Today is my wife, Darlene, and my 22nd wedding anniversary so I am going to be very self-serving here to honour the person who not only changed my personal life, but my business one as well. There will be some definite cheese here but on a profound business note, how many people can say they have been with a business partner for 24 years like we have. More important, how many of you are married to yours? It has not been easy. This will also be a relatively short blog as today finds us celebrating by taking the day off, so let’s get to some history.
Darlene and I met at a conference I was speaking for in 1991 in Edmonton, Alberta. It was for a gathering of adult education coordinators from around the province and the majority of the attendees were well past fifty. There was a small group in our thirties and while in the hospitality suite, we glommed onto each other ending up in the bar telling really politically incorrect handicapped jokes and laughing till our sides hurt. I had been divorced since 1988 and it turned out Darlene had reached a crossroads in her marriage. During the speech, I made a point of honouring anyone who teaches others who are above 21 years old, but especially, middle to late age people who are know to take the kind of classes these folks either taught or coordinated. As I was quoted for that day…”You only get one life and what you do with it is everything!” Unbeknownst to me, those words affected Darlene and she decided to end her relationship and trust me, it wasn’t easy and to dispel a myth…it had almost nothing to do with me “personally”. When I say “almost”, what I mean is she felt beholding to me somehow and after she moved to Calgary, offered to buy me dinner if I was ever in town. About a month later, she just phoned me out of the blue to tell me about her new life and she was adamant this was going to be an extended period of adjustment and she was in no hurry to get involved with anyone. That call lasted three hours.
Have you ever met someone that right from the start, you felt like you have known them for a long time? You just click. It makes no sense. Darlene was not looking to replace her husband and I was a single dad with my son Vance living with me and going to Kindergarten. Darlene couldn’t have children and that last thing she wanted was someone else’s! But the phone calls continued. Once a week. Then a couple of times a week. Then it seemed, every night. There was no smuttiness or inappropriate discussion and there was certainly no planning to “date”. A few months later, I was going to Calgary so she finally got to buy me dinner and six months later, Darlene moved to Regina for us to be together. On July 2, 1993, we got married!
Let me be blunt! I have no arms. I was not gifted the hunky gene! If you have ever seen or met Darlene, she was born with the female equivalent. I know I am biased but honestly, she is a very attractive person. She could have had the “pick of the litter” and she picked me. Funny thing is, and ask her if you don’t believe me, Darlene believes we were destined to meet, to be together so when our eyes locked from across a room, it wasn’t shallow and lusty, it was deep and profound. Twenty four years ago, you wouldn’t have heard me discuss this kind of touchy-feely stuff and if you just rolled your eyes, maybe you don’t either and that’s fine. My point is not to be romantic so much as to make a point that new age thinking is actually very “old”. Why would a woman like Darlene choose to share her life with someone like me? There is no logical answer. The ammount of extra work for her. I am pretty independent but when you add up the numbers, Darlene does 75% of the heavy lifting in our lives. When asked “Why Alvin?”, Darlene has a simple answer…”Why not?”
You see, our society places a great deal of emphasis on “the physical” and I will debate this another time but I believe when people see me use my feet, they call it amazing because it is a “physical” act that defies logic. But my abilities run deeper. They run to a sub-atomic form where my positive energy, taught unknowingly by my parents, altered my life path. So did meeting Darlene. Are you attracting the right things into your life by the attitude you carry and the energy you give off? It’s a very important question to ask. Darlene asked it? We’ve talked about this a lot. There was very little “wrong” with her first husband but as Darlene explored with me in those early phone calls, there was something missing. He was verile, “hunky” and very attractive man and she was a very hot woman. I often joke they were like “Ken & Barbie” dolls in real life form. Yet life wasn’t complete.
I had done remarkable things with my life, but when it came to a marriage, my first time around produced a child and lasted less than three years and that’s on both of us. My point is not start a Dr. Phil show here but to simply make this point: Life is too short to live it in anger, with hostility and discontent looking to blame the world for your imperfections. As Darlene proved to me so many years ago. We may be imperfect on the outside but what’s inside is what makes the difference.
Happy Anniversary, Honey. You did make it worth my while!💝