Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Thirty years has helped create our own, beautiful pearl...

Today, 30 years ago, I married the love of my life. He was 25 and I was 24.  

We gave our promise to one another in a small church, in a small town, with a significant proportion of the community witnessing the event.  I had two beautiful bridesmaids:

 We also enjoyed the performance of seven little 'impromptu' flower girls.   
(These were little cousins' children who all dressed in white and walked down the isle before me, sprinkling petals on the carpet as they went.) 
 My godmother played the church organ and composed a 'surprise' song which the congregation sang to us. It was a real 'farm community' wedding and it was wonderful!

BUT So much went wrong that day:

*** Our Master-of-ceremonies' wife backed her car into my little car
 (so we had to borrow a car for our honeymoon)
*** a plague of caterpillars destroyed the local carnation farm  - after I was promised as many flowers as I wanted for the occasion.  In the end, I had very few wedding flowers.  We had to pluck the blossoms of the frangipani tree for my bouquet.
*** Unfortunately the main 'chicken dish' on our wedding menu was tainted, so many of our guests went home with food poisoning that day.  
*** The humidity set in and rain clouds descended in their masses.
*** My mom-in-law ironed a hole through her dress.

Well, despite all the calamities that day, the occasion was truly memorable.  I remember all the farm workers gathering under the old fig tree on the farm - to sing African songs of prosperity, longevity and fertility.   It obviously worked because we've survived to tell the tale of 30 wonderful years of marriage!

Today, I took out my wedding dress from its haven.  It's still beautiful and, rightfully, dated:
 The lace is still delicate and intact...
 The little flowers are still stitched well and still show their delicacy...
 ...and, true to form, my wonderful husband has sent me a magnificent bouquet of flowers...

The joy of being together for 30 years is that we have witnessed one another's lives.  I've had Les "watching my back" and he has had me watching his.  We've loved and cherished one another during this time.  The grey hair which we currently sport tells of years of living well: we've raised two beautiful and very talented daughters and have been able to watch them blossom and reach for their dreams.  In the 30 years of being together we rode the crests of good times and swam, together, through the rough patches.  We've experienced the fullness and the 'wholeness' of life in all its glory.  And we've done this TOGETHER!

If I look back, I know that I could not have married a better man.  Les has been a wonderful husband and exemplary father.  He's loved me when I've been at my most unlovable.  He's showered me in love, hope, faithfulness and commitment in all this time.  He's supported his family throughout and ensured that I remain 'whole'.  He has helped shape our beautiful pearl called 'our marriage'.  I, in turn, have tried to do the same.

It's fitting that this is our 'Pearl' wedding anniversary. 30 eventful years!!! A pearl is a hard object produced within the soft tissue of a living shell.  It has become a metaphor for something very rare, fine, admirable  and valuable. That is exactly what our marriage has become - a unique and beautiful pearl!

Thank you, Les, for all you have come to mean to me.  Thank you for loving me, for being faithful to me, for witnessing my life, for supporting me and our children, for believing in me when I'd lost hope, for always 'being there' and for never, ever forgetting any birthday or anniversary. Boy, you need a medal!

I love you, dear hubby.
I wish us both a wonderful, celebratory anniversary.
Cheers to the next 30!
With love,


  1. Congratulations! Les & Caryl. The two of you are truly blessed to have each other, may you share many more happy years together.Much love Lorraine

  2. What a lovely post and tribute to your loving marriage. Happy Anniversary to you both...

  3. Happy Anniversary, Caryl and Les! Glad you both picked so well!!

  4. Caryl and Les - it was an honour to stand next to you at the wedding as your Bridesmaid. It has been an even bigger honour to be part of your lives over the past 30 years, and to be part of your beautiful daughters' lives. I look forward to the honour and privilege of knowing you all and being part of your lives over the next 30 years!

    Love you Lots

  5. It was nice read about your wedding, and how your love and commitment to each other has grown. Thirty years together, in this day and age (when marriages often last far less time) really is something to celebrate. Happy Anniversay!

  6. Caryl and Les, May the Lord pour out His blessings on you both and give you many more abundant years together. What joy you express when talking about your life as one. I loved seeing your wedding dress and photos. We will celebrate 35 yrs this summer; oh how the days fly by when you are living life to the fullest.
    Hugs, Noreen

  7. Congratulations! My husband and I just celebrated our fourth, and I rejoice in every story I hear of marriages that were meant to be. :D


  8. Congratulations! Caryl, you haven't changed much in 30 years - still that same beautiful young lady!

  9. Caryl and Les, congratulations on your 30th Wedding Anniversary. What a wonderful post. It sounds like your wedding day started the same way life takes us, some ups, some downs and everything else in between. Your dress was beautiful and I loved all your photos. Here's wishing you more dreams and happiness in the coming years. No worries, and love, Carol
    P.S. My hubby and I celebrate 32 years this year and I have to say I think I have the best man in the world too! xx

  10. (¯`v´¯)
    ¸.·´¸.·´¨) ¸.·*¨)
    (¸.·´ (¸.·´ .·´ HAPPY ANNIVERSARY plus ONE DAY!! I really enjoyed your beautiful post and wish you and Les many more happy and healthy years together!!

  11. Very belated congratulations. This a beautiful post, doing full justice to what sounds like a wonderful, loving, mutually sustaining relationship. Apologies for not commenting sooner, I'm down in Nottingham again. When one's parents are lucky enough to have been married for nearly two times thirty years, it is I guess inevitable that the thought of one partner having to go into a nursing home is nearly unbearable to the other partner. Difficult times I'm afraid.

  12. A belated anniversary, 30 years is not to be sniffed at, congratulations to you both. Here's to the next 30. :)

  13. A beautiful 'love letter' to Les and a shining example to each of your girls.