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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Our first years of marriage

The best experience that I ever had in the Philippines and still ongoing is my wife. Marrying her has trumped everything prior I thought was a good experience.  What an amazing story my wife''s life is. She really started out in a very challenging way. Very very poor. So poor in fact that she had to eat root crops to survive as a child. Yet her life through an amazing unfolding of events that educated and strengthened her led to our paths crossing in 2007.

We had an amazing wedding and honeymoon on the Island of Palawan in February 2008. I even made sure I did it in the traditional way by asking her guardian (mom) for her hand in marriage together with my parents present whom we had brought over from the States for the occasion.  My wife and my parents soon became as close as soul mates as a long time need of my wife was fulfilled in her union with my parents. It was very beautiful to see.

After Palawan we settled into our home in Tarlac where we learned to face the challenges of managing such a big property together. Frankly I was grateful for the extra hand as I had found it quite task to do it by my self. She added that extra breath that was needed to help me have the creativity to make the finishing touches on our property.  My wife wanted to make the most of her new opportunity by sharing our property with others, especially church groups who were looking for a place to hold retreats and seminars. For the first two years of our marriage we were quite focused on helping the local community and various groups of people who enjoyed the property together with us.

Our baby daughter joined us at the end of 2008 and added that special dimension to our relationship that is hard to describe by words. My wife Chona is a wonderful mother and committed very much to teach our daughter what is most important in life. Because of that commitment our daughter is excelling in all aspects of her life. It's beautiful to see.

The first years of marriage were not without their challenges. We had various employee issues to deal with as well as financial struggles too. Not only were my wife and I adjusting to each other but our workers and the community as a whole was getting to know us as a couple. This is why we tried to open up our lives as much as possible to interact with people.

One particular reality we had to deal with was that the "Santa Claus" part of me needed to be curtailed once I had become a family man. For those of you reading who do not know me prior to my marriage not only was I generous I was so over the top I was considered "insanely generous" and ultimate Santa.  A friend and neighbors dream. I used to give out money and gifts like candy. It was my passion and my joy at that time of my life. But getting married suddenly changed my priorities and though I continued to be very generous it was not the same any longer. This caused some people to become resentful of my wife, even jealous of her having an influence on my life that turned down the Santa spigot.

By the summer of 2009 the jealousy of my wife got to the point that we became concerned about our own personal security and began to take steps to protect ourselves. This inspired us to be firm on our commitment to sell our property too. This situation made us reach out to others whom we sought help as we became more desperate in concern.

Even with the security concerns my wife and I really enjoyed our life together to the max. We traveled quite a bit making several trips back to Palawan and places like Baguio and Subic Bay. Her two brothers were living with us helping us out there so that allowed us to have the freedom to travel. We appreciated their hard work and they appreciated the opportunity to have a steady job.

I am so grateful for the woman God brought into my life. No doubt we were custom designed for each other. Life has never been better on a personal level since I met her.

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