The Words of the Kovic Family
The next morning, Hong-Yu and I met downstairs in the lobby. I took her out to breakfast at a restaurant just down the street from The New Yorker Hotel. We didn't talk very much as we walked up 34th Street two blocks. I kept looking at her. I didn't know what it was but there was something about her that was very familiar. She was very pretty. It was rare for a woman in the Unification Church to wear her hair as long as she wore hers. It was down past her shoulders. I know that's not very long but most women in the church wear their hair very short.
She had a rather slim build, about 5 feet 8. I was 5 feet 9 so we were about the same height.
After breakfast we took the subway to The Museum Of Natural History. It seemed like something we should do so that we could get to know each other. After walking through much of the museum this was all beginning to sink in. I mean, the fact that here I am after all of this had happened to me. My marriage to Makiko, she leaves with little explanation and all this time I'm adrift in my life trying to make sense of what I'm feeling inside. Now I've been matched again to another woman. Who is she? Can I trust her?
Hong-Yu told me that she wanted to sit down for a while. My behavior with her was very stoic. When you've just been matched in the Unification Church, you usually refrain from any form of affection such as kissing or hand holding. You just don't do it. But then I looked over to her. She had this very sad look on her face.
"What's wrong?" I asked her.
"Hold me please." She said to me.
In that instant I realized that she needed me. Of course there were this code of conduct that newly matched couples were expected to abide by but she needed me to be there for her. I had to listen to my heart and obey.
As we held each other we both felt a sigh of relief. It was okay. We weren't sinning.
I know what a lot of you are thinking. Of course you aren't sinning And you're absolutely right. It's just that at this time Hong-Yu and I are both members of the Unification Church. From all of these articles of mine that you've already read you have some idea of what that means. From our viewpoint, we're a man and a woman who are very much in love with each other. I felt it from the beginning. I fell head over heels in love with Hong-Yu. And our marriage for these past 21 years has been tested and grown and matured but I'm still discovering different things about her. I was lonely because my first wife left me and the church. She was lonely too because of some difficulties and struggles that she went through in her life too. But from the church's viewpoint, we're a man and a woman who by fate's guiding hand, have been taken out of the fallen world so that we could be engrafted into the Messiah's lineage and have our Original Sin completely forgiven.
But we still have sinful tendencies like having lustful thoughts and wanting to wanting to satisfy our own selfish desires.
So, we need to work through this stuff and purge those character deficiencies so that we can develop a moral character. That's what your life in the church is all about, dealing with that stuff. And then when you've accomplished a certain level of self discipline after several years in the church and gone The Formula Course as we call it: fundraising, witnessing and bringing into the church at least three spiritual children or three new members, then you're ready to tackle the next stage of your spiritual evolution, Creating A Family.
So, the Unification Church is very strict about the kind of behavior that a newly matched couple expresses toward each other and for a good reason. But, as I said, I couldn't just look at Hong-Yu who was obviously hurting inside and tell her, "Sorry, but that's not the kind of behavior we're allowed to express to each other. Get real, woman and stop feeling sorry for yourself."
That's not me. I'm a very compassionate person and when someone close to me is hurting inside and needs me then I am going to be there for her no matter what the hell happens.
You don't know what actually happened between me and Makiko after we were married at Madison Square Garden. All that you know is that bullshit that I told you about when we began magically understanding each other's heart. That didn't happen. This is what happened.
The day after the wedding ceremony in Madison Square Garden my central figure (Unification Church lingo for boss or person in charge. The use of that term actually has some theological background. Should I explain it to you? Naaah. On with the story.) So my central figure decided to take all of us newly married Master Marine employees and their spouses to Jones Beach on Long Island. Great beach. I actually grew up about ten miles from there in a town called Massapequa and we always went to Jones Beach during the summer.
The cool thing about working for Master Marine was that the E-Sun Building that housed our boat building company also housed a church bus company. So we got to ride in these streamlined, air conditioned buses to Jones Beach for a cookout. Makiko and I got in our seats and off we went. Given the fact that for the last few days we've been so very busy with this wedding, about fifteen minutes from Long Island City, I found Makiko had dozed off and had laid her head on my shoulder. It was the first time that I realized that she needed me.
We all had a good time at Jones Beach. Makiko had actually gotten together with some of the other Japanese wives and walked across the street to where there was an area of marsh land, ideal for clam digging. They rolled up their pants and went digging for clams. After we came back from the beach it was time for her to go. She had to return to Japan that evening.
This is the last recollection that I have of the two of us together. We were in a service elevator lobby at the New Yorker Hotel. It was her and I alone, no interpreter, just alone still unable to speak each other's language. I remember her, with her limited English, making an attempt to reach out to me and love me. And all this 23 year old guy could do was to keep her at arms length not wanting her to express her love to me fearing we might violate those unwritten yet indelible rules of behavior between a newly married husband and wife.
In my heartless attempt to protect myself from my own wife who needed me and wanted a tender, loving memory to see her through the years we were to be separated, I got angry at her and said, "Makiko, why are you doing this. You need to get back to your mission and I need to get back to mine."
Every time I think back to that very moment, it makes perfect sense why she eventually left the church. I had found out from someone else that she was really having a hard time as a member in the church. She was having a hard time fitting in to the Unification Church and then was matched and blessed to me. Her expression of love to me was that last effort she made to connect with me and I refused to entertain her feelings and love her in return.
So, after five years, after realizing what I had and what I had lost I was resolved to not let that happen ever again. When Hong-Yu reached out to me I put my arms around her and hugged her tight. That's all it took. She didn't want me to kiss her; the time wasn't right for that yet. We'd have plenty of time for that when we got together and we did. And we've always enjoyed loving each other and never held back our feelings from each other.
We left the Museum Of National History and went across the street to Central Park to take a walk. As we walked along the road she did something so very unique. She started to sing. My wife has one of the most beautiful untrained operetta voices that I've ever heard in my life. And she sang for me. It was out of this world.
We came upon a bridge and then I had an idea. I took out my camera. It had this timer feature on it. So I placed the camera on a stump right in front of the bridge, pressed the button, ran back to where Hong-Yu was standing in the middle of the bridge, and put my arm around her back as we both smiled at the flashing camera. I still have that photo. It's one of the cutest photo's I have of her and I.
The next day Hong-Yu's CARP (Collegiate Association For The Research Of Principles) central figure took all of his members out to the theater to see "Lethal Weapon" starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover. Remember that film? This movie set off one of the most profound emotional experiences that I've ever had with her.
For one reason or another, whether it was the high quality Dolby stereo sound that this theater had or the emotions I was feeling during this time, probably both. I remember all of those gun shots during the film. They were so loud. Bam, Bam, Bam, Bam as loud and as intense as anything I had ever heard and felt in my life. If you know anything about sound, you know that sound waves and vibration can really affect you. Well, those gun shots were so intense that they just penetrated me and blew me away.
When the movie was over I was so stunned. As I walked out of the theater with Hong-Yu and the rest of her CARP team I was still reeling from that experience. I was emotionally disturbed. I was afraid and I was on the verge of tears. As I walked beside her I said to her, "Hong-Yu, can I hold you?" She said yes. I explained to her about what that movie had done to me and she understood. So, all the way back to the New Yorker Hotel, I had my arms around her. Hong-Yu's central figure, Brian Stott, was not very happy with my behavior or that one of his members was expressing such intimacy to her fiancé.
I didn't care if her central figure, the keeper of church tradition and moral code was less than pleased at our behavior. Hong-Yu was my betrothed, my fiancé, my lover and at that moment I needed her emotional support. I think I must have had that experience so that I could understand what it was that my first wife, Makiko, had been going through five years earlier.
When we got back to the New Yorker we went somewhere that was private. Behind the hotel lobby was an escalator that went downstairs to a gift shop and the men's and ladies restrooms. We sat on one of the steps of the escalator and then I started to tell her about what happened to Makiko and how that made me felt over these past several years. When I decided to do that I just let go of all my constraints and I cried in her arms.
I realized right then and there that God was taking care of me. He had seen to it that after all that I had been through that I would have the opportunity to heal, to heal my heart and to be whole once again. You see, and I'll tell you a little secret about my relationship with Hong-Yu. Before we incarnated into this life, when we were spirits in Heaven, we got together and agreed to help each other out in this next life. She's not my primary soul mate. My twin flame's name is Lara. She is a most wonderful soul whom I've spent so many lives with. But I had lived enough of my other lives being pampered, being born in wealthy affluent families and never wanting for anything. I decided that this needs to change because I've not been dealing with a lot of important issues of mine that need to be resolved. I've had it up to her with reincarnation. I want to free of my karmic cycles and so I talked to Hong-Yu or Sanella (pronounced as San-aya) as she is known as a soul in Spirit World and we agreed that we would be husband and wife in this life so that we could help each other out with our issues.
That's why I fell in love with her, not because she is my soul mate but because she is the agent of my salvation.