This week, my wife and I are celebrating 5 years of marriage together. At times we both forget just how much we went through to be together. We met in Beijing, in the most beautiful hostel that I think either of us had ever stayed in– The Red Lantern. http://www.redlanternhouse.com/
She was staying there with a group of friends, I was there with my good friend Billy and his wife Virgia. We had been touring China from Hong Kong up and were a little weary from the long journey. We had a plan to stay the night at the Red Lantern and then head up and spend the night on the Great Wall of China. I had managed to arrange through the Chinese network the chance to do an overnight on the Wall and we jumped at the opportunity.
Except that I met Lili the night before– and had seen something very special in her. To make a long story short, I decided to let Billy and Virgia have a romantic night alone on the Wall and decided to haul up the Great Wall, take a picture and haul ass back to the city and spend some time with my German friend.
So there is the picture. As you can see, it was COLD. Winter like conditions in April. Still grey everywhere. Cold. I hoofed it up to the top, been there, done that, time to go meet my wife– thank you very much.
The next day, we went our separate ways– only to meet up at the same Buddhist Temple. This picture was taken from there…. Billy and Virgia had arrived back from the Great Wall– had an awesome time and we decided to go to the temple to see the big buddha on display– and Lili and her gang of Germans were also there. Here is a picture from that afternoon.
The next 24 hours were really what sealed our first moments together– I invited Lili out to have a duck dinner with us at one of the “famous” duck restaurants in China. She agreed and we went and had a great time with it. After dinner we split up from Billy and Virgia and went to see what Beijing was like at night. We wandered over to a small monastery which overlooked this beautiful pond and talked through the night about everything. It was such a fun evening that we floated back to our hostel.
The next day we split up, she went her way and we headed off to Xian. We texted back and forth– I was lost inside of her. We made plans to see each other again as soon as possible– which took a month or so– keep in mind that we had to travel 24 hours just to see each other… Such a crazy time.
… and here we are… 5 years into a marriage. Marriage is tough– make no mistake. Raising children is tough. Keeping a family together is tough– but it really is the most important thing you can ever do. Remembering the struggles that we went through just to be able to see one another is something that I forget from time to time, which is why we celebrate these milestones– it gives us the opportunity to think about how lucky we are to find love in our lives.