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I Wrote Two & Threw One Away

I Wrote Two & Threw One Away

Hello and good day!

I woke up very early this morning.

I had a cup of coffee and then went outside to feed the cats.

It was dark out and the air was cold.

I stood in my slippers and shivered in the cold wind.

It has been sunny lately, but the forecast for today is wind and rain.

Sometimes I can see the moon in the morning, but not today because of the cloud cover.

I woke up knowing that I would have to write two compositions before the rest of the family woke up.

This afternoon, I have to give a speech at our 20th wedding anniversary party.

I'm not somebody who can speak publicly off the cuff. In general, I do much better if I read something that is pre-written.

I wrote the speech and then I wrote my daily email.

The daily email was an attempt at intellectualism.

Maybe I will send it out tomorrow.

It was about how everything that we care about most in life tends to center around people. I recently read in a book that it is a good idea to keep a gratitude journal.

The author suggested writing down ten things that you are grateful for every single day.

I've done that for a few days in a row and, other than being happy about good health, I find that I am entirely grateful for the people in my life.

My wife.

My kids.

My parents.

My brother.

Our team.



Our cacao farm partners.

I had some pithy observations about what this means and how it should influence our daily living habits.

But when I finished the piece, I realized that what was really in my heart today was what I said in the speech for my wife.

One of the theories that motivates sending out these daily emails is that it is good to know who is actually running a company behind the scenes.

Most marketing is polished and comprised of sanitized brand messaging.

However, I think it is nice for the friends and customers of a company to know who they are really dealing with.

In a world of digital content and false claims, it is nice to have an authentic, inside look at the folks who make the products.

After all, every product is made by somebody, a real person, with hopes and fears and a history, right?

For my part, I can't give you a truer inside look than to share my 20th anniversary speech with you.

By the way, everybody at this party will be native Spanish speakers and I will give the speech in Spanish.

If you like what you read, and if you think that it was written by a decent individual, then you can also feel good about doing business with us.

Without further ado.

Hello everybody.

I’ve written a speech to read to my wife.

I am much better reading something that I’ve already written than trying to make up what I want to say in the moment.

I wrote in English, and I will translate into Spanish as I go along.

Pardon me if there are any pauses.

Before I dive in, I want to say thank you so much to all of you for coming to share this special occasion with us.

I met Nery 21 years ago and we got married 20 years and three days ago.

I was thinking about what I wanted to say to Nery and to you all.

First, I tried to think about what makes weddings special.

I thought back to our wedding.

We were married in Peru.

When I think back about our wedding day, to me, the best, and most special part of the day was when we read our vows.

We declared publicly, in front of hundreds of people, how much we loved each other, and we promised to love each other forever.

There is something powerful about a public declaration.

When you make a promise in front of a large group of people, you feel more obligated to live up to your promise.

To me, that is the best part of a wedding.

You tell the world how much you love your new spouse.

Well, I have a large group of people here now and I'd like to make another public declaration.

Nery, I love you.

I loved you from the very first moment I saw you.

I’ve loved you every moment for the last 20 years.

No marriage is ever perfect.

There are always ups and downs and challenges and difficulties.

But I promise you, there has never been a time during the last 20 years when I haven’t loved you with all of my heart.

I’ve loved you completely.

And I promise that I will love you for as long as I live.

One thing you will never have to worry about is whether your husband still loves you.

I’ve lived with Nery for the last 20 years, so I know some things about her that nobody else knows.

I thought it might be fun to reveal some secrets about her.

One thing about Nery that I’ve always loved, but that sometimes makes me a little bit crazy, is that Nery is the hardest working person I know.

When I met Nery and started dating her, she had two jobs, and she supported herself completely with no help from her dad.   That was a very rare thing for a young person living in Peru.

She worked in the morning, from 8am to 12pm, in a bus station.

And she worked from 2pm to 10pm in a hotel.

She worked 6 and a half days a week and her only time off was Sunday afternoon.

She lived with a roommate in a single room. Not a one-bedroom apartment. Just a small single room with a bathroom attached.

I was in Peru helping my dad and brother with their business and my dad got me a job working as an auto mechanic.

The only time we had a long stretch together was on Sunday afternoons.

The rest of the week, we ate lunch together and I also started coming to her hotel early, before she got off work, so that I could watch TV.

We didn’t have a TV in our apartment, so I came and sat in the lobby and watched TV until she got off, and then I walked her home at night.

It was just her and her roommate sleeping in a little room on bunk beds, and she worked almost 80 hours a week to survive.

I knew that Nery would be a great partner.

She wasn’t just a pretty girl.

She was somebody who I knew I could build a life with.

And that has been true.

Of course, the other side of that is that she always has some project that she is working on. She never takes a moment to rest, and she gets me, and our sons involved too.

But that is what makes her who she is, and it is a big part of why I wanted to spend my life with her.

The other thing that I will tell you before I wrap up is that Nery loves to laugh.

I met her at a dance. At first, I was scared to ask anybody to dance, and I was standing outside alone.

Me and my brother were the only gringos at the party, and I didn’t want to look like a fool, dancing in front of a room full of Peruvians.

But my brother was there, and he told me to be brave.

He encouraged me and I decided to go for it.

Right before I went in, he grabbed me by the arm and told me not to fall in love with the first girl I danced with.

I went in and looked around at all the people dancing in the dark.

I looked and looked but nobody caught my attention.

And then I saw Nery talking to a friend and laughing.

I thought that her laugh, and her smile, were so special and attractive.

They pulled me in.

We danced all night and at the end of the night, Nery gave me her phone number and she also gave me one of her earrings.

She said that if I didn’t call, and that if I didn’t take her out, she’d never get her favorite earring back.

She didn’t have to worry about that.

I fell in love with her the moment I saw her smile.

Every day, when I met her for lunch in between her jobs, or when I came to her hotel to walk her home, I looked forward to seeing her smile.

And I knew that if I could make her laugh, not only would she show me that beautiful smile of hers, but her eyes would light up, and her entire body would shake.

When you spend time with Nery, try to make her laugh, and watch how her shoulders go up and down and her body rumbles.

She laughs with all her spirit.

I've lived for the last 20 years with a woman who is the world’s hardest worker, and who loves to laugh.

Those are very good qualities if you ask me.

Where could I ever find another like her?

There aren’t any others. That is why my love will never change Nery.

I love you now more than ever and with every passing day my love grows.

Thank you everybody for your time and for being with us on this special day.

Thank you so much for your time today.

I hope that you have a truly blessed day.


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