So the question remains, why now? As I was preparing to leave the city that I love and embark on the great adventure called marriage, I was blown away by how many people I would miss. These are friends who have journeyed with me through the single years, who were there to ask me how I was holding up in the hardest moments. I started to realize that they will not be with me through this first year of marriage to ask what I am learning or how I am growing, or to advise me when I have done something stupid. I do hope this will help at least a little in connecting my dear friends with the life that I am living in Toronto. I also see a need to share how God inevitably changes me through these first months and years, and I hope that a (semi-)regular blog will spur me on to actually contemplate and put into words how I am feeling and how God is working through my life.
Some of you may wonder about the title. I am confident that there are a couple of you who right away noticed the reference, while others are scratching their heads. The reference is from the last few books of the Anne of Green Gables series. In the fifth book, Anne finally marries Gilbert and the couple moves to the village of Glen St. Mary, where Gilbert works as the local doctor. A local woman named Susan Baker moves in after their first baby has arrived, and continues to assist with cooking, cleaning, and childcare as Anne and Gilbert raise their growing family through the sixth through eighth books. Susan always addresses Anne as “Mrs. Dr. Dear”.
Last fall and winter, I re-read the last four books of the series and was surprised to see how much I identified with Anne as she falls into her role as a doctor's wife. I really felt for her while reading about Gilbert being pulled away from home time and time again to deal with medical emergencies. In a sense, I saw a picture of how my life would be (although I anticipate having electricity and, sadly, a much less vivid imagination). In addition, the title of “Mrs. Dr. Dear” seemed to encapsulate the profound change marriage has made for Anne. Who has more personality than Anne Shirley? In many ways, she was ahead of her time. As a girl, and then a woman, she stood up for herself in a society when women could not vote and married women could not work. She excelled at school, served as a community leader, went to college, worked as a teacher, wrote stories that were published in magazines, and dreamed of doing so much with her life. In Glen St. Mary, however, she will always in a sense be defined by her role as the doctor's wife. Yet this is not something she seems to resent, but rather relishes in this next stage of life. Would that I can do the same.
A note on names:
As my husband would prefer to remain anonymous, I determined that I would give him a false name for this blog. His initials didn't really work, so in the attempt to keep the Anne theme going, I will hereafter refer to him as “Gilbert”, or just “Gil.”