I was married over the course of three weekends in July 2002. My Nikkah ceremony, which is the religious act of marriage for Muslims, was on the first Saturday, 14th July 2002.
I remember the day well, not least because I scalded myself on the steam from the kettle that morning. It was an emotional rollercoaster of a day, but on a deeper level for me it was a day where I found anchor after feeling adrift for some time.
The last fourteen years have taught me a lot about commitment, compromise and being part of a team. I have learned to be more resilient and trusting. I have dealt with health issue after health issue and been left astounded by the short straw I drew, but I have also been surprised by my own capacity to adapt with adversity and see everything through a sense of humour.
None of the positives of the last fourteen years would have been possible without my husband and I cannot imagine living through the negatives and coming through intact without him.
Indeed when I look back over my life, the one constant and solid relationship I have is that with my husband. Our relationship is based on honesty and sheer grit to get on with whatever life throws at us, and we have had more than our fair share of tears, frustration and disappointment, but I wouldn’t change anything: not the illness, investigations, diagnosis and draining treatments I endured, which barely take me up to our tenth wedding anniversary when I was diagnosed with Pulmonary Hypertension.
Through thick and thin, better or for worse, I have been enriched by my marriage to a man who doesn’t know the meaning of giving up and is single-minded in his drive to do the best he can, even when no one is looking.
He has come to define the words consistency and integrity in a world that keeps changing. I just hope I live up to my end of the bargain, which has always simply been to be well enough to laugh.