Wednesday, May 11, 2005

How I met my husband

.... This is for all my friends who are curious about how I met my husband....

Have you ever thought how easy it is if God can just tell you clearly somehow who your soulmate is ?

I heard a story about how this priest was told by God that the lady in front of him is his future wife. That wasn't the only story that I have heard when God can be so straight forward telling people who their soulmates are. But on every story that I heard, the people that are lucky enough to receive such a clear instruction from God are always a priest. Or in other word, holy people, good people, and not people like me. Who are not great. Not that amazingly innocent. Do sins on daily basis. Regular guy. And just like everybody, I wish choosing a husband can be that easy and in my heart I never believe that I would be that lucky based on my life record so far. I have a track of dating the wrong men.

From 1995 to 1996 I was dating a Korean guy. He is a nice guy but it's just impossible for me to move to Korea and I don't think I can fit in with his family. Right after we became a couple, I met my husband. The next story is based on my husband's story. I would just repeat what he told me.

Richard and me happened to have the same friend, Kirk, a Malaysian guy. And the same time my bestfriend Yuliana ( Wike is her nickname ) from kindergarden move-in with me from Portland as a single because she was recently broked up with her old boyfriend. Since my husband never have a girlfriend before Kirk was trying to fixed him up with a girl. First, he offered to introduce Richard to a girl named Yuliana, but just by hearing her name, Richard refused, he thought the name sounds funny. What a picky guy huh? Then Kirk mention Yuliana's room mate which is me, Yohana. Then my husband thought I have a sweet name that he just loves to hear. He admited this on our wedding night that he fell in love with my name, before he even saw me.

Kirk knowing that I just recently changed my status from single to couple again refused to introduce me to Richard because he didn't want the complication with my Korean boyfriend. But Richard insist and Kirk still refused.

Until one night, Wike (Yuliana) has an assignment from her art class to attend a musical recital in the Music Hall with Kirk, they both took the same class. And Kirk asked Richard to go with them as well. At that time, Wike's ex boyfriend status has changed back to boyfriend because he moved to Oklahoma as well from Portland so he can asked her back to be his girlfriend. And normally, he is the one who will drive Wike and pick her up again but it happended that night his car key was locked inside the car and he would definitely be late to pick her up from the music recital. So he called me and asked me to pick her up. I was asleep when he called me, so I just wear my sleeping T-shirt and a jeans and drive fast to pick up Wike. I did not even bother to comb my hair. What for right? I just need to pick up my room mate anyway. How would I know I would meet my future husband right then ????

So I arrived at the Music Hall and I saw Wike, Kirk, and a guy ( Richard ) stood outside waiting. I stop my car near them and yell at Wike to get into my car since her boyfriend could not pick her up tonight. What Kirk saw was me with my messy clothes and messy hair yell at Wike and off we go. But Richard saw a different view than Kirk. He saw a girl that he can fall in love with. I could not even believe it myself when he told me this later.

Since then Richard kept on asking Kirk to introduce us but Kirk still refused. Until one time he couldn't stand it anymore and took Richard to my home. We had fun then because I cook them dinner, Richard helped, while Kirk looked uncomfortable all the time he was there like he was worried if my boyfriend will show up. But after that I forgot all about Richard because I never realize that he likes me.

The time kept moving and it's already 8 months since I started dating my boyfriend. Again, Wike and Kirk made a plan of going to a gun range where you can rent a gun, buy some amunitions, and start practising shooting. Since they both never held a gun in their life, they brought Richard who used to have a gun in the military school. Richard rank in the military was an officer in the Missile Department. And being a good bestfriend that she is, she asked me to go with her too. And since my Korean boyfriend also went to military school and knows how to use a gun, I took him with me as well. But once we use the gun and heard how loud it can be, Wike, Kirk, and me decide to quit early and just stand outside the practising room. So, there were 2 guys, my boyfriend and my future husband in the same room and both holding guns. I have no idea what they talked about in there but on the way home, my boyfriend told me that Richard is obviously in love with me. And I thought my boyfriend was nuts ... He also told me how muscular Richard is, and I thought he was nutter than a peanut....

Move forward to a year. My boyfriend and me decide to split up. It was a nice split up because we both realize that none of us are willing to sacrifice and move to each other country. Maybe we just didn't love each other enough. Since the split is civilized, sometimes, my now-ex-boyfriend still came to visit me just to say hello.

And since news travel at the speed of light, Richard heard about my new single status and he decide that now is the time to really do something about it. Because he is shy, he send me a messenger, a Malaysian guy, to carry his gift and the card. Funny how everything happen so exactly right. When the messenger knocked at my door, it happended that my ex was using the bathroom. So the messenger never saw anyone. I was surprise to see this stranger outside my door gave me a package and a card and then ran the hell out. So I closed the door, bring the stuff in. Then my ex came out from the bathroom and asked who was that knocking at the door and I said I have no idea but that guy brought a gift and a card and I gave them to my ex. He was the one who opened the gift. It was a wall decoration in the shape of Canadian Mounty. Richard just came back from a trip to Toronto with Kirk at that time. Then we both read the card. I don't remember all the things that he wrote there but I was surprise with the sign that says " I love you " on top of his signature. When I read his name, I wasn't even sure if I can remember who Richard is. In fact, my ex the one who can vividly remember him and he help me to remember. He told me again about his comment on Richard in the gun range. Then even weirder, he told me that if I am looking for a new boyfriend who can be a great candidate to be future husband, I should accept Richard. He told me that he can sense that Richard is a nice guy and he will be great for me. I just dismissed his comment again ...

Move forward to about a month. Richard called me out of the blue and asked me if I want to see movie with him and his friends. He knows that I would not be comfortable enough yet to go out just with him. I want to refused but he was so persistent and I gave in. But right before the time when he suppose to pick me up, he called and tell me that all his friends canceled it. Yeah right... I know when I got tricked. Too late now.

So he picked me up on time and took me to the movie. While I thought we need to buy the tickets, he already bought them and he escort me to our chairs right away. This is impressed me because I admire people who planned ahead. I don't quite remember how it went but Richard remember everything even until now. I just know that after the movie, he insist on taking me to a dinner that is far away so he can have more time with me. And on the way to the dinner, he drives me crazy with his driving because he did not look at the road but at me all the way there and he was driving 40mph in the highway !!!! He also stop first to buy me roses on the way there. Made me even more uncomfortable. Since I agree to go out with him under the assumption that this is going to be a casual gathering with friends. Not a full blown date.

But we did have a lovely time together and even more amazing, right after dinner, he took me home and we talked at the front of my home for hours and hours until dawn! Then I went inside to sleep since I had a class in a few hours.

I guess Richard did not go home , instead he went to a card store and buy another card. Inside he wrote a thank you letter for giving him such a lovely time. Then he went back to my home and slide the card under the door so I would see it when I was on the way out. I did and I thought this is mighty sweet of him.

Since that day, we went out more and every time he never fails to give me a card telling me that he had a wonderfull time with me or just plain to say that he loves me. And he is very creative in giving me these cards. Sometimes he slide them under my front door, slip them under my car wiper on my drive way or at the school parking lot. The first time I received the card on my school parking lot I had a heart attack because I thought I got a ticket. Because of the constant frequency of receiving the cards, all my female classmates heard about it and at the end of our classes they always walked me back to my car so they can read the card as well and then they will oohh... ahhhh.... together over it. This is becomes like a routine activities. I did not tell Richard that his cards are public property now. I don't think he mind about it.

After couple of months of this datings, Richard pop the question on if there is any possibility of me loving him. And since I am a very straight forward person I told him that I think he is on the right track with me but I don't love him yet. And he said that's good to hear and he wants me to take my time because he is not rushing me into anything.

When summer came in 1996, I went back to Surabaya to be with my family. Not a day go by without Richard calling me for 3 hours each time. And at one time, he told me that his intention for dating me is for marriage. He wanted to make sure that I won't play him around. He asked me this because I have a long list of exes. I was really impressed with his question because there are more men out there who is commitment phobic. And he is really taking his chances with me yet he is not scared. Then I moved the mouthpiece a little far then I yell at my father who was reading in his room. " PA...... I get a marriage proposal !!!! ". I heard my father yell at me back, " which one is this ? ". Then I yell again, " The Taiwanese one!!! ".

20 days later, I am ready to go back to the US. Since I use EVA Air, I have to transit in Taipei first. Unfortunately, I got really sick in Taipei airport because I think I ate a bad shrimp in the airplane. I had a really bad food poisoning that left me completely dehydrate and I have to be sent to the emergency room. Thank God, I met a church friend in the boarding room, I gave him Wike's phone number and told him to tell Wike about my condition right now. When they sent me to the hospital, he made the call. Actually I expect him to call Wike when he is back to the US. But he did more than that by calling Wike in the Boarding area. I stayed for couple of hours in the emergency room guarded by 4 Eva Air employees until I am completely re-hydrated again. They gave me IV fluid.

Then they send me to EVA Air Hotel to rest for my tomorrow flight. When I entered my room, the phone rang. I thought how odd , what does the front desk want to ask me again since I just talked to them to get my key. But when I picked up the phone, it was Richard ! I said how did you know where I am ? He told me that Wike got a phone call from that wonderfull man and she called my parents to tell them about my condition. And my parents asked Wike to get help from Richard to find out about me since Richard is a Taiwanese too so language shouldn't be a problem. True, Richard made some phone calls and he found me. The next day when I was back to the airport, the whole EVA Air's employees told me that my boyfriends made so many calls to find out about me. They all smilng at me, it kind of making me feel embarass....

Richard picked me up in the airport with a bouquet of roses on his hand. While he took care of my lugages, he told me to sit in the car first. When I open the car's door, I found another bouquet of flowers waiting for me. That was sweet of him. While driving back to my place, he showed me that he just install a brand new 10 CD Changer and all 10 CDs are the kind of music that I like, then he handed me the remote control. Who said that a man always wants to control the remote ????

When we arrived, he told me to go inside first while he unloaded the suitcases from the car. When I opened the door, I found that the whole house has been decorated by him with flowers. Every where I saw, there was more flowers. Every table has flowers. Then I look up, the ceiling was full with ballons that welcoming me back home and some said "I love you". I turn to the dining room, the table has been set with candles, plates and utensils. Richard told me that originally he planned to cook steak for me but since I am still weak, he made me a milkfish porridge instead. I agree since my digestion is still weak. But he already bought the champange, strawberries and the chocolates, so he let me decide if I think I can handle those food. And after a lovely meal, he still surprise me with a big gift all wrapped up nicely. When I opened it, it was a beautiful dress that I love but could not afford to buy. He still remember that dress when he accompanied me to the mall 2 months ago.

With my exes, I usually always jump the gun. But with Richard I really took my time. I did not want to rush like before. Even Wike, my sweet bestfriend kept pestering me on when I would take Richard to be my boyfriend. She said what am I waiting for, I finally met a man who is more romantic than I ever wish. She is right on that score. In my heart I know that Richard is the one, but I am afraid to make the same mistakes again. So I tried to hold off as long as I can. It's been 3 months since we start seriously dating each other and I think now is the time.

Richard knew for the first time that I finally accept him as my boyfriend is when he took me to shopping and when the shopkeeper asked me something, I told her to give the shopping bag to my boyfriend. When I said that, I look at Richard and he smiled.

A month since we are officially boyfriend and girlfriend, he drove me to Dallas,TX for fun. We went to Galeria Shopping Mall and over there, there is Tiffany&Co jewelry store. Richard asked me if I want to see inside but I refused believing that Tiffany only sells jewelries above 20,000 dollars. Richard insist on going inside saying that that is not true and plus seeing is free. So we went in and I found out that he is right. Most of the jewelries there are not that expensive at all. So I had fun looking around and even asked their prices and the shopkeeper told me to try it on. I want to refused but Richard said go ahead try it. So I did. All those time, I did not know that Richard is watching me very carefully, he tried to judge which one really caught my eyes. And when he knew I found the one that I like the most, he just handed his credit card to the shopkeeper, then he look at me and asked me if I would like to be engage with him. Everybody in that stores heard that and they all smiling at me. But I was absolutely mortified because I am not ready ! I think I turn pale. I took the ring off my finger, I shoved it back to the shopkeeper, grabbed the credit card back, gave it to Richard, then dragged him out from the store ! The last thing I heard was the security guard was trying to suppress his laugh. I told Richard not to give me another heart attack.

After that our relationship just keep on moving forward without any problems. Everything went fine and my mom kept calling me periodically to ask if we have any fights yet and I said no. Until about 6 months into our relationship that my mom finally opened up to me and drop the bom.....

She told me that couple months ago at my grandma birthday party in my home something happend. As usual, my mom invite all our family and their church friends to come. One of the guest was Wike's uncle, but he said he would be very late because that night he was in charge of driving a priest from Jakarta to the prayer meeting than back to the hotel again. In fact, he can only stop for a short time with the priest before they went back to the hotel. My mom said that's ok. True to his words, he brought the priest to the party. And when my mom saw the priest, she asked him to pray for a blessing for my grandma. The priest pray for God to bless my grandma, but to everybody surprise, he did not ended there but suddenly he said that God has a message for this family. God said that my father has a daughter named Yohana who at this time study in the States and I just recently have a new boyfriend from Taiwan and God wanted to let me know that he is the one. My soulmate.....

Everybody in that party just went quiet. Some of my cousins were talking to each other, am I not dating a Korean. Another said a Malaysia ( it's true as well).

After the prayer, Wike's uncle took the priest back to his hotel. On the way, he asked the priest if the message is right because as far as he knew, I was dating a Korean, not a Taiwanese. That rile up the priest who said that God said Taiwanese, not Korean, end of discussion. So Wike's uncle did not say anything after that. But at his home, he called my mom and asked how come the priest said my boyfriend is a Taiwanese when in fact a Korean. Then my mom told him for the first time that just 2 days ago I called to let my parents know that I am officially dating Richard now. My relationship was only 2 days old. Nobody else knows but my parents because I always let them know everytime I have a new one.

Even then, my mom did not want to let me know. She wants God to give her 2 more proofs. One, God will made Richard changed his religion from Buddhist into Christian without our influences. Then he should insist to marry me in the church.

Both of her requests are answered by God. For the wedding, he trully insist on us being married in the church. And one day, Richard while carrying his changed of clothes,told me that he already register a month ago for his baptism.

Now, when God gave me a husband does that mean my marriage life is full with happiness only? No sadness and only laughters ? The answer to that is no. We do have fights, I cried sometimes, he got mad at me, I got mad at him back. Some day I feel like asking God "Why him God??? ". And I am sure he asked God similar questions too.

When God gave you your soulmate, He did not mean that life would be only about fun. What He meant, like my marriage vow, was like this :

"I _____, take you ______, to be my wedded husband/wife. To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish 'till death do us part. And hereto I pledge you my faithfulness."

There would be lots of sadness, lots of cries, lots of fights, sickness, and maybe even death. But through all of these, God will take full responsibility of giving you your mate by giving you all the supports that you need.

Even when God gave me my husband, I know that there is no guarantee that he will always be faithfull to me. But since He gave me my husband, I give him back to God. I let God to keep watch of my husband. I can only pray. And I know, if there is someone that you can truly trust, it's God. So what ever happened, I know, my God will be there with me. And that's enough for me.

Until now I never stop thanking God for giving me my soulmate. I know it's now because I am good, it's the opposite I think. That's why I know it is only by His grace that I found my husband.

If you have stories about finding your soulmates don't hesitate to tell me your story.

Our wedding photo. Posted by Hello

In the limo , on the way to the reception. Posted by Hello

On our wedding party in Hilton Hotel in Portland. Posted by Hello

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