Happy thirty-first anniversary, my beloved.
You are the love of my life and I don’t want to live one day without you.
It is hard to believe we have been together since the summer of 1990. For more than thirty years, you have helped me grow. I want to thank you for your love. You are a wonderful provider and a mighty protector.
As a little girl, born in a faraway land, I never dreamed of meeting a Duke like you. I thought I must be strong, fight for myself, and protect my family. Anything a boy can do, so can I.
One day in my sophomore year, you showed up at my college. “Who is he? An exchange student? Where is he from?” I heard girls in my dorm giggling with excitement. Back then, China’s door was just opened to the outside world. Foreigners always caused traffic to stop.
You are tall, handsome, dark brown curly hair, olive-skinned, dressed impeccably in a three-piece suit. Many girls think they have to work hard to get you. I never paid much attention to you. I have big dreams for myself. Plus you are just too stiff for my taste.
Then one spring morning, everything changed. You walked to me, “I heard your English is the best in your grade. Could you help me teach the children in a nearby village, during your summer break?”
“Yes. I will be glad to.” I responded. That was how I became an English teacher for bright-eyed 5-year-olds. You stood in the back of the room when I taught, smiling. Through your gentle nodding, I found comfort and encouragement, and I could face the stern looks on the parents’ faces.
At the end of the summer, I had my first kiss. That night, you pulled me close to your chest, your deep brown eyes and unfamiliar male scent made my heart beat faster. I found myself in love for the first time. I was in awe of your old-world elegance. Once I asked you, “Where does this regal presence come from?” I learned much later you are from a royal bloodline though you never told anyone.
When I think of you, I see a fortress that can never be taken. You have weathered many storms and have lived through many forms. Sometimes you are sparkling like gold, other times you are shining like silver.
I found you to be a gentle lover. You are willing to go where I want to go. You treasured my purity and treated me like a delicate flower. You never questioned my motivation. In your strong embrace, I felt love.
Three years later, I followed you to your home country, the land of the free, home of the brave. “Don’t worry, I am here for you.” You told me through my initial culture shock.
I followed my heart to do what I was passionate about. Whenever I turned, I noticed your subtle presence, in the trips we took, in the family we built together, in the Thanksgiving dinners/baskets we made for less fortunate families, in a gift certificate we sent to a father and son to see snow for the first time. I grew bolder in your support.
As my confidence grew, I got lost in the praise people had for me and forgot about my gratitude for you. I didn’t even notice your unhappiness. I thought you would never leave me. I am so sorry I took you for granted.
In 2006, in my vulnerable moment of being a new mom, you almost walked out. The single tear in your eye was full of pain. Looking at the numbers on a paper in the attorney’s office, I cried with a broken heart. I swallowed my pride and asked for a second chance. Many sleepless nights later, against all odds, our love relationship endured. We built it up again, this time even bigger and stronger.
Ten years later, as I was flying high on the international stage, a crisis unexpectedly hit at home and I nearly lost you again. “Life is happening for me, not to me.” I reminded myself during the darkest hours. I followed the experts' guidance. It took six long years and a miracle to achieve the unachievable and our relationship was once again saved.
I know now that you and I are a match made in heaven. Hand in hand, we are rising to the sky. We will have many more amazing adventures together.
You and me, WeiLi and Money. We are here to serve the world.
“Planet is our playground and love is our legacy.”