Maya Angelou once said, “Love recognises no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination, full of hope”.
I second that.
As I was growing up, in all my innocence and perpetual girly-daydreams, I’d picture myself being with someone from a different continent across the globe and producing cute little Eurasian earthlings. And as I reached adulthood, reality set in, allowing me to realise that it wasn’t as easy to leave one’s country and family behind, adopt its culture wholly and be bound to someone whose entire life has been completely different from yours.
Somehow, picture it this way. Life would seem a lot simpler if your other half is as Asian as you are, would understand jokes and idioms in your common “Manglish”, accept your flaws and totally understand your local food cravings at odd hours.
But that was before I met Amelia and Philip.
Before I go any further, just allow me to take a short moment to acknowledge the two most amazing people in our lives who are the very first exemplary of love and the existence of ourselves as a testiment of their love.
That evening, as the sun started to fade and the breeze was a gentle caress, I remember handing that bouquet of summer berry orchids to Amelia, as she stepped out of her buggy and the rustling sound of the pristine train followed after. She looked no less radiant and her beautiful smile shone through, topping off all other accessories she donned on.
Amelia came to us two years before they walked down the aisle and that was where our journey with the couple began. She was pure Malaysian breed, with the perfect ‘sawo matang’ skin tone, had an infectious charm and spoke with the adopted all-time favourite accent of the Brits. We knew Amelia as someone who was meticulous, coming from an advertising background. When we met Phil, he was a total different ball game and got us thinking how these two ended up being together. He carries the face of a typical bloke, freckly and blonde-headed, has a laidback attitude and is extremely down-to-earth. When probed, his interests include computer games, sci-fi, beer and whiskey. Could anything get more typical than that?
Funnily enough despite the differences, love seems to find a way. Being together for a good nine years has allowed the best of both worlds to come together in the name of love.
When Amelia moved to the UK and met Phil in university, they both had many common grounds which pulled them like magnets to one another. They’re both nuts over outdoor activities; hiking, rock-climbing & even scuba diving. They have globe-trotted many countries together, from France to Japan.
I know that I mentioned earlier it was tough adapting to someone else’s culture and tradition, but it wasn’t impossible as well. Being naturally humorous, Amelia told us “I often think Phil stays with me because he loves Malaysian food so much”. Honestly, don’t you think that’s the sweetest thing you’ve ever heard? Besides being foodies, they were totally into board games, and that just made me go like...YASSS. Hello friends! Thus, this wedding had a tinge of adventurous element injected and the coolest part that defined them was that they brought a very beautiful rustic globe for their guests to sign and leave messages all over it.
Walking down the aisle, holding on to the arms of her father that evening, I unknowingly smiled sheepishly to myself. I knew that God had set a plan for these two amazing individuals and allowed them to cross paths even when they were from two countries, 10,576 km apart from each other. It then made me realise, that everything is possible and worth every sacrifice when two parties are both willing to let go, learn, sacrifice, comprehend, tolerate, give, receive, love, pray and let God deal with the vast differences between them and take that leap of faith to cross borders and say yes to the one they would spend the rest of their lives with.
I truly, strongly believe that the words of Dave Ursillo is by far, every word true that:
Love transcends every trivial boundary, division or separation that keeps us apart. It binds us, it unites us. It is the common ground we look to find in meetings, the unity we desire to achieve in discussions and debates on important social and political issues. It is the global peace we long to achieve. Love is the contentment of Being, simply within ourselves.
To Amelia and Phil who have taught me how to love and sacrifice, and to give and take, this one is for you.