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A writer for CLM Magazine and CLM Social Pages, Achelle is also an independent blogger, giving her two cents on personal and social issues from an educated Filipina's point of view, especially those relating to love and relationships. She has a knack for tackling issues from unique angles that are often left unexplored, posing questions that move and challenge readers to view a certain issue from a wholly different perspective. Achelle is happily engaged to her childhood sweetheart and is currently based in the Philippines. Achelle's writing is a delight to read and highly enlightening, entertaining and thought provoking. You're going to see lots of her on our Emagazine, Blogs, Social Pages and Hubs. Enjoy
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An Unexpected, But Much Longed-For, Reunion    

By Achelle Vinzon
2431 Views | 6 Comments | 11/23/2013 4:44:29 PM

Even “the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry,” as the saying goes.  I was ready to wait two, maybe three, more years; but my fiancé got himself in a very tight bind, instead.  For two-and-a-half months, I was not sure what was going to happen to us.



I also met and fell in love with Elv.  He was gorgeous; he was sweet; he was perfect.  He also became Hans’ loyal companion as he tried his best to extricate himself from between a rock and a hard place.  I was grateful he had Elv during those difficult months, when I couldn’t physically be there for him and with him. (See Elv below.)



I didn’t expect things to go smoothly from the get-go.  Even after waiting sixteen years for something I have always felt was meant to happen, I did not fool myself into thinking that we will be rewarded with a fairy tale happy ending “just like that.”  We had to endure the trials and tribulations of a long-distance relationship; there were a lot of things that were still beyond our control.  But we were just happy enough to have found each other again that waiting a few more years before we could really be together was worth the longing and the frustrations. 



There were plenty of rough patches, but we always held on.  Those two-and-a-half months were the biggest test to our relationship; at the same time, getting through the darkest part of that tunnel also brought us even closer and validated the strength and rightness of our relationship even more. 



From spending everyday together via Skype, we were suddenly cut off from each other.  The only way we could communicate was through mobile chat and magic jack.  During the first few weeks, I was terrified.  The small light at the end of the tunnel which had always kept me pushing forward seemed to “flicker out.”  I was not sure if I had just always imagined it, or if perhaps it just got blocked. 



And then another terrible thing happened.  My grandmother, to whom I have always been close, fell critically ill.  For thirteen days, I, with my family, stood vigil and desperately hoped that she would pull through, just like she always did.  After the first few and most critical days of her stay in the ICU, I was finally able to talk to her; she was responsive, she was fighting, we were overjoyed and relieved.  That period didn’t last long. 



During this time, Hans tried his best to give me the comfort I needed.  My communication with him became even more infrequent because I spent a lot of hours in the hospital and communicating with family who were outside the country.  Of course, I still had my responsibilities as a single mom, too.  I was still worried sick about Hans, but my grandmother’s care was more important at that time.  There were plenty of times, when my mind was no longer distracted by the overwhelming tasks I had, that my worst fears for my grandmother, the stresses of being a single mom, and my worry for Hans finally engulfed me and I just broke down crying. 



After showing signs of strength, my grandmother’s condition quickly deteriorated.  We didn’t know how long she had.  We watched her flat-line and get resuscitated; I stood and listened helplessly as her children made the impossible decision of finally letting her go.  Just when I thought that that was the worst of it, I had to step up and sign her DNR form myself; her children couldn’t do it.  I was one of the few persons that the doctors and nurses communicated with regularly; I was given the form once her children made their decision.  I took the form to them, and they couldn’t sign it.  I found myself a quiet corner, tried my damnedest not to lose it completely, whispered “I’m sorry” over and over, and got it done and over with.  I did it for my beloved grandmother; she needed us to let her go.  Twenty-four hours after she went into a coma, she took her last breath.  She went peacefully, with all of us who loved her dearly surrounding her.   



I still messaged Hans as often as I could, and when I told him that I had to sign the form, he got upset.  He asked me to whisper in my grandmother’s ear that he promises to take care of me, that he would make her proud that I chose him to spend the rest of my life with, that he will always love me.  He told me how much he wished that he was with me, and how sorry he was that he couldn’t be.  He told me to be strong.  Even from 8,000 miles away, he gave me the comfort and strength I needed. 



When Hans and I first got engaged, I immediately shared the news with my grandmother.  She was sick at the time, and I asked her to please wait for me to get married.  I wanted her at my wedding.  She was very happy for me; she said, “Of course, I’ll be there.”  I knew seeing me get married was one of the best gifts I could give her.  Several months later, Hans visited me and my grandmother finally met him.  I saw the joy and pride in her eyes.  I am so glad they got to meet to each other.  I know when our big day finally comes, my grandmother will be there with us. 



I gave myself time to mourn; and then I had to go back to reality.  I still had my daughter to take care of; Hans needed me; I had bills to pay; my work was still waiting for me; there were big changes ahead that I had to prepare for.  After exploring all our options, the most logical and also the best one for our relationship became very apparent.  Hans was coming here, to be with me, and to start over. 



We started to make more concrete plans for the big move.  The financial aspect was the biggest obstacle, but we found a way to get over it.  There was no way he was leaving Elv, our dog, behind.  He could have flown here a lot sooner, but we had to come up with the money so Elv could fly with him, too.  There were times when we felt frustrated, hopeless, desperate; but we kept reminding each other, “We’re almost there.  This is the final stretch, and it’s a tough one, but we just have to keep pushing because we’re almost there.”



That night, when I picked him and Elv up at the airport, I was unexpectedly calm.  I thought I would feel more excited than I did when he visited me the previous year; that I would be beside myself with joy; that I would be brimming with all sorts of emotions.  Instead, there was a quiet happiness inside me.  This wasn’t how we planned to start our life together; he was supposed to be picking me up at the airport, not the other way around.  But I honestly did not care where we were; all that mattered was that we’re together.  Just like how we found each other again after sixteen years – unexpected, serendipitous, and, at the same time, as natural as the rising and setting of the moon everyday – our reunion, which was finally for good, just felt right.              


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Comments
(Showing 1 to 6 of 6) 1
#2013-11-23 20:21:17 by panda2009 @panda2009

Achelle Vinzon,

I have been waitting for your back. I'm really glad that you write blog here again. How about you and your family in the terrible typhoon?

When will you be together with Hans again?

Best wish

#2013-11-24 14:53:18 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

@Achelle - this is a very touching, and moving, description of the difficulties, the hardships, the tragedy and the heartwarming events you've experienced since your last blog. Please accept my heartfelt condolences on the demise of your beloved Grandma.

Please also accept my congratulations on your having been reunited with the love of your life, Hans. That's a wonderful confirmation that good things happen to good people.

Finally, congratulations, also on your having accepted into your life a new partner in the form of a dog, truly one of Mother Earth's most noble and admirable creatures. I truly and deeply believe that people who love and have chosen to live with pets, especially dogs and/or cats, have taken a giant step closer to enhancing and elevating their own souls.

In a short time you have truly come a long way Baby, and I mean that with true admiration. May Hans and Elv bring you enduring happiness, and may your Granny be with you in spirit for the rest of your adventure here on Earth.

#2013-11-25 14:28:56 by Barry1 @Barry1

@Achelle .

Just like two pieces of tempered steel being forged in the fiery kilns of an oppressively hot foundry, both you and Hans have been seared by the blowtorch of adversity and harsh experience, Achelle.

Being a relative newcomer to this site, I don't really know the background between you and Hans, but let me say that as an afficianado of fine prose, I enjoyed reading your heartfelt, well written article.

I'm sorry for the passing of your grandmother. Looking at her photo gave me an impression she was a fine lady who has without doubt, left a marvelous legacy of kindness and good works here on Earth.

It's said that people living deeply with honour, compassion and respect toward others have no fear of death. I definitely this was the case with your grandmother. So signing of the DNR form was a blessing for her, something you should feel absolutely no qualms about. I'm sure your souls will reunite together one day, of this I'm certain.

Without strength, there can be no courage.
Without courage, there can be no commitment.
Without commitment, there is no character.

My assessment is that you, dear Achelle, posses all of the above in spades - courage; character and commitment.

My sincere best wishes go to both you and Hans (and not forgetting Elv, of course!), for a truly fulfilling and happy life together. It's going to be a most wondrous and inspirational journey, I'm sure.

#2013-11-25 16:32:35 by AchelleVinzons @AchelleVinzons

@panda2009

Thank you for the warm welcome and for your concern regarding our situation after the typhoon. My family was fortunate enough to have not been in the direct path of Haiyan. All the same, all of us here (as the rest of the world is) are heartbroken by the loss of life, livelihood, and shelter of our countrymen.

Hans and I are finally together! The road ahead will still be a bit bumpy for us, but being able to face them together will definitely make things easier for both of us. I do believe all good things happen at the right time.

#2013-11-25 16:55:39 by AchelleVinzons @AchelleVinzons

@JohnAbbot

Hello John,

Thank you for your kind words. Elv has, indeed, been such a wonderful gift to us. He never fails to brighten our days; the trouble we went through to get him here was very much worth it! Of course, we want to thank you for all the help, support, and understanding you gave us (and still continue to give us).

Kindness can definitely make a huge difference in another person's life. It can move mountains, span great distances, and form meaningful human connections. The heartwarming feeling of being the recipient of such genuine kindness has reaffirmed my belief in its transcendent nature, and that opportunities to be kind to another are rare gifts that we should all value and act upon.

#2013-11-25 17:10:26 by AchelleVinzons @AchelleVinzons

@Barry1

Your words of kindness and encouragement are very much appreciated, Sir. It is so wonderful how today's technologies, while seemingly making personal and meaningful human contact more limited, can also be a very effective tool for a person to touch other people's lives.

We are very glad to have you here. I do hope you find what you're looking for, if you haven't yet. But just reading all the enjoyable and awe-inspiring blogs here is always time well-spent! Cheers!

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