A week or two ago, I wrote a column of miscellaneous items, one of which was about a visit from my niece, Sweet, and her fiancee, Heart. They were to be married soon, and I was one of their Primary Sponsors (Ninong). This past weekend was the wedding, and Feyma and I, along with all 4 kids went down to GenSan for the event. It was really a great weekend, and turned out to be much more special than I realized it would be. In fact, attending the wedding caused me to re-evaluate my life, my family, and our family history in many ways.
You see, Sweet, my niece, was one of the flower girls at our wedding in 1990. Not only that, she and Heart were married at the same Church where Feyma and I said our vows. Both of these factors brought back a flood of memories to my mind as I sat there watching the wedding ceremony. Mostly very good memories, with a few not so good sprinkled in for reality. When I first saw Sweet being walked down the aisle by her parents, I felt quite emotional. A tear come to my eye, because to see our flower girl approach the alter for her own wedding, it made me realize how far Feyma and I have come along our respective paths in life. We were both still young when we were married (although Feyma moreso than I). I was 28, and Feyma was 21. It was the first marriage for each of us. Thinking of the family that we have now, it was just a special feeling.
Another thing that was really inspiring to me is that our oldest son, Chris, was a groomsman. For those who are new to the site, you may not know that Chris is mentally retarded, he is a “special child” as they call it here. In the States, I doubt that Chris would have ever participated in a wedding in his life, as what he did this past weekend. With me being a Ninong, and Chris a Groomsman, we sat fairly close to each other during the wedding. When I would look over at Chris with the other Groomsmen, it really made me proud of him. For the first time in his life, Chris wasn’t different from the others. He was “one of the guys” so to speak. He was treated no differently than anybody else. Chris is nearly 17 years old now, and it was very fulfilling to see him more as a “regular person” than ever before. In addition to that, our youngest son, Jared was the ring bearer for the couple. It was also his first time to ever participate in a wedding before.
This whole event really made me evaluate where I am in life, where I still want to go, and of course made me think about where I’ve already been. I couldn’t ask for more than I have when it comes to family. I love Feyma with all my heart, and am so happy that I found her. The wedding was Saturday, and Sunday was Feyma’s birthday, and it was a milestone birthday this year. I’m not going to say how old she is, but it’s up to her if she wants to reveal that. Having attended this wedding, which so reminded me of our own wedding really made her birthday more special to me – it made me realize just how special she is to me. When it comes to the kids, I feel so blessed in that department too. We have three boys, Chris, 17 years old; Aaron, 12 years old; and Jared, 8 years old. In addition, we have one girl, Jean who is 12 years old. I love all of my kids dearly, and seeing them participate in the wedding really gave me a warm feeling in my heart.
The first time I came to General Santos City, when I married Feyma, Sweet was the niece that really warmed up to me. I have lots and lots of nieces, but of all of them, Sweet was my buddy. She would sing for me, perform, read poems to me, etc. when she was only 5 years old. Over the years that I lived in the States, I always looked forward to seeing Sweet again during my return visits to the Philippines. After we moved here permanently, there was a little incident that happened between Sweet and Feyma and I, which drove a bit of a wedge between us. It made me very sad, and for a number of years we didn’t speak with each other. This is one reason why I was surprised when she asked me to serve as their Ninong. At first, I was not sure that I was the right person to be Ninong, because of the incident that we went through. However, on the advice of my Bisaya teacher, Bebe, I decided to go ahead and do it. I put the incident behind me, and I love Sweet as much as ever. Truth is, I never stopped loving her, but it was just hard to get past the incident. I’m glad, though, that Bebe convinced me to put it in the past, that was good advice.
I wish Sweet and Heart nothing but the best in their married life together. If, 20 years from now they can look back and have the same feelings that I have right now, they can consider themselves to be a smashing success. I hope that is the case.
By the way, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish Feyma a belated Happy Birthday! Don’t worry, I gave her a special day, but it is only belated here on the LiP Site! Honey, you are the best thing that ever happened in my life, and I hope you know that! I love you with all of my heart.