I had volunteered to run in a relay for our Running Club alongside my sisters. This is where I met him. He intrigued me. He was running in a group of 4, I was in a group of 8. He was much faster than me and although he had to run more often, he kept coming back to chat to me.
I had hoped he would.
We chatted the whole afternoon. There was definitely something there. Something clicked. It felt right.
I had just returned from my first year of Uni and decided to continue studying at home. I hated Durban. I had left my friends, a flat and my boyfriend behind. It was not the happiest of times.
Steve had just joined Anglo American as an HR Management Trainee, he had just left Durban too.
We had both been there over January, cycled down to the beachfront each day and never met.
The following week we were back at the Running club, time trials were over and we were enjoying a quietly rowdy drink. I saw him. Plopped myself down amongst his friends and began another long chat. We talked for hours. I didn’t want to leave. 
He phoned me that weekend. Well he phoned.
He asked for Deidre.
There was no Deidre. Then he asked for Lee. No Lee either.
But I ventured a guess.
There is a Lesley and Denise, would you like to speak to one of them?
An embarrassed chuckle carried through the line.
Oh, can I speak to Denise then please.
We chatted for an hour, even though he forgot my name. Somehow I knew. I phoned my boyfriend that night and broke up with him. 
So our romance began. I had a life plan, he was not part of it. It included getting married at 30, a career which included TV, Movies and production or something like that and there was definitely a NO Children sign hanging on my door.
We went on our first date on 5 May 1989.
He was a complete gentleman, my Dad gave him the 10th degree.
He left 3 months later, not because of my Dad, but to take up a job in Mmabatho. He left me behind.  He asked me to marry him.
He was not part of my life plan, not yet.
I said no.
I had always broken up with my boyfriends, when they were long distance relationships. I firmly believed they would not work. Eventually.

This one did. He stood in queues for hours to use the public phone to speak to me. Yes, there were no mobile phones back then kids. He travelled 3 hours every weekend to visit me, he put up with staying in the caravan outside because my parents figured he would creep into my bedroom at night if he stayed inside and what would they do then? 
I was his priority.
He loved me.
He asked me three times to marry him. My answer was always no. I was too young. At the end of the year, we went on holiday together. I followed him back to Mmabatho. My parents were not happy.
I was 20.
I sported a job very quickly and continued with my studies to obtain my degree. He studied with me. We did everything together. Everything. We finished each others sentences. We completed each other.
During a brief visit to Johannesburg to buy running shoes (I can hear Steven sniggering: Right!), we walked past a jewelry store. We stopped.
Pointed a ring out that we both liked. It was mutual. We went in and bought it.
He asked me to marry him.
I said YES. 

I think he was wondering if the ring was the reason 🙂 it was not, he was!
Officially we were engaged between 31 July (my birthday) and 5 August  (his Aunt Di’s birthday), 1990. I was happier than I had ever been.

I was 21.
We were warned we were crazy. We were too young. We had our whole lives ahead of us. We had not dated many other people.
I was asked when the baby was due. Everyone watched my stomach for signs, there was no baby.
He was warned not to marry me, I was too volatile. I was.
He still married me on the 18th May 1991. We were unimaginably happy.
I have a friend who is divorced, she married young too. She asked me in December how we had done it. Luck I said and laughed the question off.
I thought about it later. No, it was not luck.
Steve and I have had to work at our marriage. We have had many challenges – moving houses, countries, jobs, sick children and operations, maturing, differences of opinions….. No-one promised it was going to be easy.
What has worked for us is that we have always done it as a team. Where I have been difficult, he has risen to the challenge and I have been volatile and challenging. He can testify to broken chairs, crockery and cutlery being thrown.

In turn I have supported Steve with whatever venture he has wanted to participate in. From running Comrades, Two Oceans or the Iron Man to changing jobs and moving cities and countries.

Sean and I were discussing an analogy on playing the piano recently. He was comparing the right and left hands task of synchronizing a piece of music. That without the left hand holding the base of the song the right hands melody would be boring and would not sound quite as beautiful. The two have to work together. Alone they sound lost, without purpose. And that is just it. Sometimes you are the left hand and sometimes the right, sometimes you are there to support and hold the tune and at others you are there to ensure that there is sweet melodic harmony. We may hit the wrong cord at times, a flat instead of sharp and then we try again. 

When the hands play together, the melody is one that you will remember forever.

We love with passion.
We fight explosively.
We compromise.
We forgive.
We challenge each other.
We speak to each other.
We are always honest with each other.
We have never cheated.
We still spoon.
We are together without reserve.
We never go to bed angry.
We finish our fights and move on.
We still finish each others sentences.
We still do everything together.
We laugh. We cry. We are.
We love intensely.

You still make my toes curl.
You were my soulmate when we met and you always will be……

Happy 21st Anniversary Mr McGoo!

This was our wedding song.