My Real Home

I was sitting at our dining table early this morning, having just read a few chapters of the Bible like I regularly do. It was still pitched dark outside but it was not cold – the summer warmth was almost balmy and I was clad only in my shorts and t-shirt. As I put the bookmark back where I stopped reading and took a sip of my coffee, I realized that bookmark was dated February 1987.
It was a bookmark I gave Tress when she first went to Armidale in northern NSW, where she attended the University of New England for a year before moving up to Sydney the next year and joined me in my university.  It probably feels awkward now for young courting couples to be sending each other stuff like that – it is more likely that emails with pretty attachments are sent instead or small fortune spent on some fancy dinners. I wonder where young people get their money from these days. Whatever we earned from weekend and other part time work went to university fees and daily expenses. All I could afford were cheap bookmarks into which I crammed lines of written messages.
I have known Tress since we were both very young. I first noticed her when we were in the youth groups of our church, probably in our early teens. A few of us guys – all maybe 13-14 year olds – went over to her house once during a “job week” to do some odd jobs to raise funds for the church. At that time she was just another schoolgirl from church. I must confess I didn’t feel anything then. That happened a few years later.
A few weeks before the Christmas of 1984, we had a church camp in Singapore. It was to be my last church camp because I was leaving for Sydney for my studies, in February 1985. A mate and I went to Singapore a few days earlier, as I had wanted to get some shopping done in preparation for Sydney. I wasn’t involved in the organization of the camp as a result and didn’t know what was in store. In fact I was drifting in and out of the camp program, without really participating.
The done thing in church camps of that era was to hold a talent night. Everyone was expected to be part of a performance. Tress was asked to read out a poem. I don’t know what the original plans were for her item but someone asked me to back her up with this and read it out together with her. I went through the piece with her and something clicked. During practice and later after the performance, I realized something.
I felt fantastic when I was with her, and felt a sort of peace and relaxed state of mind which is completely agreeable. I felt like I didn’t have to say or do anything in her presence, to feel great. It was almost like I instantly realized this was a person I could – wanted to – spend the rest of my life with.
That was in December 1984 – more than 23 years ago. My feelings for her today are no less intense than they were in 1984 – probably more. She has been the best thing to have happened to me.
If any one asked me therefore what trait one should look for in a potential spouse, I’d have to say it isn’t so much the traits a person possesses as it is what that person make you feel like. Tress makes me feel totally at home. I am so relaxed and comfortable every time I am with her. It’s like I’ve come home, every time I’m with her.


2 thoughts on “My Real Home

  1. Hey Teh, it’s been some time since I visited your blog. Happy CNY and Valentine’s too. I’m happy for you having found your soulmate and how God has blessed your marriage! This is a very sweet post on V Day.


  2. You’re one lucky man Uncle Teh. Let’s hope everyone is as lucky as you, including yours truly! :p


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