My spouse and I first met in high school in 1990. Little did we know that someday we would stay under one roof? She worked harder than me and always stayed in touch. Time passed by and we settled in our jobs. Then we started dating each other in 1997. I used to visit her home and spend time with her family and eat dinner occasionally.
In 1999, we decided that after knowing each other for so long, it was time to take the plunge. So, my spouse told her mother about our marriage plans. At first, her mother did not want to let go of her, as she had just given away her second daughter in marriage but she invited me home the next evening. Her mother knew me very well but she insisted that I must formally ask for her daughter’s hand. My spouse met me the next evening and said, “Let’s go home, mummy wants to talk to you about our marriage.” I was in two minds, as Uncle should have been with me at this moment. I decided that I would not let this moment pass by. We walked to her home and I was surprised to see her entire family. During the course of our conversation with her mother, I shared our views of why we intended to marry at such an early age and finally, I asked for her daughter’s hand. She said, “Yes” and we were overjoyed. But, in my heart, I knew Uncle would be disappointed because I did not give him this opportunity as a father figure.
The next day, I decided to meet Uncle and after a few discussions, I told him what had transpired the previous night. At first, he was shocked and then, there was silence. A few minutes later, he said, “I am sad and happy.” I looked at him with a question in my eyes.
He replied, “I am not your biological father but I have raised you as my own son. I have arranged so many marriages for many young couples and met their parents. Hence I wanted to cherish the moment of meeting the girl’s parents and ask for their daughters’ hand. Then, he paused and added, “I am happy because you were not afraid to make a choice and the end result has been positive.
“Just remember, you are only 24 years now and have a long journey. I am proud of you that you were bold and decisive. You need courage to do what you did but just remember the path is narrow and you will get advice both from the left and right side of the aisle. Have an open mind and do what makes the both of you happy and not what pleases others. This was one of your big decisions and there will be difficult choices lying ahead of you. Don’t falter and if you stumble, just learn to breathe and reflect because everything happens for a reason.”
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