As 2008 draws to a close, I just have to brag about my amazing fiance-- still so weird to call him that-- because starting out 2009 just makes our up-coming wedding and more importantly, marriage feel so... real. Chris and I have a long history and we were off and on for about 2 1/2 years before we even agreed to "be together."
I met him while I was at CCU and we hit it off right away. We talked non-stop, but he was dealing with recent baggage as was I in the relationship department. But we both knew how awesome it was everytime we were together. I was actually "the other woman" at the very beginning-- he was kind of "seeing" someone-- his then-best friend KC. Though they weren't exclusive and he talked to other girls here and there, I was the only one KC was ever jealous of. Hah. Chris blames that on the fact that I was Asian... he has a thing for Asian chicks. hah. But also that we talked theology and clicked right off the bat so I suppose that was it too :P
This past fall marked 5 years of knowing each other. I love waking up every morning knowing that he loves me no matter what. And I love being able to pray with him and being reassured of knowing that I'm marrying the right man. We went through a lot and yet I know that those things that we went through together or even apart, are what makes us so unique and completely made for each other. Never did I ever think that I'd end up with someone who is so completely perfect for me in all the changes that I face and manage to adapt to.
We still joke about when we had "The Talk" with my parents-- he started out the conversation with "I love your daughter... I love her a lot." and it just warms my heart to remember that. When my dad asked how I felt about him *in front of him* and if I was ready for such a relationship, I got SO nervous-- as I've never had the talk with my parents with my guy present even though I was previously in a 4 year relationship before Chris-- granted, my dad never liked any guy anyway and it was surprising that he liked Chris enough to even sit down with the both of us to have THE TALK, so this was huge-- I mumbled something incredibly incoherent and totally didn't make sense to anyone including Chris, but what I meant was "Neither one of us did anything to 'try to make this work'-- it just did. We even tried to fight this relationship because we knew everything that was going to go into it and all the risks that we would be approving of like the distance, the cultural differences (they make a HUGE difference), etc., but at the end of the day, neither one of us compromised anything that we felt God had put into place for us as individuals just so we could be together as a couple." Does that make sense?
During our off-timing, he'd disappear and just do his own thing-- not so much to date anyone or go out with his buddies, but he'd bury himself in his work at the studio and stress out by himself. I'd know every time he'd call out of the blue that he'd disappear again in a few days. Now when we talk about it, he admits that he knew what he was doing and he just couldn't bear to feel that close to me after a couple days or weeks of talking to me. His baggage lead him to believe that I deserved so much better. My heart couldn't take it sometimes. I'd go out with other guys some nights to see if it would make a difference, come back home and wish that Chris would just call and hope that he wasn't out with other girls. The night I would remember to, I'd shut off my phone just in case he *would* call... he didn't call those nights. Now on the nights that I would forget to shut off my phone, it was like I was the butt of some horrible joke because he'd call every one of those nights and I, being pretty bad about actually answering late night calls out of habit, would pick up... and how glorious those nights would be-- we'd talk until the early morning and even though I'd be dead tired at work, I'd smile all day because I got to hear his voice. And then he'd disappear again at the end of the week with a "So I'll talk to you soon." I cried so much those 2 years. I never asked for closure with him because I was afraid I'd get it. He said he wouldn't have given it to me because it would have meant that we were over. I didn't know there was a "we" back then.
It's funny cause in the midst of all that, I fell in love with him. Real love, the kind of love that makes the sky turn colors, my heart scream like the wind on a autumn night, my face beam with complete giddy-ness just because I could remember what it sounded like when he says my name, the kind of love that made me long to have a family with him and blend our souls together to see what our babies would look like, the kind of love that made my body burn with complete self-less love for someone that I would allow him to be happy even if it was without me. More over, it was the kind of love that made me pray for him every night that somehow, he was okay and if it was ever in His will, that I would someday vow my very heart and soul to serving him as his wife and lifelong companion. I now realize that those prayers were not in vain as God was preparing the man of my dreams just for me.
It doesn't sound depressing, does it? I assure you it's not. Because in the midst of finding who I could love this much, I found that I was capable of completely and self-lessly loving someone. Not only was I capable of it, I was willing. Some nights when we would talk, I would almost have to catch myself before I blurted "I love you" out instead of saying "good night." I had to make a concious effort. He tells me that he was the same way many nights.
During those times, I wrote him so many letters just pouring my heart out to him. He's only gotten 2. I remember finally reading him the letter that I wrote during our biggest haitus of not talking at which point, it just crushed him and tore at his heart. I cried as I read it to him... and I'll never forget his genuine apology afterwards. I addressed the things that my heart longed for with him. And I told him how much I wanted to just "hate" him so letting him go would be so much easier. And that maybe if we were on bad terms at least then I was "better off without him." I told him that I stood by him through everything... even through all the things that he thought he was facing alone. What more did he want? Didn't those things matter to him? And yet, I knew... I knew that they did matter. More than I'd ever be able to know, but this... this was not the time for "us." We struggled through those off-times with personal journeys and hard lessons that would not have been possible had we been consumed with a complete relationship with each other. And we did what we had to.
Finally, May of 2006, we started talking again. On a regular basis. He wanted to see me again so bad (Mind you, these off times happened over a span of 2 1/2 years and 1 1/2 years of not seeing each other). Okay, so I wanted to see him just as bad if not more. And we made arrangements. And when I jokingly asked what this makes "us," he said "I have no doubt that we will be a big topic of discussion this time." We always joked that we were only as single as the other person let us be... and when he asked me if he was my "boyfriend"-- the answer? He's actually the corners of my smile. When I got to LAX, it was like no time had passed in between the last time we were physically together. His kiss was everything I remembered it to be. My face burned from the excitement that was bursting from my heart. And my cheeks hurt from holding my uncontrollable smile. It felt so good to feel him hug me and read in his eyes that he loved me. We didn't dare say those things yet though just in case we jinxed ourselves. Oh we couldn't keep our hands off each other and I just wanted to constantly be holding his hand and kissing him. I'll never forget... that night before we headed to bed, he held me in the dark and said "Baby....?" "Yes?" I answered after his long pause... my heart was racing because I knew he did! He was going to say it! He didn't answer, just kissed the side of my neck and held me while we fell asleep. I knew he did.
The next night, he wanted to show me their new equipment at the studio so we ventured off after a day of shopping and lounging. I loved it. I loved being able to hold his hand everywhere, getting to sit next to him at lunch, making faces at him when I caught him looking at me, and making him wait in the dressing room while I tried on anything I thought was cute or classy. Gosh I loved this man.
Anyway, getting to the studio, he turned on 50 First Dates and used the photo-shoot white background wall/area for our very own drive-in theater. Wow, it was perfect. He even pulled the truck in so we could lay in the bed of the truck to watch the movie. The projector started acting up about half way through the movie-- apparently (me thinks that Chris actually planned it)-- and during the scene where Drew Barrymore's character Lucy is video-taping Adam Sandler's Henry on the beach at night so she would remember everything in the morning and asked him "Do you love me?" the projector shut off. We lay in the dark like that and I think I nervously laughed a little since he wasn't getting up to fix the projector. There in the dark, I felt him turn towards me and he whispered "Baby, do you love me?" Oh no he didn't! He's making me say it first! Being me, my initial thought was dishing out something witty and funny or asking him the question back, but deep inside me, I wanted him to know. "Yes. I love you. ....Do you love me?" He held me and without a hesitation "Yes. I love you. So much." My heart burst. 2 1/2 years. I tried not to cry and yet it happened. Tears streamed down my face because I knew that this was it. And it had always been him. No one else. Oh it was glorious.
The next morning as we sat on his bed, we talked some about what our "love lives" looked like in between the times that we actually talked. It was hard to hear some of it as I knew that he at least went out on a couple dates, but in the end, I asked him if he meant what he said last night. He gazed into my eyes and said that he meant every word... "I love you." I asked "... so no more disappearing?" "No more disappearing."
I actually met his parents that weekend as well-- we went to the Angels' game with them and his parents fell in love with me-- can't blame them. I'm so charming :P We went to dinner with them before they headed back home and I knew that this really was it.
We still tried to act casual about it. Chris even sat there holding my hand and said "You know, it would be so cool, rhetorically speaking, if we got married cause we could have 2 weddings! A big one in MN and then one here in CA. Rhetorically speaking though." I laughed.
Now here we are planning our wedding for September 19th 2009 and I couldn't be more overwhelmed with love for someone than him-- well, my nieces and nephew and my family can't count. He encompasses everything good in me and aspires me to be better than I ever thought I could be. On days that we don't click, he still gets me and lets me "brat" it out. Sure I tick him off sometimes, but he never thinks or wishes that he's better off without me or wasn't with me. As one of life's biggest contradictions, it's so freeing to be captured by him and his love for me. And I realize how good God is even when I'm not because of Chris. For being an impatient person, I put him to shame in that patience department. I'm stubborn and many times, a button-pusher, especially when I come to know those buttons. Chris loves me regardless and is always the first to apologize. I love him with everything I am and am working at trying to perfect that love in action-- good thing we have until forever and beyond.
I love you, Baby, and I am so excited as we venture off into 2009 and everything it has to offer us as individuals and as "meandyou"-- no spaces in between.