Almost a month ago, on January 20, 2017, the 45th President of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump, was sworn into the Office.
Today, February 17, 2017, is our 45th wedding anniversary. For some reason, the two sets of matching numbers – the two 45th events and the 17th day in February 2017 – are making me feel very lucky. What can I say? I love numbers!
I was planning to wait until our 50th anniversary to write something very special about us but decided to go ahead and do so sooner. After all, although both David and I are quite healthy, one never knows how life may change drastically between now and five years from now.
Going way back in time, long before I met David, I never forgot what my maternal grandmother had once said to me. “Reiko-chan, there is one very special person in this world who is meant just for you.” At the time, I didn’t give much thought to what she had said. Looking back, I cannot believe how foretelling her comment was.
Ever since David and I encountered each other in Japan in the summer of 1971, we have been inseparable. While I can and do go out on my own occasionally when necessary, I have no desire to go anywhere without him; nor does David without me. Since I left Chrysler in 2004, I felt no need to have an extra vehicle just for me. We have been getting along just fine with only one vehicle. Given my fiercely independent nature, this may strike you as strange.
Having grown up in Japan, I knew that it was considered socially unacceptable for a Japanese to marry a foreigner. People would say things like, “Only prostitutes marry foreigners.” Frankly, I did not care what others thought or said – especially knowing that I was leaving the country of my origin. I simply followed by heart.
I was unaware of the fact that until 1967, just 5 years before our wedding, interracial marriages were illegal in 24 states. Ignorance was bliss.
Having grown up in two completely different cultures, not to mention countries, it is rather remarkable that David and I have lasted all these years, don’t you think? I give most of the credit to David.
Here is my simple, twelve-point theory as to why and how our marriage has lasted all these years:
- Ever since I was little, I have always been fascinated by David’s country of origin. Having lived here for as many years as we have been married, the United States of America and what the country stands for continue to fascinate me.
- We were both very young and virtually had nothing of value to claim as our own except each other.
- Strong, instant attraction between us was a given.
- From the start of our relationship, I have been up front and blunt about how I would not tolerate one single episode of violence or any form of disrespect from David. “One wrong move you make, I’m out.” And I meant every word of it.
- My build-a-wall-around-me attitude reflects what I had learned while growing up in Japan about evil aspects of humanity. In stark contrast, David’s unconditional love for me has been nothing short of remarkable. He is like a wellspring of love, warmth, and everything beautiful about life. Affectionately, I think of him as my eternal puppy who follows me everywhere.
- He is my rock.
- I cherish the fact that David and I share similar values. For example, we always say to each other “Good morning,” “Thank you,” and “That’s a great idea (when it really is).”
- In everything I do, he is my biggest fan and supporter.
- To this day, I continue to learn a lot from David about many different aspects of life.
- David never fails to make me laugh every single day.
- We both love to eat. With few exceptions, both of us enjoy diverse ethnic foods. By the same token, we tolerate it when only one of us enjoys what the other does not.
- Above all else, we simply love and cherish each other’s company.
Every morning as I wake up next to David, I say to myself, “How much luckier can a girl be?” Life is good.