01 August, 2007

14 years ago today

1 August, 1993: I met a boy. A boy who renewed my faith in humanity. Who somehow managed to be masculine yet gentle. Sharp-witted, but kind.

This boy rode a motorcycle and knew Judo, yet visited his Grandma on Sundays and treated his parents with respect.

He was intelligent without being arrogant; self-confident but not pretentious.

We spent only four days together but that was it for us. You know how they say: "When it's right, you just know"?

We knew.

We bridged two countries and three cultures through letters and triple digit phone bills. Short visits here and there. And within five months we were engaged. Our friends were shocked. "How well do you really know each other?!" "Are you sure you know what you're doing?!"

We were sure.

1 August, 1995: We exchanged vows in Holland. Celebrated by friends and family from all over the globe. It was too hot to eat inside. The cake melted and we all reveled in the beautiful summer sunshine. A Russian friend played guitar and sang wistful songs about the Kazakh steppe. And we drank white beer with lemon to a bizarre playlist in the background that somehow combined Kool and the Gang with Faith No More.

We have always thrived on contradiction. Our temperaments are very different and our taste in music and neckties is probably something we will never be able to bridge. When it comes down to the fundamentals, however, we are two hands on the same belly, to use one of my favorite Dutch idioms.

Now here we are, two kids, two cats and one dog later. We have grown together and our worlds and personalities have become inextricably intertwined. We have amassed a wealth of common experiences: births and deaths; illnesses and happy occasions. Basically life itself, with all its bizarre twists and turns.

I am grateful for our serendipitous meeting and for the fact that we trusted our instincts and somehow made it work despite some formidable initial hurdles. Through my relationship with M I have become a better person. A stronger person. A happier person.

I have really enjoyed my life with M during these last 14 years. And look forward to the coming 60. I'd say he's a keeper...

13 comments:

Lisa said...

My goodness, Betsy, you and M are a GORGEOUS couple! Wowza. Your description of your meeting and life with M, so sweet. Thanks for the warm morning heart. :) Congrats on 14 yrs. together and may there be many more. *hugs* :)

christina said...

Aww, you guys are adorable. Congratulations!

Goofball said...

cool! Keep it going :)

Anonymous said...

THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES...
XXX
MGB

Jenn in Holland said...

Wow! What a find you are. This is a wonderful piece and I love the photos. What a great, strong base you've built for the next 60 years!
Thanks for coming over to introduce yourself to me. I am thrilled to meet you and look forward to much more exchange!

Brillig said...

Well, yeah! He certainly sounds like a keeper! Congratulations, you two!!!

Goofball said...

hey cool...Brillig and Jenn in Holland are coming over here as well now. I think you'll like each other.

Carol said...

Congratulations, Betsy and M!! I had much the same experience waaaaay back in 1980, but never thought it would work to leave my family and country for the unknown... so what "would have been" remains unknown.

Love the photos; what a handsome couple! You both look so happy!

Carol

Chui Hsia said...

Wait, you have TWO cats?! When did that happen?! Love the photos, happy anniversary :)

Betsy said...

Ha! That just proves how long we've been together-- I got a cat about 2 weeks after I met M. He got cancer suddenly when he was about 11 and started going downhill quickly so we had to have him put to sleep.

I liked the photos too! It was fun to dust off the old albums and look through the pictures again. In some ways it seems like an eternity since then, and in others it's flown by...

Heza said...

aw, that was a sweet post and inspirational from my point of view.

Africakid said...

Fun--I love the trip back in time! You two really do bring out the best in each other.

Runaway Rubber Duckie said...

What a romantic story!!
Happy anniversary of the day that changed your life!