I would like to begin by greeting my parents a Happy Wedding Anniversary! Today marks their 37th year of marriage, and I would say, they are definitely my marriage goals.
The other day, I left my daughter at their house because I have classes. I went back just in time for lunch, after attending the Mass. They invited my little family to their celebration. Somewhere along our conversation, he mentioned that it is going to be their 37th year of marriage, so that meant I was turning 38 this year.
My mom and I were like, “whaaaat???” And she corrected that the wedding should’ve happened first before my birthday! Hahaha! And then, she began reminiscing, a bit out loud. (in Filipino, but I’ll put it here translated ☺)
Mom: Wow, 37 years? Imagine that. I don’t even know how we got that far. I’m not even your dad’s type! He wanted someone tall, morena, with long hair. He got me, short, fair skinned, and short haired.
My dad was just there laughing and said, “Yeah, you’re right. Even I don’t know how we got together.
Then my mom went on to share that when she was younger, she was insecure, that she didn’t feel she was beautiful. So when someone courted her, she entertained him, and went as far as having three boyfriends at one time!!
Wow, I definitely didn’t know that about my mom. While writing this, I realized I should’ve told her that she was beautiful during her younger years. I saw her picture before, when she was still a student. I knew she was beautiful back then, and until now.
I remembered one of her stories, that she hid from one of her admirers because she was waiting for my dad. This was way before marriage, but they are in a relationship already.
My dad didn’t really have a say while we were talking about this, but he just listened intently and looked at my mom while smiling. I guess he was also trying to comprehend the craziness of my mom. But the way that they can just look back and laugh about stuff. That’s amazing. That’s love.
I have witnessed how they made their marriage work. Of course, when I was younger, to me they were just my mama and my papa. Mama the office employee, my papa the overseas contract worker. I remember listening to my dad’s voice tapes and reading the letters he sent me while he was abroad. I would always say that despite his physical absence, I never felt he was an absentee father.
I never saw them fight, but I knew that they did. I knew it was when my dad had an affair, but I didn’t know it at that time. I didn’t even know that it was an affair, ’cause it happened when I was around eight years old.
And they got through it. And stayed together, not just for us their kids, but I believe they stayed for each other.
I never knew and felt that we were struggling financially when I was little. They have told me that there was a time both of them were out of work. And this was also the time that I got my right hand injured. I’m not sure how they paid for that, and how we survived if we didn’t have money. Or perhaps they had money, they just don’t have a current source of income.
There was this line that I would always remember from my dad. He said it during that time that I was single, in my late 20’s, jobless, and still living at my parents house. He said it in response to my apology that I couldn’t contribute in our household expenses… (again, he said this in Filipino but I’m writing it here in English.)
You are not obliged to contribute because you don’t need to repay us. Whatever we spent, on you, for you, on your education, that was our responsibility.
It was like he was telling me that they invested in me, but they do not expect the ROI for themselves. They want that ROI for my own little family. My brother and I, we are not their retirement plan. And they are definitely not our emergency fund.
What I also love about my parents is that they are still hands on parents even if they don’t need to, because I already have my own family. But they still take care of me, and my daughter.
One time my daughter was confined in the hospital. I didn’t really ask them to visit us at the hospital, but did so when I needed to fix some stuff during the check out process. And I didn’t ask them but they still brought food and other stuff. And when I was handing them money, to pay for their commute and the food they bring daily during our confinement, they refused and just said, “It’s our pleasure.”
I remember going to the bathroom, crying… Moved by that gesture. 😭
Anyway, about their marriage.
I know it wasn’t perfect. I know they had their ups and downs. There probably were times when one of them wanted to leave the other. But what made them stay together for 37 years? I’d say there are a lot of ingredients. And I know they shouldn’t be made secret.
Aside from having God in the center (but we have yet to take my dad to a prayer gathering, regularly), their marriage is lasting because of love, respect, laughter, understanding, patience… And all those ingredients found in 1 Cor 13:4-7.
Again, Happy 37th wedding anniversary to my parents, Rolando and Remedios. 🙂
There was a time I asked my dad is I was a premature baby. Because they got married in March, and I was born in October. The weeks didn’t add up. He candidly said, “Eh hindi na daw nagkaroon si Mama mo eh.” (Your mom said she missed her period.) I choked in laughter when I heard that. I didn’t imagine him to answer it with that kind of hilarious honesty.
So unlike my daughter who’s a honeymoon baby, I was conceived before that. Hahaha! But I knew I was never a mistake. I was a good accident. 😁😁😁