It’s been ten years today that we’ve been married, exactly half of those years were spent in Cambodia! Some of my favorite memories of life with Darryl thus far:
Riding down the streets of Phnom Penh on Darryl’s dirt-bike, darting past traffic and cruising out into the red-dirt roads of the countryside. Our dates were spent searching out and exploring out-of-the-way places around the bustling, cramped city. Favorite place found? An old hotel near the coast. It had once been a popular French get-away before the Khmer Rouge happened (Jacqueline Kennedy stayed here in 1967 just before KR). It was deserted and left to deteriorate. We arrived when they were in the process of restoring it, a place caught between two eras. It was such a unique twist, like modern 50′s style with a mix of Khmer and French. The rooms had wall length windows and looked over the ocean, just yards away. We didn’t stay here but had so much fun exploring! I could just imagine the French families cooling off on the green lawns and picking shells off the shaded beach. It was a mysterious gorgeous place.
Darryl hanging out with the moto-dop drivers in Cambodia. He’d always be giving shirts to them, handing them mangoes from our trees, and spending time with them at the corner. I’d drive by in the car and he’d be standing in his shirt and tie with moto-dope drivers (usually wearing Darryl’s shirts!) under the palm trees. I’d beat him home and then we’d all hear the familiar roaring of his bike. Kids would come running, screaming “Daddy!”. The bike would idle outside the gate as he unlocked the door and then with a roar he’d be sweeping in the gate, tie flying behind him in the wind. He’d take off his helmet and set it on the front of his bike (hair soaked, shirt soaked in the 100* weather) and look over at me on the front steps. With a big grin he’d say, “Hi babe.” The highlight of my day. Every day.
The number of animals we’ve adopted is quite remarkable. Darryl cannot go hunting (hates killing animals) but he can go collecting. One day he decided to get a bird at the height of the bird flu frenzy. A fellow missionary saw him at the side of the road peering into a bird cage and sent him a text, “Worried about bird flu much?” to which Darryl responded, “Nope, looking for something to cook up. Want to come for breakfast?” He did buy the parrot and let the thing fly free in our home. Which is why I would scream at random moments as the creature would swoop down at my head in the most random moments. Much to Darryl’s amusement. And there are other memories including geckos, dogs, cats, tarantulas, snakes–really there must be some study somewhere that focuses on men’s nesting instincts kicking in when their wife is pregnant!
Lazy afternoons spent staring in wonder at the new life given to us. The hospital in Bangkok became a warm familiar place as we were privileged to have three children born there. It was a time to step away from the busyness of life and work and a time to rest (in air-condition!!!) and wonder at God’s goodness to us. We would spend the afternoons in the hospital all piled on the bed, staring and holding the newborn wonder given to us. Those afternoons may be the most dear time of my life.
Watching the man I love as a father to our children forms the sweetest (and sometimes most amusing) memories. He knows how to hustle a pack of four kids through the airport in record time and keep tickets and passport and bottles all in order. He can load and unload us on and off nearly every form of Asian transportation (usually leaving him in a sweat as he loaded the second stroller into the back of a pick-up or pulled the last stroller in before the door slammed on the BTS). He loves to teach the kids about the outdoors, compost bins, insects, tools, faith, bike tires, and kindness with energy. His knowledge of history and geography combined with his love for the Lord make devotions (and life in general) an interesting time for all of us. No matter what, he was is always so excited to see the kids and I when we show up at work. It was commonplace to see him teaching with a baby at the beginning of many a class.
I’ve married a special man. I wonder what will happen in the next decade by his side?