Happy anniversary habibi! (my love)
We met in 1961 at the port in Beirut, Lebanon. However, we got to know each other in the sandbox at the Beirut Baptist School (BBS). Tim temporarily lived one floor up from us while his parents went to Arabic language school before heading to Jordan. We spent endless hours playing together on the school playground.
One of my earliest memories of us is sailing paper boats in the playground puddles after one of those infamous Mediterranean gully-washer thunderstorms. The sandbox would flood and we imagined it to be our own private lake. We attended BBS together, he in nursery school and me in first grade. He even still has his nursery school uniform!
I should’ve known with such an auspicious sandbox beginning that we would eventually end up together, “playing” in the dirt in our own backyard in Waco, Texas!
Tim returned to Lebanon for his highschool years after spending most of his childhood in Jordan. Nevertheless, being three years behind me in school, our connection was just as members of the gang of missionary kids who hung out together when our parents attended special meetings. Through the years, my father and Tim grew close, sharing mutual interests in Middle East history, archaelogy, and languages. They had many long conversations about which I was only vaguely aware in my peripheral teenage vision.
We lost personal touch with each other after high school and only reconnected at my dad’s funeral. By then, I had been married for twenty five years, then divorced, raised two boys, and earned three degrees in various aspects of education. In the meantime, Tim had spent his years earning a graduate degree in international management and working for Fluor as a scheduler for engineering, construction, and maintenance of refineries in Saudi Arabia, New Orleans, and Houston.
Tim and I reconnected at my father’s funeral in Dallas. As is normal protocal at funerals, family and close friends were hosted for dinner after the service. I was taken aback when this red-headed man who I did not recognize walked right up to me and gave me a hug.
I guess that hug did it! I muffled “Timmy” into his shoulder and he responded, “Sheila, no one calls me Timmy anymore. I go by Tim.”
Fast forward…..after a year of dating, with him coming up to Waco every weekend, we married. It’s our 22nd anniversary this year and we still love playing in the dirt together! We enjoy gardening and hosting friends and family (especially grandchildren)!
This second half of my life with Tim is like being on an endless vacation wherein our souls speak together and share in both English and Arabic. He is over-the-top giving and kind, thoughtful to such an extent that he anticipates my desires before I’ve even spoken them! Tim’s greatest joy is to do for others and I’m thrilled to be the recipient of his love.
We are grateful to have found each other again. I highly recommend marrying your best friend!
How are you celebrating your favorite days this season?
“You (Tim) have stolen my heart with one glance of your (kind eyes), how delightful is your love. Your fragrance is like Lebanon. You are a garden, a spring. (Our) garden is an orchard of pomegranates with choice fruits, with henna and nard, nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with every kind of incense tree, with myrrh and aloes and all the finest spices. You are a garden fountain, a well of flowing water streaming down from Lebanon.”