I'm back from my

With this ring...

I'm back from my friends' wedding. I've tried, since they got engaged half a year ago, to keep up the cyncial, world-weary facade with which I carry out the rituals of my life in place when talking to them. But today was too much for even my jaded exterior to endure. My reluctant, curmudgeonly inner romantic reared his head early in the day, ("Damn if they don't look great in gown and tux...") and never relented, even now, almost 16 hours later.

Hans and Sandra: Please know, I love you guys. I was moved and honored to be present for your wedding. I am inspired by the faith and optimism of your words and actions today. There is nothing more resonant and meaningful than family, and what you did together today was to create the nucleus of a family. It takes courage, and it takes love, and I envy you both.

On a more personal note, this was the first, and likely last, Chinese-Colombian wedding I'll ever attend. Two children of immigrant families, bridging cultures and language, is the very definition of what being an American is to me. Of why I'm proud of my parents for coming here. Hans' best man, his brother Howard, gave an uncharacteristically emotional toast in which he discussed the vision all of our parents had in their journeys to America. And that, at their core, the single motivating factor was that most profound of desires: A better life for one's children. This, then, is the culmination of an immigrant parent's greatest ambition.

I can't put it all into words, it's too recent, and I'm too inarticulate. But I want to get something here, under my name, while this is all still fresh in my memory, as a note to myself. I want to not forget that I am at heart a romantic, that I aspire to be worthy of, and do justice to, a commitment to share my life with another person. That this most personal of relationships is important enough to require the most public of displays. That we are our best selves when we give our love to another.

I've got so much left to learn...

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