On Monday this week I celebrated two dozens of married life with my favorite person in the world. Yup, that long. I’ve been married half my life! Since it was a long weekend The Honey arranged a three-day vacation/celebration in the country’s favorite summer destination. It was the first time we brought the kids along. Usually, we would go out of town, check in a hotel or do something special with just the two of us.
It was a wonderful experience being with all my boys, all four of them (that’s 3 sons + 1 Honey), eating breakfast, lunch, dinner together for three consecutive days, swimming, parao-sailing, riding ATVs, watching movies at night and just being with each other. My heart is full, “busog,” as I watch my sons and realize how they have grown up to be fine young men who are enthusiastic about life. It’s as if it was just yesterday when they were still very young and would quarrel everyday about the most trivial things, when I would tutor them in the afternoon and sometimes end up losing my patience, be happy about honors and awards brought home, listen to their day’s school adventures narrated animatedly, commiserate with their misadventures they call “Fail!” and be their nurse when they were sick.
I look at The Honey and can’t complain about how he still looks boyish, no beer belly, hair still there and most importantly, how he remains physically active after all these years. But the one thing that I’m very thankful for was articulated by my youngest son when he kissed us goodnight on our anniversary day, “I like how you kept your relationship strong and how you are still best friends all these years!”
Yes, we are still best friends. We were really good friends before we became romantically involved and I am so thankful that we have kept that friendship and respect for each other. When I was younger I didn’t really understand my mom when she said, “Respect is the most important ingredient in marriage.” Isn’t it love? But she said, “You can still love your spouse but once you lose your respect, it would be hard to live together under one roof.” She was right but I also add FUN as another important ingredient. The Honey and I respect each other’s capabilities and beliefs but I guess since we started off as friends who enjoyed each other’s company, that too has been an important ingredient in our relationship.
We are still each other’s favorite companions and we still enjoy talking to each other. Our second son noted this when he was still a toddler during a long trip, “What? You’re still talking to each other? Before I fell asleep you were already talking and you’re not yet done?” We told him how important communication is for husband and wife, and for all family members for that matter. Guess what? He’s now with someone he loves to talk to for hours and hours.
“Our oldest son said, “I remember what Papa said when I asked him how he knew that you were the one he wanted to marry, he said, ‘I’m already happy as a person but I knew then that I would even be happier if I married your mom!’”
I am really thankful for this wonderful marriage we are blessed with. It has been the bedrock of my happy parenting. As I encountered the challenges of modern day motherhood, I always found refuge in my husband’s comforting words and company. He was ready to do his part of parenting no matter how busy he got. When I decided to leave my job, I took a plunge despite some warnings of being a “housewife lang” and not having your “own money.” I’ve never felt that. My husband never made me feel that his earnings are just his. And I guess this has enabled us to really work on our financial goals as a united couple.
I am not saying that raising wonderful children and financial freedom cannot be attained without a good marriage. It’s just that in my experience I’ve come to appreciate how our marriage has been the bedrock, the strong foundation upon which we were able to raise our children and attain our financial goals happily.
Decades ago before I said yes to the marriage proposal, I read a book that says something like this: In a good marriage a sorrow is cut into half and happiness is doubled. And this is possible if you find the one you can truly share your sorrows and joys with, the stuff that life is made of.
Pondering upon our marriage while listening to Andrea Bocelli is giving me the goose bumps that I’m tearing up with joy as I write this piece. It must be the same feeling I felt four years ago when we celebrated our 20th anniversary and since this month is Buwan Ng Wika I wish to share with you that poem which I wrote in Filipino. It was my wedding anniversary gift for my husband.
Dalawang Dekada Na!
Dalawang dekada na pala
Napansin mo ba?
Parang kailan lang
Nang tayo ay magpalitan
Ng matatamis nating “I Do”
Noong ika-labing dalawa ng Agosto
Taong isang libo siyam na raan walongpo’t siyam
Siyam na buwan ang lumipas
At heto na si Martin ang ating panganay
Batang masigla, listo at malikot
Daig pa ang nanalo sa lotto
Makalipas ang tatlong taon
Ito na ang panahon
Para sa pangalawang biyaya ng Panginoon
Enrique ay sumulpot
Isa pang masigla, listo at malikot
Makalipas ulit and tatlong taon
Ito na ulit ang panahon
Para sa pangatlong biyaya ng Panginoon
Tinawag natin siyang Anton
Siya rin ay masigla, listo at malikot
Tingnan mo nga naman
Mga nanggaling sa atin
Ngayo’y mas malalaki pa sa atin
Salamat sa Diyos at
Likot nila’y nabawasan
At kaguapuhan nama’y nadagdagan
Ako’y masayang masaya
‘Di lamang dahil sa kanila
Kundi dahil sa rin hanggang ngayon
Gustung-gusto pa rin kitang kasama
Kahit na nakalipas na ang dalawang dekada
Masaya pa rin tayong nag-uusap
Tungkol sa lahat ng bagay
Lalo na ang ating mga pangarap
Sabi nga nila masuerte daw tayo
Maraming biyaya at wala masyadong drama
Minsan tuloy ako ay natakot
Naisip ko, “Paano nga ba kung
Ang tadhana ay dadagok?”
Sa tulong ng dasal at pag-aaral
Takot ay nawala
Napalitan ng tiwala
Alam kong ano man ang mangyari
Basta tayo’y magkasama
Tuloy ang ligaya
Sana’y ipahintulot ng Diyos
Na umabot pa tayo
Ng 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 o ilan mang dekada
Na masaya pa ring magkasama!
Oo nga pala
Nasabi ko na ba
Na mahal na mahal pa rin kita?
– Rose Fres Fausto, Ika-12 ng Agosto 2009