Resilience
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Salvation

Just before school ended I met a remarkable woman who attracted me immediately. Loretta sparked something in me. She was a Chinese American freshman, the daughter of Chinese immigrants, who decided to run for treasurer of the Yale Political Union. Loretta thought of herself as a secular humanist, a California girl, yet had her father’s Chinese Taoist orientation to life and her mother’s hard headed Shanghai commercial acumen. She was running against a rather annoying liberal who initially had the support of the Party of the Right. Loretta was fearless, having been a California extemporaneous debater. She was smart, articulate, and sincere. She was also attractive and full of life!

When she spoke to the Party of the Right caucus she won my heart. My rhetoric swung some votes her way. She won the election in a landslide. Asked her out on a date but she had other plans. We went our separate ways for the summer. Yet it seemed everywhere I went on campus Loretta was there: walking between classes, at the library or dining halls. Loretta had her own group of friends who did not overlap at all with my friends. I was that provincial RI working class white kid who didn’t really fit into Yale culture. Aspired to being worthy of Loretta’s love. Needed to get Loretta’s attention to have any hope of exploring a relationship with her.

Asked Loretta and one of her friends out for coffee and they talked about Gary Trudeau the whole time. Finally came Halloween, with parties happening all of over campus, the most popular was at the Yale President’s house, way up Hillhouse Avenue. Offered that I had a car on campus. Instead of the President’s party we could go to Lighthouse beach just outside New Haven and watch the moon come up. Being a California girl, and having only traveled by foot around urban parts of New Haven, Loretta was surprised that New Haven had a beach. She readily accepted my offer to watch the moon rise. The night was glorious and clear. The moon ¾ full. We talked for hours, about our families of origin, our deepest joys and fears, the presidential election, and so much more. By the time I drove her home we were dating.

Six weeks later we moved in together at my house off campus. Full of joy! Have never loved anyone the way I love Loretta. Even though there were many aspects of her being which I did not understand, wanted to spend all my time with her. Even though there were many aspects of me she clearly didn’t understand, Loretta seemed to have opened her heart to me, and seemed to love just being with me. Was my happy self again. We studied together, we ate together, we slept together (and Loretta went on birth control), and it all seemed so right. In the midst of my despair, on a cold dark night, I had finally found my soul mate. I would surrender my independent being and selfish needs for such a love. This would change our lives extraordinarily!

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