Forms of Love and Gratitude

Candlelight dinner in the Lake District – what I thought was my main birthday event


What better way to return to this blog than to thank my loving, creative husband for an unforgettable birthday surprise: a beautiful gathering of our closest Felixstowe friends, joined by my son from the U.S. and Clive’s children, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren from Australia — and the continuing presence of these loved ones for several days after.

For many months, unknown to me, Clive planned, communicated, orchestrated, telephoned, e-mailed, texted, researched, discussed, snail-mailed, problem-solved, supported, and in every conceivable way made everything possible.

He also created a thousand new memories, such as ‘why he had to make house call(s) to our friends to fix their computer’ (they were scheming in person – thank you, dear friends); ‘why he was so intent on getting the car washed the evening we returned from the Lakes’ (he was secretly meeting the Aussie gang, who had arrived earlier that day); ‘why we couldn’t go to Australia the week after my birthday’ (the Aussie family would be here); and ‘why my son’s business meetings in London kept getting changed’ (the possibility of him coming to Felixstowe for a weekend kept me from wanting to go to Paris just before or after my birthday). And ‘why the video of my son apologising for being unable to join the party was so devious’ (because my son then stepped out of our friends’ utility room and said ‘that was a good video, wasn’t it?’).

After the best birthday surprise, saying good-bye at the station, always the hardest part

People express love in so many ways — with words, time, physical connection, communications, emotional, financial, and practical support, gifts, gestures, listening, and caring. How lucky I feel, to be married to a man who expresses love in all these ways, not only to me but also to others whom he deeply loves.

Clive and his family at Felixstowe docks

Thank you, Clive, for showing me and our families so many forms of love. I love you very much and being with you is the best gift of all.

14 Responses

  1. Wow how incredibly special! So pleased your husband is so devious..and delightful! Vix x

  2. I am so glad to see you back and on such a wonderful occasion . We were a bit worried that something was not good, but Im glad that was not so! Great to see a pick of GR…Happy Birthday Carolyn and many more.
    Martha and John from MA. In the US.

  3. How wonderful for you. 🙂

  4. So glad you had a memorable birthday. All of it was incredibly well planned, right under your nose, and you had the best surprise ever! Clive is fabulous, for sure. And I’m so glad GR was able to fool you as well – and I always thought he was so earnest and straightforward……..Big fun!

  5. How lovely Carol what a great guy you have! Kathy mclean Stock

    Sent from my iPhone

  6. What a great surprise, Carol. I’m sure all of you had a delightful time on this big bday! I’m glad to see your blog active again.

    –Eleanor

  7. Thank you, Vix, Martha, LindyLou, Mary, Kathy, and Eleanor! Love your comments and am still ‘basking in the glow’ of Clive’s surprise and having our families all here together.

    Cheers all 🙂

  8. I’m glad to see you back blogging and happy to be able to wish you a happy birthday even if it is a bit late. It’s sounds as if you had a lovely time and how sweet of Clive to arrange it all.

    I’m looking forward to more updates. Welcome back!

  9. What a wonderful wonderful birthday! Clive and all your family and friends really went to incredible lengths to honor you!! That IS a wonderful gift. Happy Birthday!

  10. Elizabeth, thank you! Look forward to catching up on your blog too. Hope you and John are doing well with all the rain around! Kim B, yay!! to hear from you — thanks for your comment and good wishes and hope to see you in Paris one of these times. Emily, welcome! and thank you too — appreciate your kind comment.

    Cheers all.

  11. Wow Carolyn, Clive is a one in a million 🙂 🙂 Such a wonderful surprise for you. We have trouble just getting people from across England to visit, let alone Australia and America !!! A birthday surprise you will never forget.. Love to you and Clive.

  12. A beautiful expression of your love to Carolyn, Clive. Commending you also for your hard work. Wonderful.

    Peace to you both.

  13. Thank you, Annie200 and xpat92! Yes Clive is to be commended — it was definitely a beautiful expression of love and I am grateful.

    Cheers and all the best!

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