So, this weekend marks our 29th Wedding Anniversary, which means I’ve been with Karen longer than I haven’t been with Karen. I was 28 on that fateful day when the Outlaws caught me, close to the Rochdale border, and I first learned the meaning of the term hog-tied. Best day of my life.
So, I want to pay tribute to my Glorious Redhead, my Northern Lass, my Well of Infinite Patience.
First of all, she’s beautiful. I often find myself staring at her across a coffee table while I probably should be listening to what she’s actually saying. She still manages to take my breath away.
She’s smart. I mean proper smart. BA, MA, MBA, and a bunch of certificates for clever stuff down the years. Not just book smart, though, she has a quick wit and the gift of discernment and very sensitive BS detector.
She’s brave. She goes to sketchy places in the world to share her faith and to teach others. She sits with strangers who are being racial abused on a train and then tells a carriage load of drunk football fans what she really thinks of their behaviour. She jumps off buses to break up fights. She literally stands between bullies and their victim. She cries with the broken and comforts the lost.
She a great cook. I eat like royalty. She makes a massive mess. Totally worth it.
She’s creative. She’s played princesses and paupers on stage, as well as characters from history and real life. She once dyed her hair bright orange for a part and walked around looking like a Belisha beacon for two weeks. She makes beautiful art, creates powerful videos, and teaches amazing crafts. She sings like a lark. A lark with laryngitis but, hey, you can’t have everything.
She’s Nanny Karen. She has made thousands of children’s lives better with her warmth, honesty, love, care, compassion and creative spirit. She has dealt with tears, tantrums, and tragedy. And everything else. She will never know how much difference she has made in their lives; how much better the world is for having her in it.
What do I bring to the table? Not much, maybe a fork, but I’ve been blessed to know her and I count myself lucky to share a life with my beautiful lover, companion, friend, co-creator and fellow adventurer.
Happy Anniversary, my Love.