There must have been an angel by my side
Something heavenly led me to you
Look at the sky
It’s the color of love
There must have been an angel by my side
Something heavenly came down from above
He led me to you
– from Sade’s Kiss of Life
“It won’t be easy”, he said. That was fifteen years ago the night before my wedding when I asked my dad what he thought the secret to a long marriage would be. I laughed because that is what he’d always say when you pressed him about his own marriage. “It hasn’t been easy.” It was always a laughing matter but that night he just told me there is no roadmap but rather a lot of sweat and hard work. He told me marriage to him was a lot like a second job and if you don’t love it you won’t be good at it.
Well march ahead 15 years: 2 kids, 3 homes, 4 jobs, 5 cars, and 15 lbs( 1 for every year of marriage) later I can say he was right but it has been worth every minute. Last year when we had our 14th, I was sitting around talking with my wife in a Little Italy bar in New York saying how the first 14 years had gone quite smoothly despite the loss of my father and one miscarriage. We felt pretty blessed and there was no doubt we married the right person. Little did we know then that about a month later we would find my wife would be diagnosed with breast cancer. I don’t think this is what my dad had in mind.
Today’s anniversary will be marked by the passing of two icons from my childhood, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson. My mother reminded me of how I had both of their posters up in my room as a kid. We laughed at how my Chinese grandmother who didn’t speak English had remarked that her grandson had posters of a Black man (Hock gwoi or black ghost) and a half naked white woman (Bock gwoi or White Ghost) up all over his bedroom and that she was not happy about it. I was fortunate to have met Farrah Fawcett as an 8-yr old on the set of Charlie’s Angels as we knew the hairstylist on the set. She was the first “older lady” I had a crush on and I was the envy of all my friends as I had her autograph. Back then though she was married to the “Six Million Dollar Man”, Lee Majors. I hated his guts. LOL!
It reminds us of how fragile life is and how we must take care of ourselves. We all know Michael lived a secluded and eccentric lifestyle which did not appear healthy. The cancer that Farrah Fawcett had usually has a 70% mortality rate if caught early which was not the case for her.
Today also marked for me the first day of a new cholesterol fighting drug for me. My doctor says this is precautionary as although I lead a healthier lifestyle than most with exercise and diet, my levels are high mostly from a genetic standpoint. I’m not going to fight it. He’s right, but I do have to give up grapefruit for the rest of my life it seems as it doesn’t react well with the drug.
Like our marriage, we didn’t do anything special for our anniversary. In 2 days my in-laws will be celebrating their 50th anniversary. And as they wished, they won’t be doing anything. We’re different though. We’re just not doing anything because we are both busy right now. We’ll celebrate in a couple weeks when our calendar frees up. I had to look it up but I was shocked at the traditional gifts for commemorating a 15th anniversary:
Our marriage has never been by the book so those gifts are just guidelines we will choose not to follow. I have to laugh at this title of this entry as it is the name of the song I chose for our first dance. My wife didn’t like it and had actually said no when I proposed it to her. A few weeks later she brought me the same song and said she heard it on the radio and thought it would be perfect. I looked at her asi if to say, “So this is how it is going to be?” I just smiled and swallowed my pride.
Sure my wife and I have our spats. It is because we are passionate about our marriage and we have lots to fight for. It hasn’t been an easy 15 years but they have moved swiftly and with plenty of memories. The Kiss of Life was the right son for us and hopefully we’ll have plenty more.