Sally and Willy Tie the Knot

The first two parts of this fictional story were written in Bahasa Indonesia and were published on the community writer platform (idntimes community) under the titles “Sally dan Kisah Cintanya di New York” (Sally and her love story in New York) and “Sally dan Tetangga Dokternya: from New York to Atlanta” (Sally and her neighbor: from Atlanta to New York). This is the third part of the stories. You could access the previous two stories on: https://www.idntimes.com/wieke-sutrisno 

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Sally met Willy, who was her next-door neighbor two years ago, in Atlanta. Sally is a wedding planner, and the only reason she moved to Atlanta because her boss offered her higher position and salary. Willy, on the other hand, is a medical doctor. He moved to Atlanta with his brother who is also a doctor. It all started with lunch and dinner appointments that turned into dating relationship. Willy asked her out on Christmas Eve while they were in New York for vacation. Their friends referred them as a workaholic couple because they spent more times at their own work than being together as a couple. Both Sally and Willy are forefront believers that so long as there is a trust and mutual understanding between them, even if work situation is busy, their relationship will remain the same. They even argued that they looked forward to seeing each other after long hours at work or after being separated for a few weeks due to work load. 

Last year, Willy had to move back to New York for their medical practice, and this means the time they could spend together is getting shorter and rare. Although some close friends warned them about the challenges of long distance relationship, Sally and Willy never thought so much about it.  Willy traveled to Atlanta to spend time with Sally whenever he could. Similarly, Sally would go to New York every major holiday and when she could get longer off days. Thus far, this arrangement has been working really well. 

Neither Sally nor Willy planned to upgrade their relationship status. However, close friends and families urged them to make their relationship official and legal. Willy took neutral position in this matter. Sally was rather anxious, and the reason was because there is a huge age gap between them. Sally is four years older than Willy. Sally’s relatives frowned when they learned that she dates Willy. Although Willy has been convincing her that age has no issues or whatsoever in their relationship, Sally is still not sure how this will turn out in the long run. Willy is secretly planning on proposing her. 

The proposal day is arrived, and that day falls on Willy’s birthday. Sally flies out to New York to celebrate Willy’s birthday. Sally booked a dinner at a fancy restaurant near Lincoln Art Center. Sally plans to watch Jazz after dinner, but Willy insists that they need to visit other places. Sally is surprised when Willy takes her to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Willy says, “I asked you out after attending Christmas mass. The church we went last time is already closed now. This church is still open, and so here inside this church, I want to tell you how important you are in my life. I know you are concerned with our age differences, but let me tell you again, here in the presence of God, at His house, that a good marriage is not solely based on age. A good marriage is mutual understanding and continuous effort between two loving persons. So, again, don’t worry so much about that. Here in this church, I ask you to be my lifetime partner, to stay beside me, and to cherish every moment. Life is unpredictable but my love to you remains the same. I am a doctor, so if you are too old and fragile to care for yourself, I could take care of you. So, are you in?”

Sally remains quiet. She doesn’t know what to respond. Willy says, “My little thinker, thank goodness you are not a doctor, because your patient could die when you are their doctor. You think too long and far.” 

Sally responds to him, “Shut up!” and laugh. She then says, “Fine, I am in.”

“There you go, what it so hard to say yes.”

They both laugh and spend a few minutes at the church before heading home. Instead of giving Sally a ring, Willy gives Sally a necklace with a key pendant. The key symbolizes how he finally could un-tie the knots inside Sally’s heart. 

They both set the wedding date on December 26, 2 days after their anniversary. The wedding is small and attended by close friends and family members. The wedding color-theme is tiffany-blue color because Sally likes Tiffany and Willy likes blue color. Guests compliment how pretty Sally is on her wedding day. Her look and style remind them of late Princess Grace from Monaco. Willy looks gorgeous on his tuxedo. He gets butterflies on his stomach as he watches Sally entering the church, walking toward him. 

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Mother’s Unconditional Love

It has been a pleasure on my part to share with mothers both the joy and worries of raising children. I am far from being a mother, but I always have a special spot for any mothers who love their children unconditionally, including my own Mama. My definition of unconditional love is to care for and provide healthy learning opportunities for a child to grow to be a better- responsible person. 

This definition of unconditional love is ingrained in my mind and so, it breaks my heart when I learn that a mother has to fight against cancer, so that she could continue to provide care for her children. It makes me think what could have been done to prevent this from happening. It also makes me think what if I am in her shoes, or what if something is happened to my own Mama. I understand that sometimes event like illness happens unexpectedly. Saying “it would be okay” to a sick mother would not truly comfort her. Acknowledging her pain and worries, and at the same time saying “you could do it, you could survive, and let’s pray” sounds possible and likable. Offering help such as picking up her children from school or taking the children out for outing could relieve some of the burden. Of course you could help something else, the lists are endless. The point is to do it genuinely and with a big heart. 

Above anything else, even if you are a mother or a father now, you need to always love and respect your parents especially mother. It’s because regardless of race and culture, mother is the person who has been longing for us long before we were placed in her womb and continued to care for us even after we left her womb. Events such as death and illness are unavoidable, but reciprocal unconditional love between mother and child could cure any pain and sorrow. Their spirits are up when they know that we love them as dearly as they love us. 

2 gether is Better Than One

Gray Cloud’s heart filled with dark clouds after her doctor’s appointment. She felt sad upon learning that the lump underneath her armpit could turn into a cancerous cell sometimes in the future. No need surgery for now just a careful watch that was the doctor said. Too rush to remove the lump could trigger more lumps development. Gray Cloud kept this information to herself. 

Sonny Sunshine is Gray Cloud’s best friend. People often think that they are dating, though the reality they are not dating. Gray knows that Sonny likes him, and she enjoys his company, too. Gray prefers to keep their friendship status as best friends because dating looks scary to her. Now that she knows about the lump and its risks, she is sure she wants to live alone. Gray thinks solitude is not a bad thing. 

Sonny Sunshine’s personality is the opposite of Gray Cloud’s personality. Sonny looks cheerful most of the time. His daily job is to make Gray either laugh or mad at him. When Gray is mad, Sonny will laugh hard and they both end up laughing together. Sonny knows that Gray is a person who is very serious especially when she is working, and because of this, he likes to keep their interaction stress-free. Sonny is a serious hard-working guy, too, but he seldom shows it in front of Gray. He likes to act silly and joke a lot when he is around Gray. 

  
The day after doctor’s appointment, Sonny noticed something was not right with Gray. As usual, Gray kept it to herself. He came up with a tactic to get Gray talking to him what is bothering her. Sonny asked Gray to be his girl friend. Gray rejected the proposal, but she declined to say the reason. Sonny insisted that he should know the reason why he got rejected. 

After a week of unsuccessful attempt, Sonny accidentally saw Gray was browsing about cancer treatment. Sonny pointed to the screen and asked Gray to explain to him. Tears were running down on her cheeks as she told Sonny what the doctor said to her last week. Sonny gave Gray a hug and told her that he would take care of her with and without cancer. Sonny convinced Gray that she would be okay and that the lump would not turn into a cancerous cell. Gray Cloud is no longer feeling cloudy after hearing Sonny’s words, “Let me love you just the way you are. Together is better than one.” 

When Yellow Doesn’t Want to Look Mellow

I like to call my friend, Yellow, Yellow Mellow, because she is very emotional person. She will cry for tiny little things, such as when she gets a gift from her boyfriend.

This morning Yellow called and told me that she didn’t want to look and act mellow again. She asked me to come early today and wait for her at the school’s gate. I was speechless when I heard this. 

I waited for her outside the school’s gate. I saw her in a pink dress along with pink shoes and pink hair clips walking toward me. She even wore a pink lipstick and said “Hiiii” to everyone she passed by.  

Whoa!! 

Yellow approached me and kissed my right cheek. This was new, too.. She never kissed my cheek..

I blurted, “Hey, are you okay?” 

“Yeah, how do I look?” She twirled her hair and shook her pink dress in front of me.

“Err… Don’t you think this is too much?” 

She grinned and said “Nope.”

I asked, “Why do you suddenly don’t want to look mellow? It’s part of your personality….” 

Yellow sighed and said in teary eyes, “I searched for a part-time job last week. I saw an opening in the event production, and one of the requirements was that they look for a cheerful and energetic person. So, I thought I needed to get a complete makeover..”

I told Yellow that she should apply for that job despite of her mellow personality. The company is looking for qualities not outside appearance. I told her as long as she didn’t watch Korean drama series at work, she would be fine and no one would ever noticed her mellow personalities. Yellow laughed when she heard my comment. She cleaned her make up before entering classroom. Yellow is now back to her real self. She is a very talented person, but she doesn’t acknowledge it. Ever since then, I no longer call her Yellow Mellow because I don’t want her to think that having mellow personality is bad. You could be both smart and mellow at the same time. Instead, I call her Yellow Melon. Her nickname for me is Lemon Lemonade. When I asked her why, she said she likes how those two words sounded together. 

Never Say Never 

It never crossed my mind that I would work in the teaching field. I, however, was a diligent student as long as I could remember. 

Fast forward, I am now working as a teacher for students with special needs. I occasionally tutor general subjects such as English to elementary-age students. I initially said no to Math, but they brought their homework, so I had no choice other than studying Math and Science again in order to help them.

Kids nowadays don’t use this type of recorder, and so this tape recorder somehow looks “foreign” to them. I told my oldest student that I used this recorder to study TOEFL when I was young, and now, I use the same book and recorder to teach him.  

When we say “never,” there is a chance we will say “yes” in a reality or sometimes in the future. This is somewhat true in my case. How about you? 

As Pretty As Tiffany’s Jewelry 

I wish life is as pretty as Tiffany’s jewelry.

I wish I could keep my worries down to one like Tiffany’s solitaire diamond ring. 

I wish my job situation is as smooth as the surface of Tiffany’s square bracelet. 

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Life has its moment, just like when you expect least you actually could get more. Thus, never give up. Learn from mistakes and upgrade! 

Pray and say thank you, as soon as you open your eyes in the morning. Pray harder when you experience life turbulence. Say thank you again when life turbulence is passed. 

Smooth job is boring. Challenging job is rewarding when you look at it from healthy perspective. 

Life is actually , as pretty as Tiffany’s jewelry when each of us always have a positive attitude. 

The Complexity of Parents and Children Relationship 

Parents and children often think differently. What parents want from the child may not be the child’s preference. Likewise, culture also influences how parents raise their children and put expectation on them. All of these get tricky as the child gets older. It will even more challenging when the child grows up in a culture that is different from his/her original culture. Argument or clash could arise because the child has a different point of view from his/her parents. Both sides will argue that they are doing the right things. Both sides want to win. 

On another note, children still and should respect their parents even though they have disagreement over things. This is tough, but children must continue to exercise putting effort to adjust and negotiate with their parents in order to reduce argument. Family relationship is complicated and tough. It takes everyone’s effort to maintain equilibrium.

Life is good when one could manage both family and work life in the most neutral and healthy ways. Can you do it?