A little love story.

It’s no secret.  I love my husband.  I make it very apparent in my blogs and in real life.  Everyone who knows me hears it all the time.  He’s my favorite subject and I could gush for hours.   But seriously…I love my husband.  So I’m going to indulge myself by dedicating this post to him and along the way I hope you find it helpful or at the very least, amusing/entertaining.

Our story is my favorite.

My grandfather told me I would meet a light eyed, tall man, with a good education.  He told me I would marry him by 26.  I was 25 when he told me this.  I kept thinking…I don’t have much time to meet this mysterious man!  My grandfather was gifted when it came to reading lives and knowing the future.  You can be a skeptic if you want, but I believe and the hundreds of people that he helped will tell you the same.  If I ever doubted him, my love story would be the reason I found faith.

After my grandfather passed, I followed his instruction and got on shaadi.com to find my soul mate.  Not even a month after I joined, I came across Jayesh’s profile.  I thought, wow.  Not because of anything in particular, but I was drawn to him.  For some reason I couldn’t connect with him.  So for a few days I would just visit his profile and stare at his picture.  I know that sounds weird, but I was so drawn to him.  I felt so connected to him and I can’t explain it.  After almost a week of stalking his profile, I considered just plunking down the money and buying a membership so I could write him.  That night I got online to make the purchase and I had a message waiting in my inbox.  My heart flew to my throat when I saw his user name.  With trembling hands I opened his message, and I felt in my gut that my life was about to change.

We started emailing and on August 30th about 8 months before I turned 26 I talked to him on the phone for the first time.  I opened up immediately.  I felt so comfortable.  We talked everyday sometimes a few times a day.  I missed him when we weren’t on the phone.  After a few days of talking I booked my flight to meet him.  I was so excited and I couldn’t wait to see him.

September 19th just after noon, I met him.  We already had inside jokes and so that was how we started our initial meeting.  There was no ice to break, but we had joked that in order to break the ice we would slow motion run to each other.  Just something silly to get past the awkward first moment.  Only, it was never awkward.  My dad happened to be there on a business trip so he met us at the airport.  Yes, that’s right, just minutes after meeting me, Jayesh met my father.  My father, who never likes anyone, fell in love with Jayesh.  If not my instant connection, this was for sure a sign of good things to come.

We had sushi, we watched Rambo, we bonded.  It was the best weekend I had ever had.  We even cooked together.  There was this moment when I was sitting at the dinner table and Jayesh was going out to check on the steaks.  He very idly grazed my back with his hand as he was walking out.  There was so much love in that gesture and it was electricity through my body.  In that instant I felt linked to him.  I just knew my future was with this guy.  I just about melted with that little loving touch.  I looked around and suddenly saw his home in a different light.  That fridge would soon hold my favorite foods.  These closets would be full of my clothes.  Together we would furnish this house and turn it into our home.

Two weeks later I visited again.  I left my toothbrush and my hair products behind.  That Sunday night when I got home from the airport, we talked on the phone.  Not too much into that conversation we agreed to get married.  Just like that.  Four weeks after our first meeting, we decided to spend forever together.  It was so easy to say yes, I had no questions or doubt in my mind.  And although I didn’t know everything about Jayesh, I knew I wanted to spend my life getting to know him as my husband.

When we got off the phone, I remember going to the living room where my parents were sitting and telling them what we decided.  That moment is such a blur.  I wish I could remember it better, but I was still in shock.

That was October.  We got married in March, just after my 26th birthday.  We had a lovely honeymoon in Puerta Vallarta and in July we got married again, traditional style.

It was a whirlwind, but me and my gut-we’ve always been best friends, and my gut has never steered me wrong.

We often like to talk about how we met, because it was just all so meant to be.

Here is our story in pictures:

This is me with my bestest friend, right before I met my love.

This is our first concert and my second trip. I said ‘I love you’ that night!

Just like that, we were engaged!

He surprised me in India and proposed at the Taj Mahal!

We laugh a lot! So many inside jokes!

We play pretend!

This was our civil marriage.

This was our beautiful Hindu wedding ceremony.

We always have fun together!

We believe in forever. Jayesh designed our tattoos. Om symbol made with our initials. We got these for my birthday and our first anniversary.

We have a zest for life and we celebrate EVERYTHING. This was Jayesh’s 4th anniversary of his 29th birthday 😉  I was also about 4 months pregnant!

After a little over a year married, we were blessed with our angel. He was born just after our second anniversary!

I am so blessed to have this amazing man in my life. From all angles he is perfect to me. Even more so after we created our little angel.

After 4 years together, we still have such a blast. Baby, home, job, life – we still make time for each other.

When I first started seeing Jayesh, people would tell me it would get old.  That the passion would run out and I shouldn’t be so optimistic.  What a terrible thing to say to someone at the beginning of one of the toughest journeys.  I can be realistic and admit that relationships, marriages, are not easy.  It takes effort to make it work.  You have two different people coming together to live one life together.  There’s compromise and understanding, bending a bit here and there, and of course forgiveness and unconditional love.  It makes it easier when you’re very compatible with your mate.  To all those skeptics out there – if you’re out of passion, and not having a grand ol’ time with your partner – you’re doing it wrong.

To this day, when my husband comes home from work, I am excited.  When I hear the garage door open I get butterflies.  I rush to the door and greet him with a loving hug and kiss.  Occasionally we argue, but it ends so quickly I’m not sure you can call it arguing.  We disagree and then come to a compromise.  We both left our egos at the door when we got together and that is why I believe we resolve things so quickly.  It’s not about winning or who’s right.  It’s about what is best for US.  If someone wins, we both lose.  We are kind to one another, and we put each other first.  We have a balanced love.  Since I moved in, we have never gone one day without kissing each other goodbye in the morning.  It’s the little things that form the glue for our solid foundation.  Now that we have our son, I’m even more grateful for the love we share.  I am happy that my son will be able to learn from example what it takes to nurture a relationship.  Because the biggest lesson in all of this cannot be explained, it can only be witnessed.

Here’s my attempt at an explanation:

When you make each other a priority, far above anyone and anything else, a love grows that is indestructible because it is fortified with security.  When you are consistently kind to one another and only see the other in a positive light, there is no room for resentment, which is poison in a relationship.  Nothing stands a chance at tearing you apart because both people are so secure in the relationship that they know each other enough to ignore false information.

This all may seem like cheese-ball love, but it’s not.  It’s the glue.  So when my husband and I are faced with challenges, we instantly unite and we’re on the same wavelength.  I have so much respect for  him and him for me.  It is very apparent in how we treat each other.  On the same note, we don’t tolerate when the other is disrespected by someone else.  That’s a part of that ‘we are a team’ mentality.

The most important out of it all is honesty.  We don’t lie, period.

Also never bad mouth your partner.  It’s a form of betrayal.  Keep in mind that your love for them will allow you to forgive and possibly forget, but the people you tell your problems to will not.  Have each others back and praise them!

I’m his biggest fan, and he is mine.  I’ve heard people complain about outward shows of love.  That what’s ‘normal’ is to spend time apart.  This disappoints me every time I hear it.  We’re a package deal.  We’re best friends.  We actually LIKE spending every minute together.  If you don’t have that in your life, I’m sorry, but I certainly won’t spend this short life time loving LESS.

I wish all of you love, unconditional-sweep-you-off-your-feet love.  Everyone deserves their love story.

Lesson in Value

I want to tell you a story that is near and dear to my heart.  In it you might find a lesson, or perhaps some inspiration, or maybe you’ll just find it to be an interesting story to read.

In 2008, I went to India to scatter my grandfather’s ashes.  I was very close to my grandfather.  He raised me, he had always been there, and while taking that trip I thought my life could never be the same without him and his gentle way of giving advice.  What would I do without his advice?  What would I do without him?!

It was May when he passed, and we took this trip in December.  That September I met Jayesh and fell in love instantly.  By October we were happily engaged and planning a wedding.  So when December came along and I was getting ready to take this flight I had mixed feelings.  I had not gone a day without talking to Jayesh and this trip to the other side of the world was going to throw a wrench at that.  On the other hand, I was really excited to see my family and a bit apprehensive about scattering the ashes.  I knew it was going to be extremely difficult to let go even though I knew it was necessary.

The day of the flight to India, my dad managed to upgrade my ticket to first class.  I was flying alone and meeting my parents there.  My heart was heavy and taking that flight alone was difficult.  I had so many emotions just floating at the surface waiting to bubble over.  And it happened.  They served a really good shrimp appetizer and I thought, ‘Jayesh should really be here’.  I didn’t think twice I grabbed the phone from the seat and slid my credit card through and dialed Jayesh’s number.  I started crying explaining to him that I felt guilty being in first class for the first time in my life and not next to him.  I wanted to experience new things with him.  I told him about the champagne upon seating, the scented warm towels, the comfortable seats, the food, and how none of it was as good without him.  He reassured me that we would talk often and that we would see each other soon.

The first part of the trip involved scattering my grandfather’s ashes.  We didn’t hire a priest, just a simple thing with my uncle, aunts, mom, dad, and cousin.  We said a few things and then took handfuls of the ashes and threw them into the Holy River.  I dipped my hands into the cool water and watched the ash that was clinging to my hands float away.  I cried.  Like a child.  The feeling of loss was so overwhelming.  Even though it had been 7 months, it felt fresh.  I kept the ID tag they put on the ashes and gripped it tight in my hands.  I couldn’t let go.

I hadn’t been feeling well and I took a turn for the worse that day.  Perhaps my sad heart, drained of any positivity, was making it difficult to recover.  To add to this discomfort, we were scheduled to take a train ride to Agra, then Jaipur.  The train ended up being delayed for 14 hours.  That’s 14 LONG hours at a train station with a dirty bathroom.  My temperature was spiking and after the first few hours I started going crazy.  There was nothing to do and I was tired and hungry.  I decided to call Jayesh since the timing was right.  Of course it goes to voicemail.  So I sit and talk to my cousin, poor guy, I must have talked his head off.  We finally get on the train and take the long journey to Jaipur since the delay forced us to cancel Agra.  It was a day long journey in the train, we mostly slept and ran to the bathroom (my cousin and I were both sick!)  I was a bit disappointed we wouldn’t make it to Agra.  That’s where the Taj Mahal is and that’s the second time my trip was canceled.  There’s a saying in India, that you don’t go to see the Taj Mahal, the Taj Mahal invites you.  So only those fated to go, get to go.  I guess it wasn’t in my fate.  My mother says to me “Maybe you’re supposed to go with your husband.  Don’t worry, you’ll get to go soon.”  I call Jayesh 5 more times and each time it goes to voicemail.  I start to worry.

So now that the timing is all thrown off we get to Jaipur a bit early and so our car rental isn’t quite ready.  We spend another hour just lounging around.  A van takes us to the resort, and by this time I am so exhausted I can’t take it.  We walk around the resort, which is beautiful beyond words, but I can’t quite enjoy it because I just want to lay down and rest.  As we approach the lobby I imagine just collapsing into the bed and sleeping for the whole day.  I sit on a sofa and wait for my dad to get the check in sorted.  My mom leans over and says “Who is that movie star over there, he looks familiar.”  I look up to see some fat man standing there.  “Mom, it’s just some fat guy, I don’t know who that-” and then the fat man moved and behind his giant silhouette I see the most beautiful man I’ve ever laid eyes on.  Jayesh!  My brain short circuits and I just run to him and throw my arms around his neck.  I’m crying and delirious.  I couldn’t wrap my brain around him being there.  What was he doing there?  How did he get there?  How did he know we were here?  What is going on?  My head was spinning with questions.  I hear everyone around me cheering and clapping and I suddenly realize I’m in the middle of my family in the resort lobby….in INDIA.  I settle down and stand next to Jayesh in a state of shock.

Later, Jayesh explains to me that the trip had been planned by my father, him and my father in law.  To surprise me and turn the trip into something positive.  Everyone was thinking of me.  I felt so special in that moment and so important and loved.  I can’t describe it, it was overwhelming.  The following morning we took a car to Agra and saw the Taj Mahal.  Jayesh asked me to marry him once more, his final proposal, at the biggest symbol of love in the world.  It was romantic and the perfect start to our fairy tale.  For several days it just seemed like I was dreaming.  That moment, where I reacted based on impulse, being totally caught off guard, proved to me I was in real love.  He’s my soul mate, it’s why I felt so empty without him and why my heart overflowed when I saw him in Jaipur.  I will never forget that.

What I realized at the end of this trip was this; relationships are everlasting.  My grandfather took care of me, protected me, guided me, loved me, and was always there for me no matter what.  When he passed I thought I had lost all of that and it felt like a giant void just sucking my happiness out of me.  Then Jayesh came along and I learned that the relationship I had with my grandfather never ended, it just took a new form.  Jayesh loves me, protects me, guides me, and is there for me no matter what.  The only difference is that my grandfather was like a father figure and Jayesh is my partner.  Much like the Hindu belief of reincarnation, I believe that our relationships are reincarnated as well.  They only seem to end, but they continue on in a different form.  So instead of continuing to mourn, I celebrated the renewal of one of the most important relationships in my life.  I was meant to meet Jayesh when I did, he saved my life.  He breathed new air into me and I was transformed.  I’m not sure if he knows just what he’s done for me and how much I value him, our relationship, and everything we’ve built together.  The day we met was a turning point in my life.  I could spend the rest of my life thanking him, it wouldn’t be enough.

So I hope what you’ve taken from this story is a lesson in value, faith, and purpose.  Value because each relationship in our life has value and meaning.  There is a reason for it, a purpose.  Identify the purpose and you will find the value.  Faith, because you must have faith in yourself and others.  Faith allows us to put aside insecurity and distraction and really focus on what’s important.

I wish you love, happiness, and valuable relationships.