Family Matters: Ten-Year Anniversary

August 21, 2008 Updated: August 22, 2008

My wife Quyen and I celebrated our 10-year anniversary last month. In December, we will take the kids to Hong Kong to visit my father, so Quyen and I decided to celebrate our anniversary by going on a little getaway.

We dropped the children off at her parents and drove to a quaint escape called Lake Arrowhead in the San Bernardino Mountains. On the two-hour drive, we marveled at how time sails past because it didn’t seem that long ago that we were making our wedding vows in a traditional Vietnamese ceremony at her parent’s house.

The morning ceremony, with only relatives and closest friends attending, posed a marked contrast to the reception dinner at a seafood restaurant later that evening where over 200 guests honored us with their presence.

What stood out? I can’t speak for Quyen, but the thing that comes to my mind is walking to the microphone at the center of the stage to address all the guests. Most people consider me a shy person, but I prefer the term private, so speaking in front of 200 guests is not my idea of a good time. Still, I did it because it was important and I wanted the world to know how lucky I felt to call Quyen my wife.

That holds true today. Quyen is the sunlight in my day and the star that shines upon me at night. She is my best friend and my security blanket. When I’ve had a tough day, the thing that sustains me is the knowledge that I will come home to Quyen, and her presence will make everything all right.

There is no secret I want to keep from her, and she is the first person to hear about anything wondrous that happens to me. She is my best friend, my soul mate, and my confidante—I trust her with my life.

I remember the first dance with Quyen on our wedding night in front all those people, the sparkling, red dinner dress she had changed into, the touch of her hand, the curve at the small of her back, her cheek alongside mine as we swayed gently to the music of Gladys Knight. The world disappeared and it was just the two of us and the soft lyrics floating above like wispy clouds on a beautiful day at the park:

“If anyone should ever write my life story
For whatever reason there might be
You’d be there, between each line of pain and glory
Because you’re the best thing that ever happened to me.…”

Ray Wong lives in California with his family.