to be happy with your life.  He made me believe that you can genuinely care for someone without expecting anything in return.  He made me realize that anger does not solve any problems.  He changed how I view people and their intentions.

In nine years, our relationship has grown in many different ways.  We’ve both tried really hard to meet somewhere in the middle.  For example, I’ve given up reconciling our bank balances, and he has agreed to leave more than $5 in our bank account.  I’ve tried to discuss my feelings without yelling, and he tried to discuss his feelings without withdrawing.  We’re still working on many things, but I think we’ve made some pretty good progress in nine years.

We are also very similar in some ways.  Oh, food, or our love for food, keep us on the quest for the next recipe and a new way of making something.  I’ve resolved in my mind that being married to Cliff means I’ll never be skinny, but oh boy would I ever eat well.

In our daily interaction, if I ever have a rough day, I know I can always count on Cliff to be my biggest support and listening ear when I get home.  When I do well at something, he is always the first to notice and to express his excitement for me.  I never have to doubt his love for me.  He is a solid rock I can rely on, and he makes me look forward to coming home.

We have no major plans or presents to celebrate our 9th anniversary.  It’s a weekday and I know we’d both be tired.  We might have a drink on the balcony after Joshua goes to sleep.  Sometimes it’s those quiet and simple moments that make me realize how blessed I am.