December the 12th, 2012. I was in Bangladesh seeing the work being done to protect, heal and restore vulnerable young women, including those rescued out of forced prostitution.
December the 12th, 2013. I was less than a month into a new job, working for Compassion and I was at head office in Newcastle with the rest of the team from around Australia.
This year was going to be different. I was going to be at home to celebrate 22 years of being married to the most wonderful person I have ever known. I had missed our 20th and 21st but I was going to be there for the 22nd.
The plan looked flawless. Our annual staff gathering in Newcastle would finish at 3:30 p.m. on the 11th, giving me, and the others from the Western Australian team, plenty of time to get to Newcastle Airport to fly to Brisbane and then onto Perth. Unfortunately, due to bad weather in Brisbane, our 5:55 p.m. flight out of Newcastle didn’t get off the ground until 9:45 p.m., around four hours late. There was no hope of continuing on to Perth.
Last night was spent on a mattress on the floor of an extremely kind and generous colleague in a Brisbane suburb. Between the time we got there last night and the time we had to leave for the airport there wasn’t a lot of time for sleep and even then I found it difficult to drift off.
Now here I am, on the morning of the 12th of December 2014, our 22nd wedding anniversary, sitting on an aircraft bound for home. We should reach Perth about lunch time. I suppose I’ll have half an anniversary with Pauline. I’m looking forward to heading out for an anniversary dinner tonight. (While this post was written while I was on a plane, it was published after a very long but very good day. I finally made it home and we had a very enjoyable anniversary dinner.)
So to the woman who patiently puts up with me being away from home on special occasions I say thank you and I love you. There is no one I’d rather travel home to see. You have made the last 22 years more than amazing. There are still many times that I catch myself wondering how someone so wonderful in so many ways ever agreed to marry me.
Next year … next year will be different.
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