To celebrate Valentine’s Day, I want to share this chapter from my book about how I met my wife, Dr. Christy (here’s a link to a great teaching she gave if you want to get to know her better), fell deeply in love and married the woman of my dreams…
Chapter 21: Mint Chocolate Chip, Marriage and a Miracle
When I met Christy the first time it was innocent. A mutual friend said with a slip of the tongue, or a psychic insight, “You need to be with him,” and grabbed Christy’s hand to introduce us.
Our eyes met. A spark. A big spark. Then we started talking. Not, “Hi, what’s your name?” No, we skipped right to the good stuff―life story, dreams, the kind of juicy details you usually save for dessert.
I will be totally honest. I had never met a woman like this. We were both in relationships so it wasn’t sexual. Okay, let me clarify that. She was sexy, deeply sexy―tall, slender, brown hair, and gorgeous blue eyes. But there was more, something different. She had depth, intelligence, super femininity, but with a strength and passion, like dark chocolate in real mint ice cream. Not the kind you buy at the supermarket freezer, but like homemade ice cream, rich and creamy, deep and complex, mixed with the zing and POW to your taste buds of real mint. You know what I mean? Can you taste it?
I could. But like I said, we were in relationships so that was that, right? Apparently the universe, and my daughter, had other things in mind.
A few months later I was single. One day talking with Nataly she asked me, “Dad, do you remember that lady we met at the health conference?”
“Dr. Christy?” I said.
“Yeah,” she replied. “What did you think of her?”
Nataly had been there in that ice cream moment; she’d seen the spark. “She’s amazing,” I said. “That’s the kind of woman I’m determined to meet.”
Nataly giggled. “Dad,” she said with the innocence of a small child about to tell their Daddy a really big secret.
“When you met her, Dr. Christy, I knew something. I felt something, like a vision, except I didn’t see it. I just knew it.”
“What?” I asked her. “What did you know?”
“Well, when we came home I told Kevin that I had met Daddy’s new wife.”
Now to understand my reaction to this, let me tell you a story about my daughter Nataly. One time when she was five or six we were outside our house. She was riding her little tricycle, wearing her cute little pink glasses, riding up and down the street yelling, “Catch me Daddy … catch me Daddy!” All of a sudden out of the corner of my eye I saw a little boy standing in the middle of the street. I told Nataly to stay put and I rushed over to pick him up. I held the boy and walked to the sidewalk. His mother came running from a nearby house. He had wandered out the door and into the street. She thanked me profusely, the way one does in those types of situations.
“Perfect, now back to Nataly,” I thought. Except Nataly was sitting there on the curb, her little glasses flooded with tears and a look of pure disgust on her face.
I went to give her a hug and she pushed me away.
“What’s wrong?” I asked her.
“That little boy,” she snarled. “He’s not yours. I am.”
My heart melted. I felt her jealousy, so I tried to be logical.
“Well, he was all alone in the middle of the street. Don’t you think it was a good idea for Daddy to save him before he got hit by a car?”
“NO!” Nataly said. “I hate him!”
That’s a story Nataly and I have laughed about many times over the years. But the truth has always remained that Nataly never really approved of anyone I dated. They just weren’t good enough for her Daddy.
So for Nataly to have met a woman, had a feeling she was my wife, AND proclaim this to her brother was an almost impossible story for me to believe.
I yelled for Kevin to come up.
“Ya.” He was fourteen and “ya” was one of the few words he spoke at the time.
“What did Nataly tell you about a woman named Dr. Christy we met at the health conference?” I asked him.
“I dunno,” he said.
“Think about it.”
“Oh … ya … she said she met your wife or something like that. Said she was an amazing lady and we should do a set-up like in that stupid Parent Trap movie … can I go now?” he spit this out in one monotone sentence.
I looked at Nataly, squinting my eyes as if trying to see a different angle of what was going on.
“Call her, Dad. I think she likes you.”
I tracked down a mutual friend who had her number and sent her a text. You know the kind. “Hey, we met, hope you remember me, how are you, blah blah blah.” A day went by and no answer. I sent another one and another day and no answer.
My male ego kicked in. All I wanted was a response. Good, bad, whatever. Then I stopped myself; maybe I have the wrong number. I reached out to my friend again and asked her to contact Christy and see what was up.
Soon a text from Christy came. We set up a call. Then a date. And well, the rest is history.
But I’ll tell you the story anyway.
Christy was living in San Diego at the time with her daughter Jadyn. I’d been taking flying lessons and asked her to pick me up at a small airport near her home. I got my instructor and a small plane and off I went to my first date with the mint-chocolate-chippy woman named Dr. Christy.
That first date was simple and beautiful, just like every other moment of our relationship from that point forward. We walked on the beach for hours. Drinking green juices and catching up. I say catching up because the sensation was we had known each other forever. We were like two people who played together as kids and had now reunited. We just had a little catching up to do.
The entire day can be summarized by the beautiful words Christy said. Walking hand-in-hand, barefoot down the beach, she looked into my eyes and said, “I knew the moment I saw you that I was made to love you. I didn’t understand why we were both in relationships. That’s why I didn’t answer your first text. I couldn’t stand the thought of not being with you. I have always loved you, Jason.”
I know you may read that and think it’s too forward or maybe even crazy. But it made perfect sense to me. There was a deep knowing inside, like all those other times in my life.
I was home.
Not long after I went to see Guru Singh. I told him about Christy, about Nataly’s vision, and about the date.
He closed his eyes, like I told you he sometimes does. His eyes were closed longer than usual, almost as if he was savoring the moment.
When he opened his eyes he pointed to a framed newsprint picture. It was of a woman, sitting in a field. An angelic woman in white in a field of green.
“Do you see that picture?” he asked me.
I nodded and he continued.
“I was flying home from India one day and I found that picture in a magazine. It caught my eye. No, it spoke to me. ‘This is your wife.’ I heard the voice just like I hear you today. This made no sense to me in the moment, but even then, so many years ago, I had learned to trust. I ripped out the picture and took it with me.
“I did some research and that picture is actually a painting. At the time the painting was one hundred years old. The woman had lived another hundred years before that. Now none of it made any sense at all. But still the picture spoke to me. ‘This is your wife.’
“A few weeks later I was at a yoga festival. I was walking through the crowd and caught a glimpse of a beautiful woman, dressed all in white, sitting in a grass field, a real-life mirror of the magazine picture I had been carrying in my pocket. I knew in that moment she was the one … but I had a problem.”
What a beautiful story, I thought. What could possibly be the problem?
He continued, “I am a yogi, not a player. I didn’t know what to say to her. A while later my teacher, Yogi Bhajan, called for me. I went to see him and he asked, ‘Guru Singh, have you met anyone new lately?’
“You see he knew my wife, Guruperkarma, before I did. He met her at a gathering in Canada. When he met her he knew she was to be my wife, he just didn’t know how yet. That day he wasn’t asking me if I had met ANYONE. His real question was had I met THE ONE. My wife.
“At that point, I hadn’t met her. I had only seen her. Later that night Yogi Bhajan made sure we were in the same place at the same time, and that the answer to his question would be ‘Yes, I have met someone.’
“When we returned to Los Angeles from the conference, Yogi Bhajan said to me, ‘Guru Singh, she is your wife. Call her and ask her to marry you.’
“So I did. And do you know what, Jason? She told me that when the phone rang she knew who it was and what I was calling for.
“Forty years later. Hmm. Well, we are one soul occupying two bodies. That is what is happening with you. Christy is your wife.”
We ended the day with a big hug and three simple words from my Guru: “Bring her here.”
A couple of weeks later, after a few more dates and getting to know Jadyn (who with the simplistic depth of a child told me, “Thank you for being my mommy’s soul mate”), Christy and I arrived together at Guru Singh’s house.
We all sat down. He smiled the smile of a father who knows his son has found the one.
We talked for a moment. Then Guru Singh said simply, “So when is it?”
“When is what?” I asked.
“When is the date that we will formalize that which already is?” he said in the odd phrasing of a guru.
And that was that.
A couple of months later we were married in a small ceremony in the meditation room of our home.
Guru Singh, Guruperkarma, Nataly, Kevin, and Jadyn were there, along with our friend, the Shaolin monk Wang Bo, who doubled as the photographer.
The wedding was simple yet elegant. Not elegant like fancy. No. In fact we did nothing to decorate or create any external pizzazz. It was a from-the-heart kind of elegance, a family formalizing a bond that had existed always.
In a touching moment we placed a Zen garden, a small box of sand, in the middle of the floor. We each placed something in the garden that represented who we were in the family. Kevin put in a turtle to represent his love of animals, his autonomy in caring for them, and the role of his family in supporting this love. Nataly placed a jade heart to represent love and understanding, Jadyn added a small statue of the Buddha sitting under the Bodhi tree as a symbol that all of our dreams can come true. Christy placed a green apple in the garden representing a healthy and vibrant family. I went last and put a small tattered statue of Winnie the Pooh. My grandma had given it to me years prior with a card. On the card there was a picture of Pooh and Piglet walking together. “Pooh,” said Piglet. “Yes, Piglet,” answered Pooh. “Nothing, I just wanted to be sure you were there.”
I was no longer alone. I had found my playmate, the one I had been looking for since the days of sitting by myself in the corner at my mom’s work. The one I had longed for as I charged up the hill of life trying so hard to succeed … trying so hard to be loveable.
The irony of it all is that my partner turned out to be the person who said those beautiful words to me on the beach. “I was born to love you.” No hard work, no compromise, no struggle, no prerequisites. A simple truth. “I was born to love you.”
A few days after our wedding Wang Bo called me. He sounded excited. He needed to see me.
When he arrived he pulled out the photographs he had taken of our wedding. They were beautiful. Moments of love captured through the lens of a monk. Then he showed me the last photo, a picture of Christy and me kissing at the moment of I DO. Reflecting right through our faces, as if in divine form, was the statue of the Buddha that sat in our meditation room. There we were, Christy and I, expressing our love, and there was the Buddha shining through our kiss. I asked Wang Bo if he had done some kind of special effect to the picture. “No,” he said. He was visibly shaken. “This is how it came out. All the pictures on either side were normal. But this one, at that very moment: it was special.”
A week later he told me he had sent the picture to his teachers at the Shaolin Temple, the most senior monks. They studied the picture and reported back to him. They said that our love, Christy’s and mine, was deep. That it went back seven lifetimes. We had been together many times before. This picture was an expression of that. A blessing.
I love this story. So tender, just like the heart of a monk. If you ask me what I believe, I’ll tell you. I believe we all see what we are putting out. We see the world through the lens of our consciousness. That special photograph is the result of our collective perspectives, from the love of everyone who nurtured us on our path to find each other, from the expression of love of a small family that came together in a meditation room for a wedding, and from the love of everyone whose life will be touched by seeing this beautiful snapshot of time.
Our wedding was not just of two people, but of a community of consciousness … a guru and his wife; three beautiful children; a woman so delicious I describe her as ice cream; me, a man who had released the scared little boy inside him and found true love; and all this captured by a Buddhist monk whose lens is so pure that when he snapped the moment, his greatest symbol of love, the Buddha, reflected back, as if silently conveying a message to us all … “Love will always find the way.”
Big hugs of love,
22 thoughts on “For Valentine’s Day: My Love Story”
Kathleen Redford says:
Love this story. May every day be your Valentine’s Day!! My husband and I try to do that, showing each other every day how much we love and cherish each other, even if only in a small way. <3
Faith, hope and love, Kathleen.
Jason Garner says:
Happy Valentine’s Life Kathleen. Big hugs – Jason
MJ Gottlieb (@MJGottlieb) says:
What an unbelievable story. Serendipity. If you hadn’t taken the shot to reach back out to her… if she had kept putting you off because she thought you were still attached… things would not have been. As they say, you miss every shot you don’t take. Congrats for swinging the bat. Bigger hugs back- MJ
Jason Garner says:
Thank you MJ. That’s the value of open hearts — we don’t allow our fearful thoughts to override what we know is true in our hearts. Big hugs (you beat me to it!) – Jason
Valerie Rowe says:
Jason, Thank you for sharing your beautiful “Love will always find the way” story. Your story inspires me to let go of fear and trust it will be so. Happy Valentine’s Day, Valerie
Jason Garner says:
Thank you Valerie. We don’t have to let go of fear, just loosen our grip a bit and invite love to enter through the space created in the loosening. Big hugs – Jason
Thank you for this timely – for me – love song. It rehydrates my faith in what will be. Namaste.
Jason Garner says:
Thank you. You’re not alone. Big hugs – Jason
I unintentionally clicked the link to Dr Cristys talk, before reading your story. I loved the sincerity, passion and joy that came through so strongly in her teaching – beautiful! Thank you for sharing.
Of course I then went on to read your post….. wow, very touching.
I have just recently signed up, after watching your talk on recovery 2.0.
Thank you for sharing your wisdom and journey, it’s been much appreciated
Jason Garner says:
Welcome Robin. Thank you for reading and sharing. Recovery 2.0 was a great experience for me sharing my journey. I’m glad you enjoyed Christy’s talk. Big hugs – Jason
LOVED READING THIS – SO BEAUTIFUL – YOU ARE BLESSED – ABRAZOS
Jason Garner says:
Thank you. Abrazote – Jason
Linda Masters says:
You have such a beautiful soul and it’s to everyone’s benefit that you found each other. Your family, friends and all of us who get to share in your wisdom and insight from it. Your truth and love show with every word you write. Happy Valentine’s Day to you, your wife and all your family. Much peace and love to you always, thank you for sharing
Jason Garner says:
Thank you Linda for reading and sharing. Big hugs – Jason
wendy stl john-devereaux says:
this is such a beautiful story, and it was great to read it again
wishing you both an even deeper love
wendy and ian
Jason Garner says:
Big hugs to you and Ian – Jason
Jane Thorne says:
I clicked on your link for Christy teaching and then went on to read your beautiful story. You both have such a special light around you. Watching her express her heartfelt teaching and then reading your heartfelt words, your love for each other, your family and those whose lives you touch, was flowing. This post is joyful and holds many blessings for you both. I think that when you ‘know’, you ‘know’…it transcends the ‘norm’. Much love and big hugs for both of you and for your children. <3
Jason Garner says:
Big hugs of gratitude Jane – Jason
Akshit Maurya says:
Perhaps Buddha’s quite significant in both conscious and subconscious mind of Mr. Wang Bo. Maybe that’s what prompted him to take the picture at that particular angle. It must be amazing to have this level of tranquility(in both conscious and subconscious life), and how it redirects one’s actions without that person being aware of it, forming sortof a positive feedback loop of happyness.
Ray Khelawan says:
Hey!!! I love your love story!!!! I feel like it should be a movie!!!!!