hen I returned to L.A., I tried to figure out what I should do to resolve the problems I had with Emelda. Thankfully, I received a letter from Emelda that forced me to come to the final realization as to whether Emelda was the woman for me. The letter she wrote was the most beautiful letter I have ever read in my entire 29 years on this planet. To say that I cried was an understatement. My local reservoir went up a few feet after I read this letter! Whew! This letter reminded me in the most poetic, beautiful way, how much Emelda loved me and was devoted to our relationship. The floodgates of my emotions opened up. This letter rocked my world.
The remaining letters she sent along with the aforementioned one were also filled with passion, concern, sadness, regret, happiness, generosity and many other qualities. Each letter touched on different aspects of our relationship and the problems that we had been going through were addressed fully. These letters forced me out of my bad mood and reminded me how much I loved Emelda. I remembered how much joy she had brought me over the previous eleven months (especially when I was with her in Ozamiz City). After much soul-searching, I firmly believed that I had come to my senses regarding my relationship with Emelda. I believed that the worst was over.
Emelda in the rice field behind her house
After reading the letters, I wanted to speak to Emelda. Since Emelda didn't have a phone, I called the university she attended and left a message for Emelda to please call me. At 2:18 a.m., she did. We had a fantastic conversation. Our love for each other was very much in evidence during the call (which lasted until 3:50 a.m.).
After putting the past problems completely behind us, we agreed to move forward and be totally honest with each other and respect each other at all times. I have never felt closer to Emelda than I did during that phone conversation. Since I came to realize that this was the woman that I truly knew that I want to be with for the rest of my life, I told Emelda that I wanted to ask her a question. I asked her to give me an honest answer to the question even if the answer would hurt me. She agreed that she would be honest with her answer.
The question I asked was, "Will you marry me?"
She said, "I'll have to think about it."
My sister and her husband on their wedding day (a day that reminded me what marriage meant to me)
I said, "Okay."
After about three seconds, she said, "Jeff, do you want to know my answer now?"
I said, "Yes!"
She said, "Yes!"
I said, "Are you sure?"
She said, "Yes! Yes!"
So, there you have it. Emelda and I became engaged to be married and I planned to return to Ozamiz City to seal our union. It would be financially difficult, but who cares? I had never been so happy in my life! I had become drenched in joy!
I am very wary of revealing this story to people because this is such an unconventional type of love story and people tend to react insensitively and with many doubts. My family got over any doubts they might've had (they didn't express any) and were very happy for me and Emelda. I know this sounds like my emotions have been all over the place and the truth is that they have, but I am 100% sure that Emelda is the right woman for me. I tried to deny my feelings for her. I tried to sabotage our relationship and I tried to convince myself that I could find here in L.A. what was there for me in Ozamiz City. That was a big mistake, but now our future is set and I couldn't be happier. In letters and phone calls for one year and in the visit to Ozamiz, I found the perfect love to nourish forever.
I can't convince you that our love is true just by telling you the details of our romance. You would have to be inside our hearts to truly understand. If you could walk in my shoes for a second, you'd know that I've made the right choice. I have never been more happy than when I'm thinking about Emelda.
So, that's the basic story. I know this is unconventional, but you never know where your heart is going to take you. I welcome your comments, but please understand that I am very wary (and defensive) when it comes to doubters. I have considered every argument against this marriage and I am confident that I am following the path God wants me to follow. I don't care to hear, "She only wants a green card," or any other such arguments. They're insulting and only anger me. Emelda is sincere and so am I. She's not after my money. She's after my heart and I have given it to her. I have never been so happy!