They Did

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Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails …

1 Corinthians 13:4–8a

For some weeks, I got myself busy looking for a friend I haven’t seen in a long time. We were good friends since high school and I really wanted to see her again. The last time we had a talk while having a sumptuous dinner was more than a year ago. We had all these grand plans about getting fit and doing other fun activities together which never materialized since we both got very busy. I also lost her number so when I went to work overseas, the connection was totally cut. Why didn’t I ever think of saving her email ad? 😦

When I went back mid July, I had this objective of finding her again so we can talk just like what we did in the old times. Patiently, I looked for her in Facebook and other social networking sites. To my dismay, I didn’t find her. I tried to contact friends and classmates in high school hoping they still see her or maybe they know how to get in touch with her. And after weeks of trying I finally got an answer from another good friend of mine. They were friends in Instagram, I think. To cut the story short, one happy day I got a message from her. And in an instant, we were texting again just like before. My joy was doubled when I found out she’s getting married in 2 weeks. Memories of years long gone started flashing back – sleepovers to finish some projects, memorizing acronyms for the exams while eating in the school canteen, the endless teasing and laughter over some silly jokes and many other things. I remember us being young again together with our other barkadas who are now based abroad.

I thanked God profusely for having the perfect timing. I can still be part of her very special day. Yey! 🙂 After many days of searching, I was again rewarded. I can hardly believe she’s about to enter a new chapter in her life. She told me how busy they are preparing everything. She told me how crazy the whole thing is. But I know it was all worth it because she’s doing it with the man she loves.

So last Thursday (10-11-12, they really chose that date), I headed to Subic to attend her wedding. Long drive it was, luckily I was travelling with another friend and her mom. After more than 2 hours we reached the chapel. It was old and small but there’s something elegant with its simplicity. We went inside it and excitedly waited for the ceremony to begin. The entourage marched in, the sponsors, the groom, his parents. Until finally it was her turn. I was overfilled with happiness when I saw how beautiful she is in her pure white long gown. I guess brides are at their best beauty when they walk down the aisle. There’s a different kind of glow that seems to radiate from within. Maybe it’s the joy brought by a dream realized, of at last being able to find who you’re looking for and consciously deciding to spend the rest of your life with that person. I wanted to hold my tears but then maybe I wasn’t strong enough to keep them in. “Why am I crying?” I thought. It was a mixture of everything I guess. I’m happy that she’s happy. I’m happy I was there. I’m happy for the hope and inspiration the whole event brought me and all the people who were there partaking of the glorious moment.

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Marriage is such an important rite of passage. And when two people decide to seal their love with this, it calls for a celebration. It reminds us how powerful and magical love is. That really there’s this one person whom you will choose to share your life with when the time comes, when you two are both ready. And when that time comes you will understand why things didn’t work out right before. Why you met this wonderful person and you were suddenly left behind? Why you wanted so much to be with this beautiful person, too bad he didn’t feel the same way for you? Why you wanted with all your heart to marry this special person but he ended up marrying someone else? 😦

All love stories are the same. Some may not have happy endings but then all is meant to teach us something, make us better and wiser. I remember one person telling me a wisdom he got from his mom, that “love will come at the right place and time.” I couldn’t quite grasp its meaning when I was younger but then every once in a while especially when loneliness hits me I think about that. Somehow it makes me smile. Now that I’m older, I realized that truly in each of our lives, seasons come at different times. I believe we all have our own pacing. Some can traverse life’s journey with such nimble feet, others can only make baby steps, while the rest can hardly stand. And when two different people with totally different pace meet and fall in love, the challenge for them is to settle for a compromise – either you quicken your pace so you can catch up or your partner slows down and wait for you in one corner. If no one is willing to make that adjustment, you two end up having broken hearts. And then you get better after some time. You meet another person again but then after a while the very same issue unfolds. Truly in this process of searching, waiting, and failing, the best thing that one can do is to stretch oneself, to  live life to the full and strive to get better and better. And when the time comes you’re ready, you’ll bump into someone walking alone as well, he’ll smile at you and you’ll do the same thing to him. You will realize he walks with the pace that matches yours. You don’t have to run after him anymore. he doesn’t have to stop and wait for you either. You can walk together holding hands, stopping when you feel like to just to savor a lovely scene, sing while running maybe. And you’re certain where the road will lead you both. Together, hands still locked, excitedly and filled with joy unmatched, you take a special walk you will never forget for the rest of your lives. In front of the altar and in the eyes of God, you express your promise of love. 🙂

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