Over 4 decades ago a handsome young Air Force soldier met, fell in love with and married a beautiful Taiwanese young woman. Their playground was the streets of Taipei and Taichung and all parts in between. listening to the stories of how my father would whisk my mom around town in his flashy little sports car and no matter where they were treated like royalty. Entrance into all the crowded nightclubs, prime tables at any restaurant they wanted and so much more. You see, at that moment in their lives, the movie Dr Zhivago had been playing and the people at these clubs, restaurants and even in the streets thought that my dad was OMAR SHARIF!!! The lead actor in Dr. Zhivago. Can you imagine that your doppelganger is in the height of his career and well, you can see why the royal treatment =) Regardless, imagine that you are young, in love and having the time of your lives and able to create and share in these amazing moments. This is their story… Quite often when I speak of my childhood I know that there may be people in my company that could question the authenticity of my escapades. Only because I have had the opportunity to live a very colorful life. Having been born in Taiwan and living their until I was 4 I was privy to many things because of my mother’s family. I was a little princess in the eyes of my Grandfather and even though he spoke no English, communication was a non issue. I spoke fluent Taiwanese ( as much as you can expect for a 4 year old) and my Father spoke conversational Taiwanese. I am told that despite the language barrier between my Father and Grandfather they would talk for hours. People around them thought they were crazy that they could not only understand each other but could carry on highly emphatic conversations filled with laughter and debate. Before my Dad’s tour in Taiwan was over my Grandfather had a conversation with him that still holds so much weight. My Grandfather made my Dad promise that he would love, provide for and honor my mother for always, no matter what! Shortly after, we moved to Michigan. This would be the first move in my life of many. Growing up in a military family is very similar to being a gypsy. Always moving. A new place. New people. Never having roots but the experiences, ohhhhhh the experiences. These experiences are a whole other blog post reserved for another time. My mother chose my father and he chose her. Then in the early 70′s, together they left Taiwan with me and my brother. Leaving everything she knew and her family, my mother made a new life with her growing family. Through the years I have learned a lot from their relationship. First, nothing is ever perfect. There were tough times and there were celebrations. Resilience as you grow older together and change is so important in sustaining a relationship. If you want longevity then you must know that love is work. You work at it every day. You work hard if you want to keep it. You don’t judge. You support. You stand by each other and like my father has repeated to me on more that a dozen occasions, you love each other NO MATTER WHAT. No matter if you age, gain weight, lose weight, have poor fashion sense, bad eating habits, new hobbies, new friends, old friends, pressures with life, jobs, kids etc…. Life, much like love is what you make of it, what you put into it and the insight you gain from these experiences mold you and those around you. So today on your anniversary, I wish you both many more decades of ups and downs and all the things that kept you together all of these years! I love you both so very much I hope you are doing something today that helps you to remember the “why”. Why you fell in love, why you married, why you raised three beautiful, amazingly talented, super smart, kids (it’s my blog, I can brag if I want to, hee hee) Happy, Happy, Happy Anniversary !!!!!!