Today, my lovely wife Gail and I celebrate 15 years of marriage as we received the Sacrament of Matrimony on Saturday, July 8, 2000 at St. Paul Parish in Richmond on a beautiful and sunny day.
On our 15th wedding anniversary, here are 15 things I’ve learned about through marriage; they are all essential aspects of our union. This isn’t an exhaustive list, and some of the things might not ring true for other couples.
But these are things that I believe we hold true and dear to our hearts. Some of these things I’ve learned directly from Gail, other things more indirectly. She may have even learned a thing or two from me. And we’ve learned many of these things together as a couple.
Here’s a brief promo for my talk at Vancouver College on January 20, 2015 on everyday Catholic family life.My talk is called: “What You See is What You Get: Living our Catholic Faith at Home”Being a witness to our Catholic faith is more than what we say or even what we do; it’s rooted in who we are. This workshop will explore what it means to be a true disciple and witness for Christ, and how we as parents can model a healthy and authentic Catholic lifestyle to our children.
This past week, Kayla started grade two at St. Paul Elementary School with Gail as her teacher. As St. Paul is a single-streamed school (ie. one class per grade), Gail – with her principal’s blessing – taught Sean 6 years ago, Jake 4 years ago, and now Kayla.
I’ve always contended that having your parent as your teacher can be a lot tougher than one might think. I can’t speak for Gail, but I know that if I taught one of my own kids, I would almost “over compensate” and be tougher on him/her than on other kids for fear of anyone claiming I was biased or favouring my own child.
I saw it in small ways when I helped to coach the boys’ volleyball teams last year. I was extremely careful about not giving Sean or Jake too much playing time, and I may have actually short-changed them on equal playing time on a couple of occasions.
Today was an eventful day for me. At lunch, my friend Phyllis called to tell me the sad news that her father passed away last week. We enjoyed a nice 20-minute chat (including me giving some song suggestions for the funeral mass) and I assured her that my family and I would pray for the repose of her father’s soul and for her entire family.
Ironically, I talked to Phyllis while I was on my way to a “Celebration of Life” for Peter Swinton, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers – where I worked from 1995 to 2002. Peter tragically passed away earlier this month from a biking accident. St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church was jam-packed, a wonderful testament to just how well-loved and respected he was.
Although I never got to work with Peter directly, all of the speakers at the service reinforced what I knew of him: he was kind, fun, humble, intelligent, playful, and loyal. He was an outstanding leader and devoted husband and father.