Growing up I took for granted the special love my Mom and Dad shared. I just thought that it’s something given for married couples – holding hands, birthday surprises, after office dates, weekend out-of-town trips etc. I thought all married people were like that. Little did I know that things were not like that for all. I was lucky my parents were.
Yesterday, September 5, should have been their 49th wedding anniversary. This is actually a 2-post series, with 1 post (this one) detailing their love affair, the other a repost of letters found on the web, which I will relate to why I think my parents’ marriage lasted ’til death.
I decided to post this one first because I’d like to share how it was growing up with these 2 lovebirds. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t always a bed of roses but somehow they stayed together and inspired not only me but a lot of their colleagues etc.
If I remember correctly, they met while they were both living in boarding houses in Manila. I think my Mom was staying in a boarding house owned by my Dad’s relatives. They’re both studying then. They fell in love and got married a few years later. My Mom was 24, my Dad 27. They had my eldest sister 2 years after and my 2nd sister a year later. Yes, I was a “habol”, who came in a couple of years after the middle. We’re all girls. Added to that, they lived in our ancestral house with my donya Lola and my auntie. I say donya because you should have seen my Lola during her heyday, she can put the contravidas to shame. She’s the classic matriarch 🙂 And my Dad put up with that and has won my Lola to his side. I guess it was a bit of a nightmare for my dad to have been surrounded by females but he braved through it.
They had rough patches, and according to my sister had a bit of a falling out as well but they hang on, which I wasn’t aware of until recently. I only learned about it because I was confiding to my sister my marital woes. Looking back I think the reason why they stayed together is because they were loyal and faithful to each other. They (learned to) accept everything about them – warts, faults and all. They know that marriage is for the long haul and not just a passing fancy they can swap for something or someone else because they didn’t like what they see in their spouse.
My Dad didn’t look for a “girlfriend” when my Mom was so busy with work and building her career. She was really a career woman. I can remember days that it’s my Lola who will patiently teach me school lessons because my Mom’s busy at work. And in the end, I learned to do my homework by myself. Walang tutor, walang iba katulong. On the other hand, my Mom wasn’t tempted even if her work brought her to many places and people. And this didn’t make my Dad jealous, envious etc. He was a silent provider who enjoys a night of bowling and beer with his trusted friends who are family men like himself. Feeling ko nga, I’m more like Dad that way – few very close friends in my circle, enjoys their company over throngs of people and social events. They’re 2 different peas in a pod but they lived harmoniously together. They gave us a comfortable lifestyle and sent us to best schools. They made sure we grow up as strong, independent individuals who always strive for excellence. They made sure we have a balance of everything. And for all these, I’m eternally grateful.
I know in my heart that they’re celebrating in heaven. It has been 7 years since their passing but the pain still lingers. I think I’ve shared my kwento about their passing already. Di ba they passed away just a week apart of each other a few days before this day, their wedding anniversary.
I miss them so much especially when I’m feeling down. In this way I’m still like a little girl even if I’m already a full grown woman.
They would forever be in my heart…and their marriage will continue to inspire me.
Happy anniversary Mom and Dad! Love you both xxx
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