Still in cloud-9 days after my church wedding. Another dream came true all to God’s glory… It was a sunny Saturday afternoon, sky was clear, weather was fair. Even the notorious Manila traffic seemed to be cooperating and so we arrived in Basilica Menór de San Sebastián 40 minutes early. Long enough to finish praying the rosary, simultaneously I talked to the chauffeur and coordinator assistants. I convinced myself not to cry, “yep this is nothing” anyway Dadi is smiling down from heaven and I’m sure he is very happy for me. Finally this day came, after twelve years of anticipation…
I wrapped the rosary around my wrist like armor to strengthen me.
I thought I was equipped not to cry,
I thought wrong.
The antique steel door slowly unclosed. I was instructed to count 5 seconds before making the first step. The door flung open, and there my poor heart started beating rapidly. So fast that it felt like my heart leaped off my chest. My hands were shaking. The coordinators kept on reminding to walk slowly, I heard them faintly for my heart was much stronger ~ it desired the man standing in the altar waiting for me.
“love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust.
Love still stands when all else has fallen”
1 Corinthians 13:7-8
I looked way pass him, still trying to stop the welling of my eyes. Yet, it made me more emotional. To see the image of the blessed Mother Mary (Our Lady of Mt. Carmel) was the best reminder of this dream that was about to unfold. All attempts failed and I wept, using up the tissue prepared in my hidden pocket. At that moment, everything else was blurry in my sight, I didn’t mind looking terrible and drenched in tears.
Then, I looked at the right of the altar and saw a familiar cross with the sacred image of Jesus. A similar crucifix as that of Lourdes, France. The church is such a perfect setting, everything seemed so surprisingly wonderful and surreal.
Little trivia: The church is the only all-steel church in the Philippines, made by a French engineer – Gustave Eiffel who also made the famous landmark Eiffel Tower in Paris.
And it hurts because a year ago my father died suddenly and unexpectedly, missing him in the most significant day in my life… I would have wanted him to be there even in wheelchair. But, the turn of events were tough, became even more difficult when my father-in law was again hospitalized and placed in ICU and my mom-in law needing to stay with him. And so both my in-laws and my Dadi were missing, it was painfully sweet and special.
The wedding was almost perfect, maybe perfect, because everything was God’s gift to me and Erik.
I opted for a simple one and specifically asked the photo/videographer to capture raw, candid, real emotions. I skipped many traditional scenes and the reason for this is that my life has too much melancholy and sadness already. No need to be fancy and dramatic. Masking the blues with laughters, giggles and smiles. At the back of my mind, I’d wished for Dadi to be there, handsome in his Barong Tagalog. Maybe, a chance for us to bond and to be a little vocal of how we actually feel. I missed the opportunity to tell him I love him, a goodbye never said, a guilt that affects me and regret that changed my life then on.
This post is to honor the memory of my dad, for my late brother as well. Taking opportunity to remember with love those who are no longer with us, they are in our hearts forever.
Happily ever after continues on next post…