|When we played bingo at the Princeville Senior Center last March while living in Kauai Tom, as always had a great time.|
To my dearest husband on your birthday,
This is your fourth birthday since we changed our lives on October 31, 2012. Each year, without gifts, without parties, without the usual hoopla, you stand only with me, your wife, your lover, your travel companion, and your friend.
As much as I’d like to have a stack of beautifully wrapped gifts to present to you, not only would I be unable to find appropriate items in Fiji befitting your taste but, there’s no room in your solitary suitcase for superfluous items.
There are no birthday cards for sale at the stores or anything that could be construed as wrapping paper or a bow. As a result, on our first birthdays after we began our journey, we both agreed that birthdays, anniversaries, and Christmas would be celebrated over a good home-cooked meal, a night in a nearby resort, or dinner in a great local restaurant.
Tonight, we’ll do just that with a reservation at TripAdvisor’s top-rated restaurant in Pacific Harbour, Fiji, Seduce, at the Pearl Resort. Then again, with only ten possibilities listed in the sleepy town, number one may not be that special. We don’t care. We’ll be together, celebrating you, celebrating us.
To say I’m grateful for being together with you can’t possibly express the depth of my gratitude for having you in my life, in this life, on these unusual terms; homeless but not poor; without a car but not without a means of transportation; without personal possessions other than a laptop, phone and bag of clothes; without a bed or sofa we can call our own, never knowing how comfortable the next one will be, and without a kitchen stocked with gadgets and food befitting a foodie like me.
Instead, we are rich, not so much in a monetary way although we afford our lifestyle with a budget and careful planning, we’re rich in a life we never dreamed possible; the ability to travel the world, to feast our eyes upon some of the earth’s greatest treasures, to see nature as we never imagined, to meet people who’ve enriched our aging spirits with new thoughts, often inspiring us to reach for more, not greedily, but with grace and dignity.
You’ve allowed me to fulfill my personal dreams of having an opportunity to express myself in the written word and now adding the pleasure of taking photos along the way, always attempting to perfect my limited skills.
Had I painted a picture of what I’d have dreamed life could be at this stage, I’d have painted a picture with much less than I have now with you. To have this sense of freedom to travel anywhere in the world with you, is beyond any thoughts I may have ever fashioned in our old lives.
And you, my love…your gentle and loving demeanor, your patience with me for all my quirkiness, your never-ending sense of humor has taught me to laugh at myself, your ability to make the best cup of French press coffee on the planet and your sharing equally, if not more, in all of the daily tasks.
As a determined and independent businesswoman for most of my adult life, it’s refreshing at this point in life to feel free from always being in charge. Sharing the responsibilities and joys of this life with a competent, dedicated, and skilled partner has only enriched life in so many ways.
And, the playfulness…and the good humor…and the sudden bouts of laughter…and the never-ending hugs and kisses that could easily, in this 24/7 togetherness, waft away due to familiarity and somehow doesn’t, after all this time.
Happy birthday, my love. May you spend this next new year of your life and many years to come, filled with awe and wonder of the world we’re experiencing now, the world we’ve yet to experience, and the world in which we live blissfully together.
You are dearly loved, appreciated, and admired,
Photo from one year ago today, December 23, 2014:
|The sunrise in Pahoa, Big Island, on this date one year ago. The remainder of the family members were arriving later in the day. For more details, please click here.|