What makes people fall in love? What makes people stay in love as time goes by?
I don’t pretend that I have all the answers, but I’d like to share with you something about the man I fell in love with and why he is and will always be the greatest love of my life.
He is Helpful.
When out and about, if he spotted someone looking lost, he would approach him/her: “Can I help you?” He gave directions, extending a helping hand to the elderly, women and children, anyone in need.
I once joked that when he retired, he could volunteer as a Birmingham (or wherever we are living at that time) Friend, directing lost people and handing out information. Over the years, I have witnessed his kind deeds, to colleagues, friends and strangers alike.
He is Generous.
He has a big heart and his generosity is not limited to monetary donations to various good causes. Somewhere in the world when disasters stuck, he would immediately go on-line and send a donation.
There are always a coin or two for a homeless person standing by every time we nip into our local Sainsburys. It could be London Underground, or buzzing streets in Barcelona, performers and musicians would be rewarded and appreciated by his kind gesture. On leaving the hotels, he would always leave money to cleaners.
Anniversaries, birthdays, Christmas and special occasions, he would give me thoughtful presents. Sometimes when I was feeling down, or when he was overseas, he ordered beautiful bouquets to cheer me up. On the other hand, he is not so good on the receiving end. During his many travels, especially when he is China, where gift-giving is embedded in the culture, when he was given something, be it expensive teas, or fine porcelain or whatever, he would pass it on to the next person he met, perhaps a cleaner, or a taxi driver, often a total stranger. Once we won a bottle of Champaign at a function. He immediately present it to someone passing us by.
He is Funny.
He does not usually tell jokes, but he has such a fine sense of humour that he never failed to make people laugh. He is fun company. His observations are acute and his witty comments on people and situations are often sharp-witted and hilarious. He is entertaining both at parties as well as in private. I never laughed as much until I met him, and every so often I would smile and chuckle just thinking about him.
He is a Nature Lover.
He may give the impression of being a hard man with a cool exterior, but he possesses a very sensitive side which loves Nature and cares about the environment. He cycles to work and is keen to promote green, renewable energy.
Under his influence, we enjoy going for walks, in many parts of the world. Sutton Park, the reason we make a home here, was our regular walking haven. When we go to Madeira, we always find time for a Lavada walk along the beautiful mountain paths.
He named our resident male swan “Surgio”, and he took many photos of the King of our little lake. Ducks, Canada geese, mallards and seagulls are all his pals. He regularly go to HomeBase for massive bags of bird feed. Only this morning I spotted a cute squirrel, busy with seeds overspilt from the bird feeder on the tree in our back garden.
He is Fair, Loyal and Smart.
His Chinese sign is man’s best friend and he displays many qualities of the Dog: fair-minded, faithful and utterly devoted to the people he cares about.
With him, we talk about everything. He’s extremely well informed and is equipped with a wide spectrum of knowledge, from economics, education, music to world politics. I have learnt so much from him and each day I benefit from his intelligence and his firm grasp of world affairs. I often quip that he is a walking human encyclopaedia.
There are so many more good things I want to say about this wonderful man that my heart is overwhelmed with love and admiration. In my journey through life, among thousands of people whom I have crossed paths with, meeting and falling in love with him was the best thing that has ever happened to me. With all my disappointments and trials in life, I was smart enough to say “YES” when he proposed to me on a beautiful spot in the Peak District, during sunset, just like the picture below.
Today is special. Since he’s not so good at accepting gifts, this post is dedicated to him. My public declaration of love, the best gift I can think of.
Happy Birthday, My Love! May you be blessed with a long happy life that you so richly deserve!