So Very Unexpected, So Incredibly Welcome

Eight years ago, on an ordinary day in my then-home Moscow, I met a man who loved great music and wanted to share it with the world.

He had a quick wit, a wicked sense of humor, and a commitment to social and economic justice that completely inspired me. He was kind, gentle, strong beyond his own awareness, and conveyed a quiet calmness which immediately enfolded those around him.

The first time we hung out, he described himself as just a ‘tropical fish out of water’. Indeed.

Our courtship was short and sweet. What was there to really ‘decide’? The Cuban and the American who met in Moscow were simply meant to be. As cliche as our story is and as unexpected as meeting him was, his entry into my life was more than welcome — it was necessary.

On this day two years ago, we finally took the plunge and made it official. In the Helsinki Courthouse on a bright, warm, late-August day, we became husband and wife. It was a small, intimate ceremony and at moments a bit silly, but it was all us.

The last eight years have been more meaningful because of the man with whom I share my life. It hasn’t always been easy — but, not because of the two of us, just because life isn’t always rainbows and unicorns. I can’t imagine having gone through it with any other person on the planet. I wouldn’t want to.

Rather fittingly, the night before we married, we spent a delightful evening seeing music we both love—AfroCubism. For anyone who doesn’t know the story of how a group of insanely talented musicians from Mali and Cuba joined forces to create some of the most beautiful sounds around, it’s a tale of impossible odds and years of patience and waiting for a dream to become a reality. Perhaps that is why we love them so.  It was a perfect bridge between ‘co-habitating’ and ‘married’.

He is my best friend, my family, my hero, and my moral compass. He understands my fears and insecurities better than anyone and can bring a smile to my face when all I want to do is cry. As unlikely as a couple as we are, I cannot imagine spending every day of my life with any other individual than the man from Cuba with the insatiable quest for great music who stole my heart and captured my imagination on an ordinary night in Moscow.

Happy anniversary, Tweetie! Here’s to us…and wherever this life takes us next.

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