I never wanted to get married. I didn’t believe in the institution of marriage. I honestly thought it was impossible for a man and a woman to remain faithful to each other for a lifetime.

I dated. I eventually wanted children. I hadn’t worked out all the details, but I was certain marriage would not be part of the equation.

I’m not sure what happened. It’s almost as if God stepped in and said, “OK, that’s enough of that foolishness. Here’s your husband.” And as quick as that, I was in love with Saul and was willing to face whatever lay ahead, as long as I could face it with him. It never occurred to me again that we wouldn’t be faithful. We were meant to be together, and that was that.

I still count Saul as the greatest blessing in my life. Boy, am I thankful for divine intervention.

In a few days we will be celebrating 14 years of marriage. Like any married couple, we have our moments. It bugs me when he snores. It bugs him when I nag.

In some ways, we are an old married couple, but we both realize we are still newlyweds by many standards, especially when compared to the man who wrote me about his recent anniversary celebration.

“Dear Nicole,

“I am writing to inform you of an act of kindness that recently happened to my wife, Judy, and me.

“Judy was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2008. I have taken care of her at home for six years now. The good people of hospice have helped me for the past year. I made Judy a promise when she was diagnosed that I would take care of her as long as I could. So far, the Lord has given me good health, and I will continue to care for her until He calls her home or my health will no longer allow it.

“We celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary on May 16. I set up an appointment with the hair salon that Judy has gone to since we moved to Fargo in 1998.

“I have been able to take her to her weekly hair appointments during this entire time. Her hair stylist, Janelle, the owner of West 13th Salon in West Fargo, thought it was special that I would bring her in on the morning of our anniversary.

“When she got done styling Judy’s hair, she got her camera out and asked if she could take a picture of us. About two weeks later, when I brought Judy in for her hair appointment, Janelle handed me a gift and said it was for our anniversary. It was the picture of us that she had taken. It was in a special 50th anniversary frame with the following inscription on it: ‘It doesn’t matter where you go in life, it’s who you have beside you. Happy Anniversary Bill and Judy.’

“It is a wonderful gift. I thought it was so special that Janelle would go to all that time and expense to give us that gift.

“Those are the kinds of things that happen in the Fargo-Moorhead area and West Fargo area. It’s a great place to live.”

– Bill Sunderlin, Fargo

There is great kindness in doing the little things in life well. Like caring for the one you love each and every day. In sickness and in health. Till death do you part.

Happy anniversary to the man who was (and is) the best gift I’ve ever gotten.

Please continue to share your stories of kindness with me at info@nicolejphillips.com. Or send a letter to Kindness is Contagious c/o Nicole J. Phillips, The Forum, 101 5th St. N., Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107.