After 7 years of marriage, you've probably got a lot to say to each other. Melissa certainly did. What with a new baby and her husband surviving cancer, this 7th anniversary gift had more meaning than most. Melissa has kindly given her permission for me to publish her gift and story. So, I'll let Melissa take it from here:
What is your name ? Melissa
Who do you want the poem written for ? My husband, Shaun
Why do you want the poem written ? Its our 7th wedding anniversary
What style of poem would you prefer (happy, sad, romantic etc.) ? Happy, optimistic, joyful
Please choose which package you would prefer ? economy
What are the key messages you would like to send ? In the past year my husband was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. Throughout his surgeries and treatments Shaun has remained positive and confident he will be healthy again. Now two surgeries later, we are very optimistic that he will be cured. This past year also brought us the biggest joy of our life, our son, Bryce. So in this year of turmoil, Bryce has been absolutely amazing.
Do you have any funny, sad, happy, embarrassing or otherwise memorable moments that you would like to share ? Shaun and I met when I was showing off my basketball skills while wearing heals and a dress at a party. The skills have been passed on to Bryce, at 1 year old he already has some impressive basketball skills. Shaun sings to Bryce but he is horrendously bad. Its so funny it makes Bryce laugh. Do you have any other comments or thoughts ? This past year has brought us closer to family emotionally and in physical location. I think we have an amazing family together and look forward to spending the next 50 years with him.
Let's Make It
Shaun, I wanted to get you something special,
something treasured, precious, that sort of thing,
because you have been the sparkle in my life, yes,
you've proven the gold, in this, our wedding ring.
And I simply wanted to say "I love you",
but in truth, I didn't really know where to start,
so I thought I'd share a few feelings and
give you some words (straight from the heart).
Look, I know it has been a very difficult year,
but hey! Who says that life is a rose filled dream?
But through all the surgeries and the treatments,
we battled on (and proved to the world, our team).
Actually, you've been my hero, so stoic, so brave,
and you have remained positively confident all along,
you seem to know that in that thought is the cure,
the hope, the rainbow, our future. No, you're not wrong.
Because that future has been made immeasureably brighter,
I think of you and Bryce and my chest swells with pride,
as I know he couldn't have chosen a finer father, no,
I know he couldn't – even if he'd tried!
They say that the phoenix rose out of the ashes,
well, we were given such joy, in the turmoil of our life,
and Shaun, I just wanted to say "I'm proud of you", yes,
indeed, I am very proud to be called "your wife".
Look, we've come a long way my slinky basketball skills,
grandly showing off at a party, in high heels and a dress,
and even though the road has been a little rocky at times,
I know that we are destined for a lifetime of happiness.
I also wanted to thank you for all of your patient editing,
as well you know, I'm no writer, a post doc is what I am,
but I know we have big plans and hopes for the future
and I'm sure all your hard work will pay off in your bar exam.
No arguments! You're also an excellent debater,
so you'll make a great lawyer, make no mistake,
but in 7 years of marriage, I'm yet to win a disagreement,
look, I know we don't argue, but can you give a girl a break?
But there's no denying my own court skills have been passed onto Bryce,
he is certainly good at dribbling, as you sing, so out of tune,
actually, your noteless warbling makes both of us laugh so much,
yes, I can't see your singing career ending any day soon.
Because this past year has brought us closer together,
as a couple, as a family, emotionally and physically,
and Shaun, I just wanted to thank you for being you, yes,
I wanted to say thanks for making my world a great place to be.
And I also wanted to say Happy 7th Anniversary,
as I think that we have an amazing family, together,
and I look forward to spending the next 50 years with you,
did I say fifty? Scratch that. Let's make it, forever and ever.
Copyright Allen Jesson 2010
After the first draft, Melissa replied:
"Wow! This is great. I really appreciate all your effort and you even got the first draft to us in time for our anniversary. Shaun was really pleased! The first few years that we dated and were married Shaun would write poems and stories for me for our anniversary. They were always funny and played off of what ever was happening in our lives at that time. I have tried to repay the favor since I thought they were the best gifts, but my poems always came up short. So finally I was able to give him a special present to represent my love for him. So Thank you very much. There are a couple of things I would like modified. The stanza about looking skyward and blessings, Shaun and I are not religious nor do we believe heaven is a place up above. Could we remove it? Also in reference to the future, we have big plans or at least hopes for what is to come. Shaun is taking the bar exam at the end of this month so we are hoping all his hard work and studying pays off. Other tidbits about us: he loves golf, I am a scientist and he doesn't understand much that I do. But since he is a great writer, he often edits my writing (for grammar, not content.) He's an excellent debater and will make a great lawyer; in 7 years of marriage I have yet to win a disagreement. I say disagreement instead of argument, because we really do not argue. We really are perfect for each other and keep that in mind with something little is irksome. You don't have to use all of this, but its here if you feel inspired. Thank you again so much. This really is a wonderful gift and I'm glad I found you. As for publishing, you have my permission to publish any and all of the poem with our names if you wish. Melissa"
We went to a couple more drafts (the final you see above). Upon receipt, Melissa likndly replied:
"Thank you! This is perfect. You really did a wonderful job. Melissa"