Chapter 12 – Coming To America
Winnie received her visa stamp the next day, and we set July 15 for her date to fly to the US. I contacted Howard and Pam out in Los Angeles with the news. I explained as newlyweds, we really needed a hotel room once Winnie arrived… Howard and Pam agreed, and promised to make arrangements for a hotel near where they lived. I made my travel arrangements while back in China, Winnie closed out her apartment, said goodbye to her family, and made her own travel arrangements.
On Thursday July 14, I flew out to Los Angeles once again. Jeff had also traveled down from Oakland for the occasion. Winnie’s flight would be coming in about 7:00PM on the 15th, so that day we all just hung around Howard and Pam’s house. About 5:30 Pam, Jeff, and I went over to the airport while Howard stayed home to finish grading school papers, promising to meet us at a restaurant for dinner later on.
We arrived at the airport more than one hour early based on the schedule, only to learn the flight had been delayed an hour. So we waited. I was so charged up I could not sit for more than a few seconds, so ended up constantly walking around the airport. Pam joked that “walking around wouldn’t get Winnie here any quicker.” To which I replied “You don’t know that.”
Finally, the flight arrived, and I waited another eternity for the passengers to disembark. As close as I was watching the line of people coming out, Winnie slipped by and I finally spotted her in the waiting area, luggage stacked on a cart, looking around anxiously. I called out her name and was with her in a moment. Hugging her on American soil almost made the long wait worthwhile.
The long wait was over.
This story is dedicated to all the many couples waiting, or who will wait, for a broken, dysfunctional buracracy to allow them to live together sharing thier lives as married couples should. I also send them wishes that their marriages will be long and fulfilling, with much health, happiness, and prosperity.