This is a landmark year for my parents, for my mother in particular. My mom will turn 75 this year; she will also celebrate with my dad, their golden wedding anniversary.
50 years of marriage. Whew! It’s pretty remarkable. I feel lucky. For reasons I don’t care to say out loud or write down—you can laugh all you want, I’m superstitious that way and I’d rather not tempt fate, in this case, I’m happy to concede that I’m a big, fat coward. Fate can rejoice in my humbling if she wants. I really don’t give a rat’s ass—let’s just say that I’m grateful my parents are who they are, flaws and all.
We went to Manila last Tuesday. The scene of the original crime, so to speak. My folks are renewing their vows in the same church where they got married 50 years ago. Exactly. Well, if we’re counting correctly that is. They will have the ceremony on the eve of their anniversary, so that’s 50 years to the day; on the day itself, that’s 50 years and one day. Semantics.
I don’t remember having gone to that church as a child. I’m pretty sure we did. It’s a medium sized structure.The church, enclosed in a small compound, is simple, open, and airy. With the exception of the badly painted and somewhat ornate altar, it’s a very serene environment conducive to prayer and reflection right smack in the middle of a busy, noisy, and dirty district.
I don’t know why I found it so surprising. I suppose it’s because I rarely go to church now and when I do, I seldom find what I’m looking for. That church visit was short and the purpose was different but I managed to grab a few minutes for myself and remember something good; a simpler time. God was was catching up with me. So, I suppose a “Hi, back at ya!” is appropriate.
I desperately wanted to take photos but I didn’t want to be disrespectful. There were a handful of people inside, sprinkled randomly along the pews. Some were seated quietly, sporting a faraway look, as if they were in deep thought or conversation. Others were kneeling with their eyes shut, intently praying. It’s like a scene from my childhood, when my lola used to have me tag along with her to church.
Talk about meandering.
I suppose, it’s about the church. Something about it brought up three things: simple, good, and true. Oddly, my sister and I also thought of the same thing, I told her something about the church reminded me about my nanay’s house (my aunt who passed away a little over a year ago). Maybe she reminds us of those things? Who knows. Maybe we just miss her.