Sunday, June 17, 2012

Hearts Don’t Read Maps

It’s true. Hearts don’t read maps.  They understand nothing about geography. My heart has no clue that there are 7785 miles or 12,529 kilometers between Oklahoma City and Doha. This distance was not at all a concern when I fell in love with Boyet.  These love miles never seemed to be an obstacle in the early stages of our relationship.  What my heart saw was a funny, happy, sweet guy that made me smile.   We didn’t intend to fall in love and complicate our own lives so much; but our hearts couldn’t help it.  They knew that there was something more that existed beyond these miles.


When I began playing Zynga’s Texas Hold “Em Poker on Facebook, I never expected to find my zynga-pokersoulmate.  I was just looking to win large amounts of pixelated chips with which I could do nothing. When we stumbled into the same poker table and began chatting, neither of us expected to fall in love.  But It was a chance encounter that has changed both of our lives. Several months later, we both flew to the Philippines to meet.  He lives and works in Qatar even though is is Filipino. For me, I knew I needed to meet his family, understand his upbringing and to see the world through his eyes.  What is it about his world that is so different than mine and how do we bridge that gap?  Can we build a successful, loving, long term, blissful relationship in spite of the differences?


Lately I have been thinking a lot about these love miles and how we overcome them.  How did we get to be so happy together even though we are never together?  What does it mean to be happy in a long distance relationship? What are our key strategies to surviving long term in a long distance relationship?  What coping mechanisms do we employ to keep us from cracking?  Over the next few weeks, I am going to be taking a look at this topic to see what really works for us and what is it that makes this relationship so healthy for both of us.  I am also going to be interviewing a few other couples to see what it means to live beyond these love miles.  It’s not an easy loving someone is so far away; but I do it because he is worth it.  Our love is worth it, even if our hearts can’t read maps.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

OKC <3 Thunder

Today is game two of the NBA Championship series between the Miami Heat and the OKC Thunder.  Now, I enjoy basketball and I am thrilled that our team is doing well; but I love my city.  I am passionate about my home.  I am so very proud that Oklahoma City now has a professional sports team.  It has put our city on the map internationally.  So I just wanted to take a moment to explain why Oklahomans are have such a sense of pride and community. 

One first needs to understands that Oklahoma City is a smaller metropolitan area with sprawling suburban communities.  Everyone in the state refers to Oklahoma City as, simply, “the city.” If I am in the state and am asked where I live my response would be, “the city” even though I actually live in a suburb.  To Oklahomans, OKC is the North Star on our internal compass.

The obvious and most significant event that transpired  is the Alfred P. Murrah bombing.  It remains a brutal case of home grown terrorism that is stuck in our craw.  Seventeen years later we still miss the loved ones we lost, we sill cry over innocence lost and we will always carry that scar like a badge of honor.  We want visitors and newcomers to understand what this event did to us. Not because we want to remind them of the evil this world can bring, but 74221-004-91614A05 (1)because we want them to understand the sense of solidarity, the sense of community we felt when this event occurred.  You can never be one of us until you have felt our pain with us.

102493-the-path-of-the-may-3-1999-tornado-that-tore-through-oklahoma-cityThe next event that occurred is the May 1999 tornado. It left disaster areas in 17 counties and caused untold damage.  My community came together to help everyone in need.  Oklahomans took in their friends and neighbors, we donated our money and our time to help those in need.  The news stations would broadcast a need for water or blankets.  Within a few hours they indicate that the previous need had been fulfilled and now there was a new need.  For days we helped our own with the things they needed.  We were a community determined to provide.

Several years later when hurricane Katrina hit, the Superdome was not available for the New Orleans Hornets. Oklahoma opened its then Ford Center and our hearts to the Hornets.  While they played here we loved them as if they were our own. We tried to give them a sense of home, because we know what it feels like to be displaced by tragedy.  We wanted them to feel a sense of belonging and community even though this was not their home.  I met a few of the players since I sold their tickets while they were here. They were grateful that we were so open to receiving them and I am proud of what we were able to do for them.  I hope that Oklahoma City is a warm memory during a difficult time for the Hornets and their fans.


It also showed the NBA that we were prepared to support a team.  Now I know that there is a ton of controversy around how Oklahoma City came to be the new home of the Seattle Supersonics.  But we are just a simple community hoping to make a home a place of pride and comfort. We have accepted the Thunder as our own and are proud of how they represent our home.  They are a class act and exemplify the meaning of the word ‘team.’  Durant and Collison were and always will be Sonics.  They understand our sense of loss and confusion.  I believe that gives them an edge. Within them there is a pain and a hunger to provide a sense of establishment.  They want to show to everyone that Oklahoma City is resilient, that we are an unbreakable force, and that we are champions in every sense of the word.



Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Immigration Madness

The wait to be together is becoming increasingly difficult.  We miss each other terribly and I'm starting to lose my mind over the whole situation.  I can openly admit that I am not the easiest person to deal with and I am afraid that soon I will drive my dear darling crazy.  The process to get a foreign national into America, permanently and legally, is long and arduous at best.  As a natural born American, I will admit that I am accustomed to having most things readily available and convenient to me.  I am struggling with the complexity and length of this process. We have been working on this process for over a year now and we are still waiting to get him here with me.
US Embassy - Doha


So the American Embassy in Doha called to say that they were able to move Arnold's Visa interview to June 9, 2012!  Exciting news! But, you knew there had to be a but, he needs to have a copy of his NBI (National Beareau of Investigation) from the Philippines to present at his interview.  We have not yet obtained this and we are now in the process of scrambling.  Luckily, his sister, who lives in the Philippines, has agreed to help us by doing the leg work there for us.   Good news is that the NBI clearance can be obtained the same day it is requested.  The bad news is that it must be authenticated through the Department of Foreign Affairs. Apparently this process takes ten days, which is far too long for an interview this Sunday.  The really bad news is that if he doesn't interview this Sunday they will push his interview date even further back than our originally scheduled July 23 date.  They told him it would be moved to July 30.  So as of now, his interview is scheduled for July 30; that is if we can obtain his authenticated NBI clearance from the Philippines in time for it to be sent to him in Qatar.

July 23
At this time we do need to say a very big thank you to Arnold's family.  They are instrumental in helping us with Arnold's visa.  Without their assistance, I am certain that we would not be able to get him to America in 2012.  I can't imagine how much more difficult this process would be without them.  They have been such a blessing to us and I am grateful to be considered a member of the family.
Interesting tidbits:
If Arnold decides to become naturalized citizen rather than a permanent resident, then after three years of residency then he can become a citizen once he passes the difficult test.  He can maintain his Filipino citizenship; therefore, becoming a dual citizen of both the Philippines and America.  Now, if I decided to become a citizen of the Philippines it would require ten years of residency, rather than three, and I would be required to renounce my American citizenship.  I would not be allowed to hold dual citizenship.  I would be more than willing to do whatever it took to hold dual citizenship; unfortunately, it is not a possibility for me. :(

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Summer Sun and Summer Fun!

Summer’s Here!


Skies are blue


Summer’s begun


Grass is green


Bright the sun


Pout no more


My little one


No more stress


Time for fun


Plenty of play


Work is done


Cute little pool


That’s the one


Splish and splash


In the sun


Happy we are


Around we run


Memories made


Plenty of fun


Life is good

Cares are none


Skies are blue

Summer’s begun

Friday, June 1, 2012

My Hope is Seeking Shelter

I find myself in a really strange place. It’s like this 2657489986_145bf0ca94dark cloud has become my new companion and I am forever caught in it’s eerie shadow. It looms over me blanketing me with dread. Now everyone knows that “This too shall pass.”  I understand that time moves forward; moments pass and the calendar keeps turning. That is not at the heart of my problem.  I know that someday soon the clouds will part and I will once again be bathed in light and hope. But currently, I find myself in a tumultuous, stormy battle with these dark clouds.  Typically, hope and I are easy companions, fast friends, and lifelong partners.  Right now, however, she seems terrified by these clouds looming over me and she’s looking for shelter.

The fire at Arnold’s work, the tragic death of a friend of a friend and other events have become caughtdark clouds 3 up in these massive, dark clouds leaving me with a sense of dread and impending doom. The hope for a bright future has been chased off. Life is so fragile, so precious; tragedies happens and love is powerless to stop them.  t don’t doubt the strength of our love, our feelings for each other or the beauty in what we have. However, I have been stripped of my faith  for what will be.  What remains is this bone chilling fear, this mind numbing despair. I am frozen to my core from the possibilities of the dark things that could occur. I know its irrational but hope and faith have run for cover leaving me defenseless in this ominous storm.  I am losing sleep, my symptoms are raging and life seems to make no sense.

All of my usual tricks for staying positive feel like a flimsyrain2 shanty in this daunting dread.  I am trying to focus on putting one foot in front of the other, hoping that one day will turn into the next, and that these clouds will soon dissipate.  I cannot allow myself to think about the bright things I am missing but must focus on merely moving ahead in any capacity.  As a chronic pain sufferer with moderate nerve damage and severe balance issues, I am aware of the fact that I am an easy target for depression.  I can admit that it would be easy to succumb to the foreboding clouds of panic and depression.  I feel so powerless against this powerful storm; so, for now I will live moment by moment until this too passes.