By: Sheila dela Cruz
Good evening, everyone! I’d like to thank you for sharing this special occasion with us. In this day and age when everything is instant, marriages that last beyond 20 years are rare. What more, 40 years?! Truly, 40 years of wedded bliss is reason to celebrate.
More than a celebration of the number of years that my parents have been together, I want to celebrate the fact that theirs is a truly happy marriage.
American writer Amy Bloom said, “Love at first sight is easy to understand; it’s when two people have been looking at each other for a lifetime that it becomes a miracle.” Don’t you agree?
I’ve learned so many things from my parents and their marriage. A great marriage is something we all dream of! But make no mistake, it takes a lot of work. Much like a chef cooking a masterpiece dish, the secret is in the recipe and it’s ingredients. And I want to share the ingredients of a great marriage with you, as observed from my parents.
The first ingredient is LOVE After 40 years of marriage, my parents are still sweet to each other. They’re affectionate, they always say “I love you”, they hold hands… Whenever I look at my parents, I see in their eyes the love that they have for each other, and I am in awe.
My parents are always together. You’d think that considering the time they spend together, they’d be the type to get on each other’s nerves. But you know, I have never seen them fight. Never in my whole life did I ever hear them shouting at each other in anger.
No fights, no shouting, not even during times when there were problems in the family. Let me give you an example. There was a time when we were growing up that my Dad lost his job, and my Mom had to be our family’s sole breadwinner.
That time, my Dad did all of the household chores. He cooked, cleaned, and took care of us kids when we got home from school, basically everything a housewife is expected to do! No complaints. My Dad explained it this way, since my Mom was working, he had to do his share, and if that meant taking care of the household chores, then he happily did it. He didn’t feel it was a burden. He did all those things because he loved us!
In the same way, I didn’t hear my Mom nag my Dad during the time that he was without a job. She remained the loving, supportive wife who stuck by my Dad through thick and thin. A part of Love is Respect, and again, this was seen in how they never belittled or shouted at one another.
The 2nd ingredient? Laughter! Laughter is a very important ingredient in ANY relationship, much more in a marriage. My parents truly enjoy each other’s company, and they make each other laugh. Whether it’s sharing silly jokes, or poking fun at each other, they always have something to laugh about.
The 3rd ingredient? Their lives are centered on GOD. They live their life in accordance to GOD’s teachings. They’re loving and generous.
They make it a point to always give not just to beggars on the street, but people they meet everyday. Whether it’s the traffic officer, the park-your-car boys, the security guards at their building… all these people have been recipients of food, clothes, shoes, etc. And they always told us, give to those people who cannot afford to give back. Give, without expecting anything in return.
Truly, these are two wonderful people who deserve each other, and who deserve all the blessings they have been receiving. They’re GOD-fearing, loving, and generous. They share their love, not just with each other, but with the people around them.
So again, let me leave you with the ingredients of a great marriage, as taught by my parents, Eli and Vener.
First is LOVE.
Second is LAUGHTER.
And third is LIVING YOUR LIFE CENTER ON GOD.
On behalf of my brother Jon, my kids Paolo and Patrick, we thank you all so much for sharing this wonderful occasion with us. And we ask you to raise your glasses and join us now in a toast to our parents, Eli and Vener.
Mom and Dad, we love you, we thank you for all you’ve taught us. We wish you many more wonderful years ahead. You deserve only good things. In fact, because you are the BEST, we wish you only the best. Forever. CHEERS!