Happy Anniversary.

Today, 15th December is our anniversary. Not our wedding anniversary, but the one that hubby and I celebrate as it marks the moment we officially got together in 2007 🙂 This year is the first year we are apart during our anniversary – not really a big deal for me, as a text message from him is all I need! I can’t believe we have been together for 6 years; that’s more than 20% of my life! It’s by far the longest relationship either of us has been in and to quote Drake, definitely the “best I ever had”. While our July wedding anniversary is also a nice time ‘cos we get cards from my parents and messages from friends and family who shared the occasion with us, our December anniversary will always be special as it is a more intimate and private one.

Rewind 6 years ago when I was just a 23 year old newbie in our company. Ours was a story of the classic office romance I suppose. Hubby says apparently I asked him for help with the photocopier (but I have no memory of this!). It was a sweet and innocent courtship and we actually bonded whilst playing Scrabulous on Facebook. We’re such geeks, I know.

I had just gotten out of a relationship and he had been unhappy in his then relationship 6 months prior to meeting me, so the timing couldn’t have been better. Although we were both well and truly single by the time we got together, that’s not to say that we didn’t face some hardships in the beginning. To cut a long story short, let’s just say it involved a pissed-off ex-girlfriend, nasty emails and the end of a few friendships. But let’s not dwell on the past, for I am thankful for everything (good and bad) that’s happened because everything happens for a reason. We are now happily married and we’ve also weeded out the riff-raff from our lives.

It was at our 2007 office Christmas party that we really hit it off. The theme was ‘La Vida Loca’ and hubby came with cornrows! I mean, look at him- we both cringe now but back then I gave him props for being bold enough to get them done (and definitely made him stand out from the crowd)!

Definitely a photo of Daddy that we can show Aidan’s friends and embarrass him in the future!

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As I’m writing this in my granny’s (Tok) room, she is in bed reminiscing of her own past. We do this a lot when I’m in London- I just sit with her and listen to her stories and complaints; it’s something we share :). Tok’s topic today is Love. How apt! Tok and her husband divorced 50 years ago yet she has never stopped loving him. It’s such a sad yet romantic story-theirs was a true love (as opposed to arranged, which was the norm back then). But her mother in law and sisters in law did not approve of their union; doing their best to eventually successfully break them up. Tok told me with glistening eyes tales of her MIL preventing her husband from coming home to her when he was on his regular leaves from the army, and of hurtful moments when the food she cooked would be tossed aside in disdain by her family in law. When they divorced, she as a young widow, vowed never to remarry. He went on to marry a woman chosen by his mother and started a new family. But as I always believe, everything happens for a reason and if they had stayed together, our lives now would have been a different one.

A few years ago before Tok’s husband passed away, he wrote her a 5 page letter confessing that he had never stopped loving her and it wasn’t his choice to end their marriage. (Men, eh?) But it was a sweet letter and he mentioned how his most cherished memory was when they both won the male and female prizes at the local  pidato (speech) competition. And although Tok dismissed the letter in front of all of us, we know that it has become her most valued possession and until now she would still pull it out from between the folded kain batik in her wardrobe to read when she thinks no one’s looking.

Today she muses over the importance of the in-laws. She says to me (in Malay of course), “when you’re young, you think love is enough and the two of you can overcome anything. But it’s not true because you also marry your husband’s family, not just him. It is so important to have a good relationship with your in laws. I was just unlucky…”

It got me thinking about my in-laws and just how lucky I am. I have a fantastic granny-in-law who is so kind and sweet. We go to durian buffets and she eats durian with a fork and spoon. During my confinement she came over lots and provided a constant supply of ikan haruan to help me heal. My MIL is the best; I don’t have to wrack my brain to communicate with her as she is the opposite of a typical Malay MIL. She’s, modern, cool and is totally ok with the fact that my culinary skills don’t extend beyond beans on toast. Hubby’s aunt who happens to also be our MD at work is more like a friend. With her we have Sunday breakfasts and talk about fun things- films, celebs, holidays and go to concerts together. She is also great at giving advice. There are two more aunts, a SIL, cousins and a gaggle of great aunts who are all great characters and provide much fun and giggles at family dinners and gatherings.

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I guess to celebrate our anniversary this year, I just want to take this opportunity to count my blessings for striking it lucky with my in laws- may we continue to have a lovely relationship. And to my hubby in KL, Happy Anniversary– I love you lots. xxx

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