December 28, 1996, to December 28, 2022
Twenty-six years ago, Joanna and I got married so basically, I spent half of my life with Joanna. We experience challenges from time and time, and it is expected as we are completely two different individuals. However, we survived 26 years of togetherness as a married couple and hopefully with God’s help we will continue to spend the rest of our lives together.
Joanna and I met on the job at KPMG. I was at KPMG from 1993 as a senior accountant and Jonna joined in 1995 as the secretary. Of course, at that time, we had no idea we would be in a relationship as I was in a relationship with someone else and Joanna was in a relationship with someone else. Somehow, we became too friendly with each other and then became very close friends and started a relationship in 1996. Now here is the thing that Joanna and I disagree about, as I recalled, Joanna approached me first (I wish I can find that note) but she said that I approached her first and harassed her from the time she joined KPMG.
We dated for a couple of months and then got engaged. I arranged for IGA to put the engagement ring in the icing and then when I cut the cake, Joanna saw the ring.
We received marriage counselling from Pastor Cleveland Stubbs for a few weeks and then got married in a small ceremony in Miami Florida on December 28, 1996, around 830am, in front of our close friends and family. That was one of the best days of our lives. It was also a fun day as I will share with you part of what I said at the reception when it was time for the groom’s response
You are my strawberry, I am your whipped cream
You are my chip, and I am your chocolate
You are my sugar, and I am your tea
You are my princess, and I am your prince
You are my lock, and I am key to open you up.
Our Honeymoon was in Niagara Falls, Canada. Unfortunately, our flight was delayed and so we spent several hours at the airport in Miami Florida. I think we arrived after midnight in Niagara Falls.
In October 1996 (two months before our wedding), I migrated to Canada on a secondment with KPMG. Therefore, we started our first 18 months of our marriage in Canada. It was so lovely as it was just the two of us. Every 28th of the month, I would get my wife a small toke n to celebrate our monthly anniversary. Somehow that tradition discontinued. I wish I had continued, and I encourage spouses to do something every month to celebrate your wedding day. It does not have to be anything big.
In November 1998, God blessed us with our first child and our only daughter Drexanna Gabrielle. This day was also another one of our best days. We could not believe we were parents. We took our turns getting up every 4 hours to feed Drexanna. Even though we love the fact we had our child, it was now three of us and we had to learn to cope with that. I think we had our first argument when Drexanna was about two and I started to feel bad and wondered if we made the right decision to get married because I thought we wouldn’t have any arguments. Well, I was wrong as from time to time you will argue. You must realize it is part of your journey. Unfortunately, some people walk away from their marriage, but no marriage is perfect.
One key that kept us together is our commitment and faithfulness to each other. Of course, you will be faced with temptations but don’t cross that boundary. Another key is trust. We trust each other. We can go away on extended trips, but we trust each other. Another key is communication, but I must improve on this. Communication is a fundamental key for your marriage otherwise a lack of communication can result in a lot of misunderstanding. Support and stick with each other in the good and bad. My wife stood by me when we did not have much, and she stood by me during my diagnosis of kidney failure. She also was the main one that helped me to overcome inferiority complex. Another thing we do is that we pool our finances together and whatever we have belong to both of us. We tried our best not to go to bed mad with each other. Another important fact is to put God in your marriage which includes going to church together, praying together, and fellowshipping together. This area needs improvement as sometimes we find ourselves so preoccupied with our businesses which leads to the next point. It is important to spend time with your spouse
Being married to the same person for a very long time is not easy, however, once you recognize and accept the fact that you are in relationship for life, you will do your best to work it out. Don’t let other people get in your business and don’t take your marriage for granted. Happy Anniversary Joanna!. I love you.