Grateful for True Love | My Instruction Manual

I’m Grateful for True Love

Twenty years ago this month, I married my best friend.

It’s the best decision I ever made.

Once a month, I take time to reflect on all the amazing things I have to be grateful for. And this month, I’m especially grateful for my wife Laura.

We met in the House of Commons in Ottawa. We were both in university and participating in model parliament. I noticed this beautiful brunette across the aisle, and we were introduced by mutual friends soon after. Less than three years later, we were husband and wife.

Our wedding day at Eaton Hall, north of Toronto, was the most fun I’ve ever had. We returned to the scene with our kids last year, and re-created our wedding photos.

Keith Laura anniversary | My Instruction Manual
Back at Eaton Hall 20 years later.

It hasn’t always been easy. All marriages have stress and we’ve had our share, including parenting a severely disabled son, and my own kidney failure. There’s some research that suggests that divorce rates are higher for couples that go through crises like these. And there are times our challenges have divided us, but mostly, they’ve brought us closer together.

While there were many differences between us, our values have always been similar. We put our kids first. We believe kindness matters. We root for the little guy. But even in the areas where there were stark differences — like whether you should wash each dish as you use it (Laura) or let them pile up to maximize efficiency (me) — we’ve found common ground in the middle as the years go by.

When you’re with someone for a long time, it can be easy to take them for granted. But when I look into Laura’s eyes, she still takes my breath away; my heart skips a beat; she is my angel. I remain smitten.

For our honeymoon, Laura and I went on a European cruise that sailed out of Barcelona. We’re celebrating 20 years the same way. We fly into Barcelona next Friday and will celebrate our twentieth anniversary on the Norwegian Epic with a port day in Rome. This trip is a really big deal for us. Because of Bryson’s challenges, we’ve never been able to be away from our kids for so long, but we’re getting help from family and friends to make this happen. And I’m grateful for that too.

Whether we’re thriving or struggling, I am so grateful that I get to go through life’s journey with Laura. We’ve known each other for 23 years and I still love spending time with Laura more than anyone else in the world. I’m 46 years old, so this also marks the point in my life where I’ve been with Laura for half my life.

When I proposed to Laura, I asked her if she would grow old with me. But when I was sick with kidney disease, I worried that my life would be cut short. Now that I’ve received this second chance at life, I look forward to many more years with Laura.

When we celebrate our 75th wedding anniversary in 2073, I’ll be 101 years old.

I can only imagine what the next 55 years of true love will bring.

18 Steps | Keith McArthur | My Instruction Manual


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