As he would walk through the streets of downtown LA, alone, in his head he could see how beautiful some of the old buildings were he would see the clean lines and ornate carvings, through the layers of dirt and graffiti. He would dream about a time when those buildings were offices and banks and respectable places of business. Of what LA looked like back then.

He went to a high school in Los Angeles call Belmont. Where you were as likely to finish with a 4 year prison sentence than a diploma. He did well, got into college, and the day after he graduated he drove off in some crappy broken down car, to the bay area where he intended to go to Stanford University, and get a head start by attending the summer session. He had all the money he had saved, and he did attend the summer session, but being ESL, not knowing anything about financial aid, he spent every penny he had saved to attend that summer session. So he came back to Southern Cal, went to the Harvey Mudd colleges, and did a degree in physics. Then he went to Cal Poly Pomona and did another degree in architecture. He worked as a janitor and on the cafeteria on campus. There were whole semesters where he didn’t have the money to pay for a dorm room so he slept in his car. Somehow, he graduated from both places.

I’m going to omit his first wife and her family because it’s not fair for me to write about them without their permission, and because there are always 2 sides to every story.

But he was married before, and eventually they had a daughter together. Who is now almost 16, brilliant, looks just like her father, she loves animals, and school, I generally adore her. Shes funny, kind, well-meaning and way more poised and articulate than I was at her age.

The trajectory of my husbands career as an architect has been pretty impressive. He’s published a lot. ALOT! He’s well-known in his industry and for his skill and incredible design is always in demand. The recession has hurt us, but while a lot of his peers have lost their business, their homes, their marriages, we have squeaked by and come out a little poorer, but have not experienced the kind of devastating losses they have.

He has some kind of genetic hearing loss, which I believe works in his favor, because there are whole ranges of sound he can’t hear at all, and it works as a filter for background noise. I admit it drives me crazy when I feel like he’s not listening to me.

He was also diagnosed¬† last year with a mild case of Aspergers. Aspergers is a spectrum disorder like Autism. He love talking with people, connects to them, but he sometimes gets caught on a single though or opinion usually triggered by stress and can stay on it for a long time. He doesn’t always understand or need emotional connections. There are times when he’s hard to talk to. He’s highly intelligent, which is one of the things I love the most about him, he’s always curious about how things work, he is really well-intentioned and for whatever reason, this brilliant man, who has been through so much, and carries almost none of it with him, loves me. For sure I got the better end of this deal.