About 30 years..

I wrestled with the decision to pen this piece for some time. The title, “About Thirty Years,” came to me effortlessly, but its significance, tethered to three decades of marriage, weighed heavily on my mind. 

May 6 is a special date in the Hattersley calendar and would have been even more so this year. 

Allow me to provide some context. My late husband battled a relentless adversary known as myasthenia gravis, a rare disease (1:2000) that afflicted him in its most severe and progressive form. We faced the grim reality of his limited time on this earth, yet the exact duration remained shrouded in uncertainty. Physicians cautioned us, predicting each Christmas might be his last, but he defied the odds, persevering for three and a half years.

He triumphantly witnessed our 25th wedding anniversary, our silver jubilee in 2019. His pride in surpassing this milestone was palpable. Yet, a mere three months later, he departed this world, leaving me to navigate life’s journey alone. The once inseparable Hattersley duo became a solitary act, and my life underwent an irreversible transformation.

Here I stand, nearly five years later, on the precipice of what would have marked our Pearl wedding anniversary on May 6. The decision before me is twofold: Do I allow this significant date to pass unnoticed, continuing to forge ahead in life, or do I pay homage to our enduring bond in some meaningful way? I made my decision; I couldn’t allow the moment to slip by unnoticed.

With purpose, I selected a pair of pearl earrings, a gift I intended to buy for myself for my upcoming birthday. (Thank you, Dad, for treating me for my birthday!) Gathering a montage of memories spanning three decades, I curated a collection of photographs capturing the essence of our journey together. From the blissful day of our wedding to the sun-kissed shores of Turkey and the bustling streets of the USA, I interwove snapshots of our life in Australia, alongside cherished moments with family and friends. Selecting the perfect soundtrack for my visual ode proved effortless. “Hello again” by Neil Diamond, our first dance song, resonated deeply. The song was a choice made in the midst of our hectic schedules, a reminder of our usual words after long days apart. I’ll post this nearer the day.

Though his absence weighs heavy on a day like today, I always find solace in reflecting on our 25 years of marriage and 27 years together. It’s a source of immense pride for me. Our journey was adorned with countless memories, laughter and a myriad of shared experiences. Yet, above all, it was steeped in a profound, enduring love as well as the knowledge that he was my soulmate.