It is the time again to celebrate love and family.
I wake up early morning, turn on my computer, place my fingertips on the keyboard and let my mind drift back to a decade. I am re-collecting the pieces of our love stories over the past thirteen years.
My husband, Ron, and I met through a mutual friend around Valentine day of 2002. Our first date was just a lunch at an Italian restaurant. I was very nervous on the first blind date, and I knew I was blushing the moment I saw him at the door. At that time I had fallen into a deep “valley” of my life and been desperately trying to get out of it. I had only two things then, a ached heart by a very difficult departure from a previous flame and a stormy relationship with my teenage boy. My confidence dropped so low that I even suspected that I would have the power to put things back together and to love someone again.
Here came this warm hearted man into my lonely planet. He took my hands, led me out of darkness and shed light into my life. He is also highly talented not only to repair the broken parts in my old townhouse but also to heal my broken heart. Even though we were from different cultural backgrounds, we felt immediately connected after we met and our communications deeply touched each other’s soul. He served as a mentor to my son by helping him improve his language skills and walking him through his confusing teenage time.
About a year later, on Valentine Day of 2003, the man presented me with a ring which we, then both engineers, designed together. A month later we had a simple wedding ceremony in the living room of my old townhouse, surrounded by a few relatives and close friends. Without any luxurious goods or expansive honeymoon, we started a family and the same time my new life!
A few month after our wedding we sold both houses owned by each of us prior to marriage. We moved into a new house sitting on a 1 – acre land, a tiny resemble of my husband’s beloved 400 – acre Wisconsin farm. We named our new property as “forest heaven”, which is indeed covered by different trees showing off various colors in each season to offer us a stunning view and a tranquility of nature. As conservatively living as we were, we paid off our mortgage a year after purchasing the property.
While my son gradually went out of isolated – self and became more involved in his school activities, we were expecting a new life. During my not so easy pregnancy, my husband accompanied me whenever I had hard time to sleep at night. We often sat together in front of fireplace watching snow falling, deers running across the yard or listening to the singing from different animals outside.
Our daughter, Amber, was born on July 2004. Starting toddler age, the “forest heaven” became her gigantic playground and the learning place on the nature and the animals. Every spring her daddy takes her in the yard to teach her how to distinguish different kinds of birds by their feathers and sounds. She also learned from her daddy how to feed birds and squirrels. The interactions with animals have taught Amber responsibility, love and care.
Our family serves as a warm harbor where every of its members can come to and freely express feelings. We communicate with each other the ups and downs at work or life, laughing or crying are all shared among us without any judgements. By the end, we all gained more courages and higher spirits to face the world again.
Occasionally we were arguing due to some disagreements, but we have our promise that under any situations we keep openness, honesty and trust on each other. With the promise in our minds, we have gone through some rough periods and our relationship has been going stronger.
Late last night, we decided to have a brief celebration of pre – Valentine Day. With a glass of wine in hand, Ron and I sat down to chat about what had happened through the day, the work, the house, the investments, the dream of retiring as early as in the next 5 years, etc. Then we kissed goodnight before we ended the fruitful day.
Today is another Valentine Day, as always, there will be no exchange of expensive gifts, display of flowers or dining at a fancy restaurant. Each of us will pick favorite activities to enjoy. Tonight Ron will take Amber to their favorite Chinese restaurant, my son and I are departing for our trip to my hometown, Xi’an at China to celebrate upcoming lunar new year.
Our Valentine Day is as simply as a everyday, however it reminds us that we are always here for each other regardless what happens in our life, simply because we provide each other with the love from the bottom of our hearts!