Hmmm. What, Ellie asked--it was she who had answered the phone--were we to be congratulated for? For the first time in all these years, we had both completely forgotten that today is our wedding anniversary! Our fortieth, no less! Had it not been for Sarah's call, it would have remained forgotten.
Which gives you some sense of our current state of befuddlement. Could it still be jet lag, now two weeks after returning home from Europe? The effort to play catch-up since our return? The effect of stress and tension, given the number of balls we both seem to be juggling in our lives? The creeping effects of senility (we hope not!) This glaring piece of inattention certainly pulled us up short and left us questioning the remaining shreds of our sanity.
We prevailed upon a friendly stranger to record the occasion for us, with a view of Main Beach in the background...
11/11 is, of course, Armistice Day in England--the date that marks the signing of the peace the concluded the first world war in 1918. The treaty was signed at 11 AM on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, and we chose it as an appropriate moment to tie the knot after two years of getting-to-know-you. That Sarah arrived a month and two days later was one of the clinching factors that led to our decision to call a truce.
Our forty years together have not all been easy or plain sailing, but they have been good ones. Life has been kind to us, and we have been kind to each other, each finding ways to inspire the other along the path to what has proved a rich texture of experience and mutual support. We have much to be grateful for, most recently the arrival of little Luka and the opportunity to visit our other three grandchildren in Europe. And we are fortunate to share a love that has lasted well and become deeper with time. If we weren't quite so addled we might have remembered earlier in the day to be thankful for these blessings and to share the hope that we may look forward to more.