I’ve been thinking a lot about this upcoming Friday, which would have been my 11th wedding anniversary if Gee were still alive. It is pretty hard to believe that it has been 11 years since that amazing day that we got married. I still get compliments on our wedding…and asking Gee to marry me was one of the best decisions of my life. My commitment to Gee started with our first phone call, back in July of 1999, and still continues to this day.
Just before Gee passed away, she asked me to re-marry if I found the right person. She asked me not to close my heart to the world. Earlier this year, I realized that I had met the person she had asked me to look for. This past June, I realized that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with Ellie, an amazing woman I have known all of her life. I did not expect this and she certainly isn’t the person I would have chosen for many reasons if I had a choice, but she is someone I have loved in some form for all of her life and the woman I love most of anyone I’ve ever known.
After realizing how my feelings for Ellie had changed, I told this amazing young woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. Her response to my asking was very telling. Her first question was whether Gee would be angry or mad at either of us if we got married. I explained to her that one of my last promises to Gee was to re-marry if I found someone who I cared about and loved enough, and that she, Ellie, was that person. The second thing she told me was that she wished she had met Gee and regretted never having a chance to meet her. The last thing she said was that she loved me. It was because of this that I made my current commitment to her.
During the following week, we had started to talk about spending our lives together. We had talked about having children, that she adored asians with freckles, religion, my converting to Catholicism, and many other subjects related to sharing our lives. She asked if she could see the claddagh ring I had bought for her. I don’t believe she would have discussed these subjects unless she was seriously considering my proposal. She also told me dozens of times that she loved me during the week, in both Korean and English—and I don’t believe that she would have told me she loved me unless she did.
Unfortunately, I didn’t know she was an alcoholic and I made the mistake of confronting her about her drinking on June 29th, and we haven’t spoken since. During the months since, I discovered that she has a serious alcohol/drug addiction problem. I tried to get documentation of her illness to her mother so that her mother would help get Ellie the help she needs, but that was blocked by her father, an alcoholic in denial himself. Ellie’s mother is too frightened of her husband to try and help their daughter. Her brother is also an alcoholic/drug addict, though his addictions are under control since he is being treated for his chronic depression, which was the underlying cause for his drinking and drug use.
Right now, I am waiting for Ellie to hit rock bottom. I don’t believe that she’ll ever understand how seriously her alcohol and drug use is affecting her until she hits rock bottom. I am hoping that she fails her classes this semester, as I believe that is the safest and least destructive way for her to hit rock bottom—with the fewest risks and lowest chance of permanently damaging her, others or her future. This would be far better than her getting arrested for drunk driving or buying alcohol using a fake ID, getting pregnant or getting raped, which are all also real possibilities given her behavior since July.
I think this video says how I feel about her and what I’d do for her almost perfectly.
I am someone that has always been there for Ellie. She has turned to me for help many times in the past, and I hope she will turn to me once again when she realizes she needs help. I promised her and her mother that I would be here if and when Ellie asks for my help in her recovery, and have tried to tell them about how strong my commitment to Ellie is. I hope that Ellie will get better and return to my life, so we can begin our life together as we had been talking about prior to her succumbing to her illness.