My darling wife,
It still amazes me sometimes how the words ‘Weili’ and ‘my wife’ have become so synonymous to me. On occasion, I am reminded again of those conversations I had with my best guy buddies about you – my certainty and security in the decision I was making (to be with you). I am reminded of how sure I was when I told one of them: “I don’t need your approval on this.” How I became so sure – whether it was my meditations and search into my own heart, or whether it was God steadying a normally deeply ruminative and pensive me – I do not know.
What I do know was a clear thought I had in those early days when we were not-yet-a-couple (you know, as young people nowadays call it “not not-together”): Weili will make an awesome wife and even more awesome mother. How did I know? Maybe it was my observations of you, maybe it was your deeply kind heart that shone through. Sure, there are days when we get frustrated, angry and tempted to be bitter; but your loveliness always shows.
Parenthood has changed us. The responsibility of bonding with Xuheng, teaching him the ways of the world (so he can take care of himself) and the ways of God (so he can love people) lies squarely on us. Life will never be the same again. It will never again be just the two of us, we will rarely have those carefree, relaxing days together. Every word we utter, every response we give, every action we make, every interaction we have forms part of Xuheng’s education into his own man.
You may not know this. There are many mornings when we are driving to work, I take a glance in my rear mirror and I see only you. I see you, my wife, cooing and playing with my son who is hidden out of sight. I see you, Xuheng’s mother, so full of tenderness towards the offspring of our love and I know in those moments that I am fulfilled as a man. I know in those moments when I smile to myself in the driver’s seat, that God has fulfilled those thoughts I had of you early on as my wife and mother. I know in those split seconds that my life has meaning – hard as it is sometimes – that I will go on for you and for our family. These moments you may not know, but I know. I know them so deeply.
When I look back, I am amazed at how far we’ve come; how much we’ve changed. This bond we share evolves with each year, each stage of life we go through. What was once fiery romance tempers into a strong tenderness, what was once impatient longing mellows into gentle missing. This bond we have changes and will continue to change, but it is no less strong day by each day.
And so this Valentines’ Day, I celebrate our bond – our ever changing, ever growing bond. Bonds strengthened by happinesses and unhappinesses, bonds tied together as much by our similarities as by our differences, bonds built by our acceptance of each other. May Xuheng find too his security here between us.
“When love beckons to you follow him, though his ways are hard and steep.” – Kahlil Gibran
your husband Liren