Do you remember how we first met? You were in San Diego for a work trip with DU. DU and my grad school friend, RT, were old college roommates, and RT wanted us to meet. He told me that you look like Jerry Rice (I guess that was supposed to be the selling feature to seal the deal). Instead, I said, “Who's Jerry Rice?” He was flabbergasted I didn’t know who Jerry Rice was. He told me who he was, but that didn’t tell me anything. So, I looked him up on the internet, but the image search only showed him in full football gear with his helmet on. So, I couldn’t tell what he looked like. So, I called the only person I knew that watched football, VE (at the time, she’s VL now). She told me, “Sorry to break the news to you, but Jerry Rice is NOT hot.” So, I told RT I wasn’t interested in meeting you since I heard Jerry Rice wasn’t hot. But on the day we were supposed to meet up (Veteran’s Day 2003), RT lied and said you and DU had other plans and would not be there, but he still wanted us to hang out since we hadn’t seen each other in awhile. So I said, “Okay!” But when we got to the Onyx Room, you and DU were already there getting drinks at the bar. I was annoyed with RT since he lied to me, but when he introduced us, I remember thinking to myself, “I don’t know what VE was talking about, but this guy is HOT!” (In all honestly Babe, you DON’T look like Jerry Rice at all. Even if people thought you were him when we were out and about. I remember we were at Bay Street one time and someone said to you, “Hi Jerry!” You said hi back and then they looked at me like, “Who is that girl in sweats and flip flops with Jerry Rice?!”) We ended up sitting next to each other, and we talked and laughed out loud the entire night--which probably annoyed the other people around us since they were trying to listen to the live jazz band performing, but we didn’t care. I kept saying I had to go home early since I had an 8am class the next day and the professor didn’t like it when students showed up late. She told us that if we were going to be late, don’t even bother coming to class. We ended up staying out to the wee hours and I woke up late for class the next morning. When I got into my car to leave, I looked at the clock and knew I was going to be 15 minutes late, so I didn’t even bother because I knew the professor was going to make a big deal about it. I just ended up going back to bed.
We ended up seeing each other again a couple days later and you asked if I made it to my class on time. I said, “Nope, I ended up missing the class and it was your fault!” Which of course you denied any wrongdoing. That night, we ended up going dancing with the group, but afterwards, we ended up at a Chinese restaurant by ourselves (I guess you can call it our first date). When our food came, I wanted to try something on your plate, so I reached over with my fork to grab it, but in mid-reach you slapped my hand and asked, “What are you doing?” As the fork fell out of my hand, I said, “I wanted to try your food.” You said, “If you wanted to try it then you should have ordered it yourself, and you should ask before you start reaching into other people’s food.” I thought to myself, “Well, this guy is definitely NOT going to last.” (Eventually, you learned that this was normal behavior in the Yen household. We start eating each other’s food before we even start eating our own food. My sister had to train my parents that you didn’t like to share your food and to not reach into your plate of food, especially without asking first if they were going to do it!) Even after all these years, you rarely shared your food with me; I have to beg and plead if I wanted to try something on your plate.
After your week long business trip ended, I didn’t expect to see you again. But you asked for my phone number, so I gave it to you. Honestly, I didn’t expect you to call. I just thought you were being nice. That same weekend, I also left for a trip to Vegas with VE. When I got back from Vegas, I had a message from you on my answering machine (yes, this was before everybody had their own cell phone. I don’t even remember if I had a cell phone at this time). I was a little surprised to hear your message when I got back. You actually called the next day and said, “I know you’re in Vegas but I just wanted to say Hi.” You left me your phone number and told me to call you back if I wanted to. I was thinking to myself, “What happened to the 3-day rule?” Then it occurred to me that you were just putting the ball in my court and wanted to see what I would do. Well, as you know, I never stray away from a challenge. We were always very competitive with each other--maybe that’s what fueled our relationship all these years. Who knows!? But what I do know is that if I was taking bets and watched our relationship unfold from the beginning, I would not have betted that we get this far. Somehow we defied the odds and made it to ‘til death do us part (although I wished 'til death do us part would be a lot later tho!).
P.S. I know you are probably thinking, “SY, why you telling people our business!” Well Babe, Maya Angelou said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.” It’s time to tell our story (I know it’s only one-sided but in all honestly, only my side matters!)
A grieving widow who is trying to find meaning and purpose from her tragic event.