How could I have guessed that as a young girl of twenty four, marrying Greg Parker would turn my little life into some kind of epic Drama-Sitcom-Musical-Circus?! Twenty-eight years with you, young Parker, and I can certainly say that none of it has been boring. At each anniversary we used to joke that there was another ‘long, hard, painful year’ behind us. But really, they have been short years. And mostly easy and fun 🙂
What an adventure.
We’ve walked the walls of old Jerusalem, watched the Greatest Name being raised in the Lotus Temple. We’ve been cheated by taxi drivers in India and prayed side by side at the Sacred Threshold in Bahji. We’ve crossed the Nullarbor on a train with a 7 month old baby. Sung at the Sydney Opera House with Seals and Crofts. Been on TV together – twice! We’ve slept under the stars, kayaked and biked and tented (seems hard to believe, but we were younger and I was less picky!), snorkelled in Greens Pool, Western Australia and in the Pacific Ocean off Fiji. Beautiful caves, wonderful mountains, silent forests, raging seas.
We’ve sung in Folk Clubs, Weddings, Churches, Concerts, Conferences, Fields, Nursing Homes, Houses of Worship. We’ve shared our Faith in song and story – just you, me and a guitar – at countless intimate gatherings. And then there were those Very Big Productions, which started with The Face of Glory and ended with a meeting of hearts.
We’ve watched countless repeats of our favourite movies and TV episodes and laughed and cried and debated through many of them. We’ve shared the gift of friendship with remarkable people who’ve shaped our marriage with their love and shaped us with their kindness.
You brought Rachel into my life. And we brought Mary into this world together. Two remarkable women, as different as you and I. We are so proud of them! And you can be proud of this: During those nearly three days of labour it took to birth Mary, it seemed to me like you NEVER left my side. I remember thinking as I finally pushed her out, “when did Greg pee in all these days?” When they placed Mary on my belly, we wept together, me stupidly exclaiming, “Oh my God, it really IS a baby!”
Journeying with you has been fun, entertaining, educational and inspirational, but it has also been vexing, annoying and exhausting! It’s hard to keep up with a burning meteor. One has to just take a deep breath and trust.
Twenty-eight years ago I knew I was marrying someone who would walk through the fire for me…indeed for almost anyone.
I knew I was marrying a man of courage, faith and righteousness. (But I didn’t know that I’d one day be sharing you with so many people who love you – you’re pretty much a public figure!) Or that I’d learn so much from you – about living, about dying, about Grace.
If one were to measure a life by how much you are loved, then Parker Boy, you’ve done good 🙂
With love from your wifey,
I actually wrote this letter to Greg on the fortieth anniversary of the day he joined the Baha’i community. He called it his ‘Baha’i Birthday’ and it was an important milestone for Greg, marking a moment in time when he dedicated his life to the service of humanity.
Greg and I were married for nearly three decades, before he passed away on May 16, 2014, just three weeks after I wrote this letter to him. It was accompanied by messages from his loved ones and admirers, compiled into a beautiful ‘Living Tribute’ book called How Do You Measure A Life. You are welcome to read it here.
I am so thankful that Greg received the tributes that poured in from around the world before he died. They encircled his beautiful heart with love in his last days.
Today, Jan 24th, 2015, would have been his 60th birthday.
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