Timeless Love Stories – A Novel

Timeless Love

By

Jake Cosmos Aller

Every day in November I will post the latest chapters to my Novel, Timeless Love which I am writing as part of the NaNoWrMo novel writing competition.  I wrote it last year but due to a computer malfunction lost most of the manuscript and will be re-writing from scratch.

Chapter One – the Funeral Speech

Sam Adams was turning 75.  He was also celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary.  In preparation for the anniversary, he recorded a video about his life together with his wife Maria Lee.  Their love story was unique and would make a great movie Sam thought.  The video would be the first draft of their life story so to speak, with any luck, he could turn into a movie.

He called together his niece, and his lawyer, and told them he prepared the video his life story, and wanted it to be played both at the wedding anniversary and at the funeral before he felt his time was coming to an end. He also revised his will and wanted his life story to be written into a movie after he died.   He discussed the pending changes to his will and his wishes for the funeral.  He told them both that he felt that they needed to be ready to plan the funeral. That night he died peacefully.  the video was played at the funeral.

“Hello, my name is Sam Adams, and if you are viewing this, I am no longer here among the living and that is okay. I have had a long and eventful life.   The central mystery of my life his how I met the love of my life, Maria Lee.  As some of you know, I literally married the girl of my dreams.   But what you may not know is that Maria and I have been soul mates for over 5,000 years and up until this life, our love story always ended up badly as we were from different social classes. She was the daughter of the king or rich family, and I was the son of a working-class family.  Our love was forbidden by the rules of the time.

On our tenth wedding anniversary, we went to a past life analyst and through hypnosis relieved our past lives.  We recorded our recollections which I wrote down at the time and posted last year on my blog, the world according to cosmos. Some of you may have seen it.” I have now updated it as part of this video celebration of my life.

Chapter Two the Dream Begins

It all began tens of thousands of years ago at the dawn of time when Sam first met his soul mate, Maria.  they were originally from the planet Sirius and met in the world between worlds before each reincarnation.  Their love was cursed from the beginning as they were born under a dark star, doomed to be executed time after time for their forbidden love affairs.  Until finally in 1982 the curse was lifted, and they had a long and happy life together.  This is their true love story of timeless love that crossed the barriers of time, space, distance and different species and races.

They met in the timeless spaceless world known as the world between worlds where portals wormholes linked various worlds together.  Sam and Maria had been sentenced to a time in purgatory waiting final status determination – heaven or hell?  the word came down they would be given another chance to get it right and found themselves wandering the deep Forrest   they came to a path lined with gate ways to their past and future lives.  first stop Atlantis, last stop was Berkeley, in 1974.  that is when the dreams that haunted Sam’s life began.  after jumping in and out of various lives they came to the end of the portals and saw Berkeley, “last stop” and they jumped into Berkeley and started living the dream world.

The dreams started when Sam was a senior at Berkeley high school in 1974, around Maria’s birthday in late May, perhaps.   About a month before Sam graduated, he fell asleep in a physics class after lunch and had the first dream:

A beautiful Asian woman was standing next to him talking in a strange language.  She was stunning – the most beautiful girl he had ever seen.  She was in her early twenties, with long black hair, and piercing black eyes. She had the look of royalty.  She looked at me and then disappeared, beamed out of his dream like in “Star Trek.”  He fell out of my chair screaming, “Who are you?”  She did not answer.

Later that day Sam told his best friend, Robert Sicular who was in the class with him about the dream.  He also told them that he knew that he would meet her some day and that was the women he was destined to marry.

Robert said,

“Man, that is crazy shit, dude. You had best quit smoking weed before class man. You be high. have any of that shit?

nah smoked it all up. But dude the dream is real.

sure.

Sam told Robert’s parents, Bob, and Ruth about the dream. Bob and Ruth were awfully close to Sam. Sam hung out at their house a lot to escape his parents as he had grown up in a very dysfunctional family.

Bob said,

“Well that is the craziest love story I have ever heard so it must be true.”

Ruth said

“Follow your dreams. You will have to meet her someday, but you may have to go to Asia to find her. Where do you think she is?”

“Maybe Japan, maybe Korea, maybe Mongolia, Thailand, Vietnam? The Philippines? But not China because whatever she is speaking is not Chinese.”

One day Sam was late for his summer job working in the parks department. He had the dream again about 6 am and it woke him up.  Same thing occurs.  She is standing there talking to him and she has love in her eyes for him.  She reaches out to touch him and then disappears.  He felt electricity flowing from her as she touched him. Sam got up and accidentally breaks the mirror in the bathroom.  Sam  tells his mother who said that he will have seven years of bad luck as a result of breaking a mirror and later Sam thought that he had endured seven years of failed relationships and missed romantic opportunities because fate was conspiring to prevent him from getting seriously involved with anyone else because the universe was saving him for his one true soul mate.

A few days later, Sam is hanging out with his friends Matt and Mark playing pool at his house downstairs in the basement.  Sam tells them that he had the dream again.

Matt says,

“Dude! that is just too creepy to believe. You should not be telling people that shit, they might think that you are some sort of nutter.  I mean we know you are nuts but in a good way and we love ya for its bro, but others well they might think you are certifiable.”

Mark looked at Sam and said,

“Yeah dude, that is crazy shit, I mean shit like that ain’t real you know what I mean?”

“Matt, Mark, I swear to god it is too. I had the dream again. And I know I am going to meet her and marry her someday.”

“Right on dude. Party on! We believe you.”

About a month went by and then Sam started having the dream as he called it, repeatedly.  Always the same pattern – early morning, she would stand next to me talking, I would ask whom she was, and she would disappear.  She was the most beautiful, alluring women he had ever seen, and he was struck speechless every time he had the dream.

After a year – Sam’s lost year – where he drank too much, smoked too much weed and flunked out of Oberlin Music college, Sam had finally started his third college, UOP, third college in a row and he is determined to get serious and get his degree after his lost first year.

One day shortly after arriving at UOP he has the dream again.

That night he is smoking weed and drinking with his friend Roy, and Emma and several others.  He recounts the recurring dream and again says he knows he is going to meet her and marry her. They all express a degree of polite skepticism.

Roy says, “Dude that shit don’t happen in real life. Get real.”

Emma says, “don’t waste your time looking for her.  Either you will find her or someone else and I am sure you will find the right women someday.”

One day in late May, about a week before Sam graduated, he had been accepted into the Peace Corps.  He had a deadline to respond whether he would accept the proposed assignment. He had a choice going to Korea as a TB control worker in August or to Thailand as an ESL teacher in a rural school in October.  He was leaning towards Korea.  He had taken Japanese and Chinese history classes in college and he was fascinated with the region and he was curious about Korea.   And besides, he was ready to get going.

On May 18, 1979 at 5:30 Sam had a slightly different dream.  In the dream, she told him when he asked where she was, “Seoul, Korea.” And smiled at him. And disappeared as she usually did”.

Sam told his housemates, Sara, Sharon, Roy, and Kevin about the dream.  They all knew that he had been having this recurring dream over the years.

Sara said,

“Well seems like you need to go to Korea to meet her.  I believe you and believe that you are fated to meet her.”

“Well perhaps so but we will still get married at age 50.”

That was a standard joke between them.  Sam and Sara both felt that we were best friends, but she did not want to have a romantic relationship with Sam, but he did.  They had been living together for almost three years at this point and in a few weeks they would all be moving out at the end of the month, and end of the school year for them.  Sara, Kevin, and Sam were all graduating.  Sharon and Roy had another year to go.  Sharon never came back and transfered to be closer to her family back east.  Roy dropped out of college as his parents could not afford the tuition anymore.

Chapter Three Searching for the Dream Girl in Korea

In August 1979, Sam arrived in Korea. He looks around and sees thousands of women who look like the girl in the dream, but none of them are her.  He knew he was going to meet her. He started having that dream monthly.  Usually near the end of the month and almost always first thing in the morning.  The dream was always the same.  She would repeat the word Aka which Sam later learned was the Korean word for baby and became her pet name him once they met.  The rest of the conversation he could not understand at all.

He was always struck speechless and could only mutter the words,

“Who are you? Where are you?  When will we meet?”

She would smile at him with love sparkling in her eyes and then beam away.

The dream complicated Sam’s love life.  Sam was awkward around women, as he was a bit of nerd and lacked social graces.  Sam also was an intense person and that might have scared people from getting involved with him.  He was kind of like the character in the movie, “40-Year-Old Virgin”.

Because of the dream, Sam could not see himself getting involved with anyone else because I knew I was fated to be with her someday.  He had several girlfriends, but no lovers until his last year in college.   He had two girl friends in the Peace Corps, but neither were the “one” and Sam knew that he would meet her someday.

After the Peace Corps Sam taught ESL to Koreans who were serving in the US army to fulfill their mandatory military duty (KATUSAS). Sam also taught BSEP) basic skills to military people.  In those days, the military was taking in high school dropouts and many of the enlisted people had sub-par reading and math skills.  His job was to get them to read and do math at the 8th grade level.

One winter while Sam was in the Peace Corps, he went to Taiwan on a personal visit. He met a famous fortuneteller who made three predictions – He would marry an Asian woman; he would marry when he was 27 and he would become a diplomat.  All three predictions turned out to be true.

After the Peace Corps, Sam took a job in Korea and decided that he would give it one more year. If he did not meet her by then he would return to Seattle to go to Graduate school at the University of Washington in Korean studies.  Sam moved about the entire country. Sam was lonely, dissatisfied, and. felt that he was wasting his time. He kept having the dream though.

Sam was also drinking too much and hanging out at bars.  Sam liked to go to the bars and chat up the waitresses and practice his Korean.  They were amused by that and Sam learned a lot of “street Korean” from them and once a month or so Sam would take one of them to her room and have sex.

One day Sam was starting to work for a new contractor, Central Texas College.  His previous contractor, Los Angeles Community College, had lost the contract and Sam was unemployed for a month and broke as hell.  Sam had about 100 dollars in the bank.  He was teaching ESL on the side here and there and making some extra money which went for booze and women, so he was always broke.

One day Sam felt that he had to tell his employer that he was quitting and returning to the States to go to graduate school.  He was planning on meeting with his director later that week.  Then that morning he had the final dream.

She came to him again, but this time, Sam understood her Korean.  She said, “Don’t worry, we will be together soon and once we are together, we will be together forever. I have been waiting since our last life together. And now I have found you.”

“걱정하지 마십시오. 우리는 곧 함께있을 것이며 우리가 함께 있으면 영원히 함께 할 것입니다. 나는 마지막 생애 이후로 기다리고 있습니다. 그리고 지금 당신을 찾았습니다.”

“geogjeonghaji masibsio. ulineun god

geos-imyeo uliga hamkke iss-eumyeon yeong-wonhi hammock hal geos-ibnida. naneun majimag

ihulo gidaligo issseubnida. geuligo jigeum dangsin-eul chaj-assseubnida.”

 

Chapter Four She walks out of the dreams, off the bus and into his Life

On Wednesday August 26, 1982 Sam got on a military bus on Camp Casey near where he lived in Tongduchon in a rented room.  He was living very basically those days out of a suite case in a rented room as his employer kept sending him all over the country.  He must have moved at least ten times that year.

He was talking with a fellow BSEP teacher about graduate school on the bus.  They were both quitting soon to go back to the States for graduate school. Sam was going to study Korean studies at the University of Washington, and Mark was studying Public Administration at the University of Oklahoma on base .He had started studying at Yongsan and was transferring to the main campus so he could study full time.  He highly recommended that Sam study for a MPA degree as he knew that Sam was waiting to pass the foreign service test.

That night, Sam got off the bus in front of Camp Red Cloud where he was teaching.  Sam got off the bus and the girl in the dream walked off the bus, out of his dreams and into his life.  It was the moment he had been waiting for all his life.   Sam had been dreaming of that moment for six- and one-half years.  And here she was.

Sam was struck speechless.  He stared at her and she stared at him.  And there was an instant connection, love at first sight for both.  She was with another fellow teacher, Jim.  Jim introduced them.  They were going to see a movie and Sam told them he would meet them at the cafeteria at 8:30.

The class went by in a blur.  Sam was still stunned that he had met her.  He came up with a lame excuse that he wanted a language partner, and she could help him with his Korean and he could help her with her English.   They met up at the cafeteria.

He had a cup of coffee and a burger.  She had a burger too.  Jeff excused himself and said it was nice meeting her.   And left them for he could sense the connection between them.

They talked about her life and his life.  Then Sam proposed that they meet up on Friday morning for a hike and further talks.  He was off on Friday.

. She spoke English good as she was an English Education major at Sungsil Woman’s university and was a senior.  She was 23 years old and he was 27 years old.  He was born in the year of the goat and she was born in the year of the pig. According to fortune tellers they had a perfect astrological chart and were soul mates.  In any event it was love at first sight for both, and as Koreans say

처음에 사랑

cheoeum-e salang

Sam told her that He was teaching MTWTH nights only and would be teaching some daytime classes the following month but for now his days were wide open until 5 pm when he had to leave for his evening classes.

She agreed to meet him on Friday at 9 am for breakfast and then we would go for a hike in a mountain park nearby that neither had been to.

That night Sam called his friend Robert, who had been in the room when Sam had first dreamt of meeting Maria and told him that he had met the girl in the dream.  He was stunned.

“Robert,

“I have big news; I met the girl in the dream.  The girl I have been dreaming about for these last eight years.  She is real. I met her on a bus.  She is stunning. She is a College senior, and we are meeting tomorrow. “

“Dude. That is unreal.  But whatever you do not tell her about the dream, at least not right away. That might freak her out.  It would freak any one out. Shit like that do not happen you know man.  Are you alright?  Been taking drugs? Drinking too much?”

“Dude.  It is all good. It is real. And I am going to marry her!
“whatever dude.  I believe you because you believe in the dream, I sure hope it is real.”

“it is real, dude.”

The next day Sam wrote to the University of Washington and asked for a one-year deferral of admission as something had come up that required him to stay in Korea for one more year.   They responded in a few weeks giving him a year deferred enrollment.

The next night she was waiting for him at the army base where he was to teach a class.  She told him that she had to see him as she had something to tell him Sam signed her on to the base and left her at the library to study.  She was a college senior she told him. They went out for coffee after class at a classical music cafe.  She told him she was madly in love with him and that he was the man for her.  He told her not to worry as he felt the same.

Sam wrote his parents telling them that he was postponing graduate school for one more year.  And had informed the University.

 

Chapter Five Whirlwind Romance

On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday they met each day and went for long walk in the mountains near the base and had breakfast, lunch, and dinner together.  She made him kimpop (Korean sushi rolls) every day.

They talked further about her life and his life so far.  Her English was far better than his Korean, so they mostly talked in English.    She was a senior at Sungmyeong Woman’s University majoring in English Education.  But she wanted to work for a corporation rather than become a high school English teacher.   She was also going to start a graduate degree at Seoul working on an MBA degree in a new program that was taught in English.

He told her that he had been accepted to go to the University of Washington for a MA degree in Korea studies but would start that in about a year.  He would be teaching for CTC for a few months but wanted to find another teaching job somewhere in Korea as he was tired of teaching on base and the pay was not particularly good.   Sam told her that perhaps she could come to Seattle with him and study there.  She looked at him and said that she would love that.

On Sunday night in the same coffee shop, Sam proposed to her.  Or she proposed to him, or they did it together.

Maria looked at Sam and said

“Sam, it is obvious we belong together. You are mine and I am yours.”

“Maria,

“I agree.  Let us get married, October 29th is my legal birthday. We can do the paperwork then and have the wedding later. What do you think?”

“Sure. That will work.  You have to meet my parents though soon.”

“Okay”

And that was that.

In any event they agreed that they would do the formal paperwork through the embassy on Friday October 29th, 1982 which was Sam’s legal birthday.  Sam was born at 4 am on October 30th but the night nurse typed October 29th on the birth certificate and refused to re-type it, so Sam had two birthdays and celebrated both.

They started meeting almost every day for the next month.  Usually late in the day before his evening classes and all-day Saturday and Sunday. They did a lot of talking about here and there and talked endlessly as they both found the other to be fascinating.

They were extremely different in their opinions.  Opposites attract they say, and boy did they.   She was a bit radical in her thinking, later became very conservative politically.  He was moderately progressive.

Sam called up Matt and told him that he had met the girl in the dream and was going to marry her. Matt like Robert was concerned that he was meeting a con artist because they could not believe that the dream could be true. Later when they met Maria they believed in the miracle of the dream.

That weekend they met Saturday and Sunday and hung out all day.  On Sunday, they went for a hike in the woods. He proposed to her that night three days after they had met, but for Sam it felt that they had met eight years ago, He had been waiting all his life for her to walk out of  his dreams, and into his life and here, she was.  They had a delightful long walk in the woods and even saw a woodpecker.  She told him that seeing the exceedingly rare bird was supposed to be good luck.

They married two months later after a Buddhist priest told her Mother that our astrological match was a perfect fit.  Her mother did not want her to marry a foreigner.  One day about a month after they had met, she invited him to meet her parents, but she did not tell them Sam was a foreigner.  Sam brought a bottle of Jack Daniels for his Father-in-Law and Uncle in law and drank the entire bottle with them.  He approved of him, but Sam’s Mother-in-Law still had reservations. After the Buddhist Priests told her it was a perfect astrological combination, she agreed, and they planned on getting married.  as she put it, “who am I to go against the will of heaven?”

A few weeks after they were legally married, her parents allowed Sam to start spending the night with Maria pending their moving to the Korean Army School where they would hold their formal marriage.  As part of the job, they received an apartment on base, they would be the first international couple to get married at the Korean army school.

Chapter Six Her Mother’s Opposition

Her mother was mad that had had jumped the gun, and started our sexual lives, but Sam and Maria were happy to get started on their married life.

Several years ago, later, Maria and Sam had a frank talk about her Mother just before she passed on from this life.  Maria had a difficult relationship with her Mother as many daughters had.   The following story shocked Sam.  She recalled her growing up with her mother who told her many times that she should have killed her when she was a baby.   Her mother hated her from birth. She said that Maria was a crying baby, and she could not get any sleep for the first two years of her birth as Maria was always crying.  She said that Maria was so ugly a child that she was ashamed to be seen with her.  She told her to never call her Mom in public and Maria often hid in her room when people came over because she felt that she was indeed ugly.  When she was in junior high school, she went to a class trip to the Dongdaemoon ice skating ring dressed in pants etc. Her classmates told her that she was a pretty girl, and during college she dated a medical student.  Her mother continued to say that she was ugly to her face.  She said that she thought that her boyfriend was deluded and did not see how ugly Maria was.  She also told her that Sam was ugly, but his brother Roger, who had visited them about a year after their marriage was handsome.

She did not understand why Maria liked Sam.  It was love at first sight for both, and her Mother never experienced love in her life.  She was extremely jealous of the love between Maria and Sam from the first time they met.  She had a typical arranged marriage complicated by the war that separated her from her family and she was the youngest of 11 children.  Her husband also was a North Korean refugee and was the fifth child.  Neither her father nor mother had ever seen their relatives since the war except for her husband’s father who made it to the South and her husband’s older brother who had also made it to the South.  In any event, her mother blamed Maria for her father-in-law’s abusive behavior towards her after she was born.  Her father-in-law was angry that she had given birth to a girl and not a second son.   And he was annoyed that Maria was a crying baby. and in those days of male preference for children, sometimes parents killed off their daughters secretly and no one made an issue since child deaths were so common in the chaos right after the war.

Her mother hated her from birth, thought that she was an ugly cry baby, stubborn, and selfish.  And mean. She did not want to spend money on her going to college. And of course, she hated her for marrying Sam and not marrying the medical student that she had “selected” for Maria.  She thought Maria was making a huge mistake marrying a foreigner.  And later she blamed Maria later for costing her money by “forcing her to sell the Sooyori property where Maria had grown up and some other property. Her parents like a lot of Korean families of her social class had several rental properties and lived off their rental income as well as her Father’s business.  He ran a makalli factory (traditional Korea rice wine), had a bus company, and owned a couple of hotels.  He was moderately wealthy by Korean standards but certainly not of the elite. Although his family was part of the famous Kyongju Lee clan – distant relatives of the last Kings of Korea.  In fact, in the entire history of the Kyongju Lee clan, only two members of the clan had ever married a foreigner, the first President of Korea, Shgymun Rhee who married an Austrian woman and Maria who married Sam

Maria’s mother was always complaining that she did not treat her brothers or her with love and devotion, instead spending all her love on Sam. She was jealous of their love. And she resented Maria for becoming successful as an adult while her sons had turned out to be failures.

When they came back to Korea to help her deal with cancer, she hated them being there. She did not want them to return to Korea permanently, thought they should stay in the U.S. and visit once a year at most for a few weeks.  She thought that Maria was plotting to take over property that did not belong to her and hated her for demanding her fair share of the family properties.  Finally, she resented the fact that she needed her help in going to doctors etc.

An overly complicated family story. Sam always thought that this would make a particularly good novel, or movie or K Drama.  Food for a short story or two about Korean family dynamics.  Their love story would make a great K Drama complete with a villainous mother figure, who hated her ugly daughter from birth because she was an ugly crying baby.  And the mother continues to hate her rebellious daughter who marries a foreigner and despises her mother.  And became the first Korean born female to become an US Army office to be stationed in Korea.  And her son in law becomes a diplomat.

They had grown up in quite different circumstances, countries, and cultures.  They had quite different personalities and both were strong willed, opinionated, and stubborn and proud.  Neither of took criticism well, and both tended to view the world in very personal terms.

And boy did they have different personalities. Sam was outgoing, the life of the party, optimistic, happy go lucky, unrealistic, a big dreamer, a big story teller, but lacked discipline and tended to start projects but have a hard time finishing them and he wanted so much to be liked that forgave people too easily and he was too nice to the point that people took advantage of  him,

Maria was more reserved, and very strategic and tactical in her thinking, very deliberate and took a long time before she made decisions.  In the meantime, she would talk out all the possibilities, which drove Sam up a wall, he wanted to decide quickly then move on.  Maria was suspicious, perhaps even paranoid, and very secretive.  Yet despite their profound differences, they some how managed to get along, reached agreement on the way forward and always thought about their partner.  And their love remained steadfast and unshakable.

They say that opposites attract but it is hard to live with people who are so different.  Sam often thought that if they had taken one of these on=line compatibility tests they would fail the tests. According to Chinese Astrology theirs was a perfect astrological combination, a Male Goat, and a Female Pig.  According to western astrology, a Gemini (Maria) and Scorpio ,(Sam) relationship was complicated but when it worked it was one of the most powerful relationship although both parties had to work hard at it to make it work.

In any event, there was no mistaking the deep love, the powerful connection and the fact that they both knew from the moment they saw each other (Sam in his dream, and Maria getting off the bus) that they were fated to meet, marry and be together.  They were in fact soul mates.

And they both knew that they had know each other in prior lives.  They had no idea how complicated a history they shared that transcended centuries dating back to the dawn of history but one day they would go through past life regression analysis and learn the shocking story of their true love destiny, but that is for later in the story.  For now, they just knew they were met to be together.

Over the years whenever things were difficult between them as they always can be with married couples, Sam would think back to the dream and then he would fall in love with her again and again and again.  and when they were apart, Sam would have the dream, she was there looking at him with love flashing in her eyes – just staring at him and telling him how much she loved him

Despite her mother’s misgivings, she honored the agreement, and they went ahead with plans to get married at the Korean Army school.  His father came out to the wedding which was the talk of the town.

Chapter Seven Sam’s dysfunctional family history

Her Mother reluctantly accepted Sam as her son-in-law. Her Father, and siblings accepted Sam as well and grew to love him as Sam was such a lovable personality.  Sam’s family accepted her into his dysfunctional family. Sam’s family’s history was long and complicated, according to DNA and family lore Sam had 18 different nationalities among his ancestry.

 

On his father’s side of the family, his ancestry was from England,  (hence the last name Adams (they were distant cousins to the Presidential Adams) Germany Norway, Sweden, Finland ,Denmark, Holland, France, Spain, Russia, Ukraine, Lapland, Jewish, and Mongolian since  everyone from Eastern Europe is part Mongolian..

His father grew up in Yakima, Washington State as the son of an apple farmer.  He had received a PhD from Harvard, and had been a Rhodes Scholar, having gotten a MA from Oxford.  He had served as the undersecretary of labor for Johnson and Kennedy before returning to the Bay Area where he taught for almost 40 years at San Francisco State University.  He was also a part-time politician, ran for congress against Ron Dellums and got his proverbial ass whooped.

On his mother side of family, Sam was Irish, English, French, Dutch, and Cherokee.  According to the DNA, Sam was also part Nigerian.  His mother’s clan were part of the lost tribe of the Cherokee Indians the disappeared around 1830 and would never registered as members of the Cherokee tribe, living on in the Ozark mountains and hills of Arkansas, Missouri, and Texas,  truly hillbillys as they used to call them. She was union activist and later a real estate agent and helped his father run his various side businesses.

They had a love-hate relationship, and Sam grew up in a very dysfunctional family.  His older brother became an arch conservative as did his younger brother.  They both married Asian women, his older brother married his wife one month after he met her.  She was from the Philippines, and they had three daughters.  His younger brother married a Chinese American woman and had one son and two daughters.   His sister who died of a mysterious illness at age 50, had two daughters and one son. Sam was blessed to have many nieces, nephews and grand nephews, and nieces, although he did not get along with his siblings, he was found of his nieces and nephews.

Sam’s wife had an older brother and younger brother therefore Sam had nieces and nephews and grand nieces and nephews on both sides of the family.  All in all, a very tangled interesting family story.

Chapter Eight -The wedding of a thousand guests

Then they had their wedding.  It was a huge celebrity wedding, and Sam had no clue.  It was a first in many respects.  In Maria’s family, she was only the second Chung Ju Lee clan member (the ancient royal clan) to have ever married a foreigner.  The first was Symgun Rhee, the First President of Modern Korea, and the second was Sam’s wife, Chong Oak Lee (later known as Maria Lee).

Sam’s father came for the wedding and the Koreans interviewed him on nationwide TV as he was a former Under Secretary of Labor and apparently was the highest-ranking foreign father in law in Korean history.  It made all the papers.

And finally, they were the first foreign-Korean couple to get married at a Korean Army base.  Sam was newly employed at the Hangjong Hak Kyo, the Korean Army Administration school.

Their marriage had a cast of 1,000 people. Sam’s father in law said he had never met most of his clan’s men and everyone wanted to come to the wedding.

Sam was totally unaware of this until many years later.  His Korean was still not up to par and furthermore his wife did not want to alarm him or get him nervous.  She was nervous herself.  But she was determined that he was her man, and they would be married.

It said a lot about their marriage.  Sam wanted her to be happy and so went along with her desires but boy what a media circus it all was.

Chapter Nine early marriage life

After the marriage of 1000 guests, Marie and Sam went on a honeymoon to a hot springs resort in the middle of January.  Sam learned that she was cold blooded and cannot handle cold weather and Sam had to warm her  up every night as he had an excess of  Ki life energy  as the Koreans put it and that became one of the many things that brought them together

They went back to the ROK Army administration school and worked there for a year.  Maria got a job teaching Korean to US army officers for the University of Maryland and she also started attending the Seoul University graduate school MBA program.

And they were preparing to go to the University of Washington for graduate school.  Maria told Sam one day she would like to join the US Army as an officer once she finished a graduate degree and became a US citizen.  Sam thought that was amusing but little did he know that she would make it happen.

Maria turned out to be incredibly determined, capable and an overly ambitious woman. Sam on the other hand was much more laid-back, more content to just go with life handed him without too much talk about the future.

Although their personalities were quite different, every day they woke up and fell in love with each other. Early on in their marriage they discovered that when they fought, and had an argument, afterwards they would laugh, and the magic would come back.

After year of teaching, it was time to prepare to go back to the states. Sam took a six-month job back with his old employer teaching basic skills, ESL, and basic business courses.  She continued teaching Korean and taking classes at Seoul National University and taking the TOPEC test

.  Sam had gotten into the University of Washington Jackson School of International Studies where he would get a MA in Korean studies.  She got into the linguistics program thinking that she might one to eventually find work as an interpreter at a high-level event.

They left for Seattle and settled in there for four years.  She transferred to the MPA program which also accepted

.  They worked through graduate school delivering papers and she worked part time as a translator.   She got into the ROTC program and once she became a citizen, she joined the US Army as an officer.

When they graduated, they went to Korea where Sam taught at a Korean University and worked as a copy editor for a Korean economic think tank. In the evenings he taught at the University of Maryland on base teaching government and taught business for Central Texas Community college.

Three years later Sam got into the State Department and went to DC for training.  He came back to Korea and did his first assignment in Korea.

Then he went to Thailand after studying Thai and she went on for further training.  They were then separated for two years – the worst two years of his life and Sam began to drink and fell into bad habits.

But they were reunited after two years and went back to the States. On their ten-year anniversary, Sam convinced Maria it was time to go to a past life regression analysis to learn their true love story.

 

TBC

 

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