Happy Birthday Sis

Ryan_Dana.JPGHey, so the other day was my sister's birthday – and between trying to call her and wish her such, and make her a little present (more on that in a minute), I neglected posting it on here.

When I finally did get in touch with her via e-mail for her new phone number she filled me in on a fact that nearly knocked me on my fake-wood floor. SHE'S COMING TO CHINA!

Now I love my sister, but of all the people I saw visiting me in China… I'd have to say she was far down on the list. I clearly remember her saying to me that Asia just doesn't do it for her and she doesn't understand people's attractions to it. Now, granted, she's not coming to check out China, but more to check out her new sister-in-law and be here for my wedding – but ah, how super cool.

So, now my confirmed wedding party looks to be Maggie and I (thank god for that), Mag's parents, my Dad, stepmom, and now BOTH sisters. This will mark the first time anyone from my family has come to visit me in China. To recap, I've had three visits while in China (Martin, Sarah and Vanessa). Somehow, family coming is very different, and for my wedding makes it even more key.

One of the major problems I was having with our wedding was that I felt it wasn't coming off as "real" in the minds of the folks back home in Canada. This is an abstract concept, and so hard to explain, but basically because they've never met Maggie and never had any real connection to my life here, I don't think it's easy for them to understand that there is a whole set of events going on here that are shaping the rest of my (and in a peripheral way, their) life.

Having my Dad and his family here was key to assuring that this wedding was recognized for what it was. Adding my sister to that compounds that feeling for me.

Now I know some may argue that I shouldn't be too concerned about who comes to the wedding, as if Maggie and I are there, that's enough. In principle I'd agree – but as much as a wedding is a day for recognizing the commitment two people are making to each other, it is also a day where two families come together.

It may happen that in the future Maggie and I will go to Canada and have a small reception to "celebrate" the marriage there, but to be very clear on my feelings about this – it's not a "wedding in Canada". Due to the conditions that have been dealt we are having the wedding in China, and we're only having one. I'm not going to divvy up the significance of our special day for the benefit of people that aren't able to come here. That probably comes across as a lot harsher than I mean it, but what I mean to say is: Maggie can't go to Canada until after we're married, neither of us want a big traditional wedding (so we like the idea of a beach wedding), Maggie's parents definitely wouldn't be able to come to the wedding in Canada even if Maggie could. This is small potatoes to the trials we'll face after we're married and have to deal with being an multi-national couple, but these are the cards we've been dealt.

Anyway, that's all sort of off topic from the subject of this post, which is Dana's BIRTHDAY! As hospitals and weddings have been laying a LOT of ownership to my savings lately, I decided to make her a gift rather than buy her some cheap Chinese souvenir (which she is more than welcome to stock up on when she COMES TO CHINA!). The gift? vBlog.07: Happy Birthday – it's not much considering this is the fourth birthday I've missed (England, British Columbia and two in China, respectively), but hopefully it'll do.

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