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Love is Worth the Wait

by Dina Gortman

Do you have friends who are addicted to fishing? While you might run back and forth to the car a hundred times, he can sit in one position for hours waiting for a fish until the bobber starts to twitch, and pulls out of the water a big fish.

What are some things that are worth waiting for? Special things come as a result of waiting, hard work, and faith. I met my future husband, Rudolf, six years ago in Russia, when I was sixteen years old. We were volunteers at a children’s camp in a village near Alatyr. We taught the children songs, and played outdoor games together. It was winter and we took the children sledding and tubing in the snow.

I know it sounds unbelievable, but when I met Rudolf, I knew right away he was the one. We immediately felt something special for each other. I can’t explain it in words; my heart was overfilled with peace, joy, and happiness when we were together. Even though we were very young, we were on the same wavelength. We shared the same world view. Rudolf had me with his kind heart, high spirits, soft tone, and love of kids. He also played the guitar and sang. I could imagine us spending time like this always. But everything ended, when the camp was over.

We left the camp and returned to Cheboksary where Rudy was staying with his host family. We had one more week together before Rudy had to return to his home in the USA. I was sixteen and I knew I had to wait. I needed to finish my high school. After two years, Rudy came back to Russia to return to the camp to work. During the two years apart, we continued to text and we felt our connection was even stronger. He proposed to me when he came back. We waited another year for all the travel documents to be processed. It ended up taking four years for the two of us to be together. It was very hard to be apart and had our future put on hold. You lived a life of experiences that cannot be shared with the one you love. I didn’t see how he was spending his time, and when I was with my friends, he couldn’t share my joy or sadness.

Finally, I received a letter from the embassy in Moscow. I prepared for my interview. Rudolf wanted to be with me in the embassy. We passed! We were so excited we bought my plane tickets. We just needed to wait for the visa to arrive. My family and friends set up a wonderful celebration for us. They gave speeches wishing us all the love and happiness. We sang and prayed together. My heart was filled with love and gratitude for everyone in my life, and for everything that was finally happening. I was worried about the visa, but I had faith. We had already bought tickets to the USA. We had nothing left to do but wait. In the end, on the day of our flight, my visa came. It was impossible to describe, what a relief it was. It was dream-like. Everything happened so fast. I could not believe this was my life. I was in America. I met Rudolf’s family and friends. They prepared everything for our wedding. Our reception was beautiful and bright. Rudolf and I sang, exchanged our vows, and fed each other wedding cake. We were the happiest people on earth. Before I knew it, six years had passed, and two of those years spent in isolation in the midst of a global pandemic. We now have two children. Our love grew beyond what I knew was possible when I was sixteen.

I appreciate the quiet and all the waiting. I’ve caught the best fish.