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How I Met The Sainted Patient Wife–Part One

Thanks to a faithful reader, David (love that name), who asked how I met the Sainted Patient Wife in a previous comments section. I gave him the really short version; let me tell you the rest of the story, as the late Paul Harvey would say.

Back in June of 1999,  forty-seven years old, I had been divorced almost nine years, and had quit the bar scene which I had tried for a few years; met a lot of ladies there, but nothing long term worked out. I was completely burned out on it. Used to go to church faithfully for many years before the "backsliding" foray into the aforementioned bar scene. Met some nice people at church, too. I still hadn't met that "special" one.

 

So I received in the mail a "catalog" which offered a multitude of catalogs and magazines one could send off for offering a wide range of different products and services. I sent for a magazine that offered contact information on how to meet various single ladies from Russia and Asia (now there's an extremely different span of cultures.) It was a pen pal service, however, some people refer to it as "mail order brides." That term is very inaccurate since I did not pick Sainted Patient Wife out of a catalog, and then have here "mailed" or shipped to the United States from the Philippines (the postage would have been astronomical, not that Sainted Patient Wife weighs that much), but  still that is some people's perception of the process.
 
The brochure from the pen pal company arrived, and I looked at some of the bios and photos of the ladies interested in meeting someone for a pen pal relationship which could develop into something more. Of course, if you wanted to contact these ladies who you might be interested in, you had to purchase the magazine from the company; they are running a business.
 
When my magazine with the contact information of literally hundreds of ladies arrived, I looked through it and wrote to seven different ladies. Two from Russian, and four from the Philippines, and one who I thought was from Taiwan.The one I thought was from Taiwan was actually a lady that was an OCW (Overseas Contract Worker) from the Philippines, but her picture looked as if she had Chinese features to me. (Overseas Contract Workers are now called OFW, Overseas Filipino Workers, and there are over 11 million Filipinos working overseas now.) On my list I marked two stars by the pictures of those that I hoped really would respond to my letters. I only had two people on my list of seven that had two stars.
 
A few weeks after writing my letters, I received two letters from the Russian ladies I had written. Seemed to be very nice women, but I really felt no connection, and their English was not very good; certainly better than my Russian, however. Not long after I received my first two letters, I got a phone call one Sunday night around midnight. It was from one of the Filipino ladies I had written to, and this lady was working as an OCW in Singapore. She was calling from her place of employment in Singapore, and had a very bubbly personality; we carried on a conversation for about a half hour, and we were to call each other back. I  felt we had made some kind of an initial connection.
 
A few days after the call from Singapore, I received a letter from the lady working in Taiwan who I had thought was a Chinese lady. After reading  the letter, in which she had enclosed some more photos, I found out she was Filipino and found out what OCW meant. The reason she looked Chinese to me is that her father's side of the family is of Chinese descent. I discovered that many people in the Philippines are of Chinese heritage. Of course, you know that this is the future Sainted Patient Wife that has written me; one of the "two star" ladies that I had really hoped would respond. The photo above is the first photo I saw of Melinda, actually Maria Melinda (she would always write her name on her return address as Ma. Melinda—Bonehead me thought Ma. stood for Madame and thought Filipinos must be extremely formal people when sending correspondence,  had no idea it stood for Maria.)
 
I  felt a strong connection with Melinda through her letters, and I soon received a couple more, and of course wrote her back as soon as I received one from her. It really made me feel good reading her letters, written in perfect English, and many times several pages in length. She would have to write the letters in the very early morning hours when the elderly lady she cared for that had Alzheimer's disease was asleep. Melinda would sleep on a mat by the ladies bed so she would be available to help her at any time. She received no days off which was a violation of her contract, but if she complained then she would be sent back to the Philippines and replaced with another Filipino. Then there would be no money to send back to her family, so to complain was not an option. In addition to caring for the elderly lady, she also took care of five other people in the household doing all the cooking and cleaning and laundry.
 
But then a month went by, a whole month, and suddenly no more letters. What happened? Why no more correspondence?  I had no telephone number I could contact her with! I just couldn't understand why she was not writing anymore. It really disappointed me.
CLICK HERE FOR PART TWO OF THIS STORY!

8 Comments

  • David B Katague

    Hi Dave: I finally had a chance to visit your site. I have been busy with other things and getting ready to fly to Marinduque next month. Anyway, I enjoyed reading your story in how you met Melinda. Interesting love story and I am glad it turned out fantastic. I have read of other stories (meeting in the internet)that did not have a happy ending. I enjoyed also your stories about witches, aswang and duende. Take Care! Your TOKAYO!

  • Dave DeWall

    Hi David. Good to hear from you. I am a fortunate man to have such a good wife. Yes, and sadly too many of those stories of people meeting on the Internet do not turn out well.

    Thank you so much for the kind comments. Have a safe trip back to Marinduque. TOKAYO! Yes, I looked it up. I like that! Take care.

  • Dave DeWall

    Thank you visiting Ms.Law,I appreciate your comments. Yes,penpal service is a more appropriate term,and "mail order bride" is not an accurate term at all. I appreciate you taking time to make a comment,and really enjoyed visiting your blog.

  • LAINY

    Hi David! I took the time to read your love story. Truly inspiring!

    I find sincere inspiration in love that crossed distance and separation because I am in one as well. I still haven't met him in the flesh but the relationship is going stronger and we just turned 3 years recently. I can't wait to finally meet him in the flesh this year.

    I gather strength and inspiration from people like you.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Vera

    Where is Part2? I had a cousin who worked in Taiwan briefly, but they didn't treat her so well until she just couldn't stand it she came home a few months later. I'm not sure she even got paid…

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