Nine years together
by Laguna Lupie
Today is our ninth wedding anniversary but I am already excited about what we will do for our tenth year celebration. I have this notion that I want to get married again. Do the whole thing all over again. Here in the Philippines, people usually do that for their 25th year (the silver wedding anniversary) or their 60th year (the golden wedding anniversary). But since I have lupus, I have decided I don’t want to wait that long. It seems an extravagant silly thing to want to do, but clearly I am not being rational here. I love celebrations. I have recently thrown a lavish baptismal party for my baby and last year was my eldest boy’s seventh birthday and we pulled out all the stops for that party, even capping it off with a grand fireworks display that had our guests talking a week after the party. Yes, I am that person. I have party pinterest boards.
But this isn’t a post about my obsession with grand parties and celebrations. This is about me and Ruel, my dearest other half, and my amazement at the thought that it has been almost ten years of marriage. It feels like only yesterday when we started it all.
When I fell in love with Ruel, I didn’t think then that this was going to be the greatest love of my life, that he would become the father of my children. Only that I had a lot of fun with him and I liked the way he made me feel. I never thought far ahead into the relationship but he clearly had other ideas.
Looking back, we have had our ups and downs, and there were times when I felt like I hated him, when I felt like giving up on us but it’s true what they say, there are good years and bad years in a relationship. Thankfully the past couple of years, despite the different problems that have beset us, have been good years. I look at my husband sometimes when he is asleep and think to myself how lucky I am to have found such a good man, kind and understanding and really open minded about a lot of things. Kindness is underrated. People don’t seem to care much about kindness but at the end of the day, it is the most important trait of all. I married a kind man. I don’t think I am kind, not really, I am more wary and hard but maybe we balance each other out that way.
Our relationship has always been light and after almost ten years together he can still make me laugh. The belly laughs that have marked our relationship from the start. I still look forward to our daily chats in the office or over dinner, listening to his gossip and laughing about random things together. It is always great to know that you ended up with your best friend.
When my nightmares come, I have him and the comfort of knowing I am safe with this kind man, the one I love. I feel at peace with him beside me. Sometimes this very same feeling scares me, where would I be and what would I become without this peace? Without him? I don’t know. Right now I am too scared to find out but I guess that’s what love is no? That scary kind of surrender. Perhaps I should have done things differently, but it’s been nine years and two kids and it’s too late.
The other day, I was looking over some files in the office and I found an old copy of our misalette when we got married. We wrote messages in this little booklet and below is my message, shared here in my blog for posterity and for our boys to read someday.
A message from the Bride
16 April 2005
“Sa totoo lang, nahihiya akong magpapakasal ako. Not because I am ashamed of the man I love but as most people who know me will attest, marriage and love are just not the type of things I would normally do. Where I come from, it’s just not the cool thing to do. Well, at least not the type with gowns and doves and all that silly stuff associated with traditional weddings. But what can I say—bumigay ang lola nyo.
So now, I find myself writing this and struggling to explain myself. But there is no explanation. I fell in love and despite all the failed marriages and unhappy couples I’ve seen, I have decided to take the plunge myself. To all my friends (and enemies) isa lang ang masasabi ko, wish me luck.
I sure as heck need it. You see we are not the ideal couple, we come from different worlds, we are not the best looking people around and not a lot of people were all that happy about this (mis)match. But none of that matters because those who truly care for us will know that despite all the troubles we have gone through, the weaknesses we have shown, this is a love that from the beginning has fought for its existence and will struggle to the end.
For those of you who are totally against this marriage, who have used this wedding as fodder for gossip and intrigue, those who have doomed our love from the start, god bless you all. Life wouldn’t be half as interesting without you people. And for those who are truly happy for us, thank you.
Thank you so much for the acceptance, the understanding, and yes, the love.”
Our wedding missalette and souvenir program
I am basking, nay, gloating in the thought that the relatives and people who doomed us when we started must be feeling sheepish right about now. We certainly had a lot of great fun in the past nine years proving the haters wrong.