My parents, however, were not happy when I told them about him and us, concerned about our age difference and Damian’s previous marriage.
My father, an attorney, said, “When one of my clients wants to marry a divorced man, I tell her to talk to the ex-wife first.”
“But Dad, I did that.”
He also worried that Damian, who designs, builds and remodels homes, wasn’t a college graduate. I had an answer for this too.
The year Damian was sorting out his green card, the BBC interviewed him for a story about the benefits of meditation. Because he had meditated for more than 10,000 hours, neurologists figured his brain activity might look different from the brain of an average person, so they put him into an M.R.I. machine.
“Meet Damian, a man who can seemingly turn happiness on,” the reporter, David Sillito, said, adding that the neurologist who read Damian’s M.R.I. had called his brain “beautiful.” I sent the link to my father.
“No one’s ever said that about my brain,” he replied.
But the morning of our wedding, not even Damian could turn on my happiness. I had become Buddhist, found the retreat center and met the man I love because I once had cancer. Still, if ever there was a day that I didn’t want to be reminded of this, it was today, and it was staring me in the face.