CALL it another rite of aging. But one of the rewards of getting older is to be able to gather friends for a happy time and look at the faces you already knew when they were as young as yours.
That Sunday, I felt the same way through the whole idea of every daughter’s wedding. It is still hard for me to grasp. It continues to be a scene in an old LVN movie, wedding portrayed in fiction, always quake with an undercurrent of grave apprehension, the right “she” is about to fined with wrong “him,” or vice versa. And the air screams with alarm as the clergyman calls out for somebody or anybody, to declare why this marriage should not take place.
I’m getting a bit tired of the routine drama, part of being the mother of the bride (MOB) that I’ve been living on since the date was set. The phrase “you’re not losing a daughter, but gaining a son-in-law” is a very good price. I asked my friend, “Pray tell, what’s a bad price?” It earned the appropriate level of laughter.
But to tell the truth, I have never minded about this wedding. A fourth daughter’s wedding is just as big deal as the first daughter’s shindig. The man married, a mother’s loss of daughter, even the time that lurches with ruthless speed—these have all been cool to me. Even the bill collectors, they get paid eventually. What are they going to do? Take back the wedding?
What I am trying to tell you, my dear child, is that, counter to supposedly normal expectations, I am delighted with every aspect of the event. I’d be happy and pleased to see it last a few more days, perhaps a year! And the idea that all of these contributing professionals—from the gown person, the cake person, the flower person, the food person, the garden apothecary person, the God person—all came together for an ancient purpose. They each knew what to do, how things are supposed to be.
Every piece of the ceremony they created, in wholly, gloriously unoriginal and gained its stature only as a part of a long repeated past. Imagine, your first dance with your husband will be the first dance ever.
Yet, the best way to look at a wedding (the way I prefer to look at it) is that everything will be as good and right as it is hoped to be, and that this inauguration of a joint life will be perfect. Why not?
It is unrealistic to think this way, but reality is overrated. There is a lot in life that is perfect—perfect sense of values, integrity and compassion. What should one strive for, if not perfect justice or truth? These things do not exist except in perfect States. Why should you not have a perfect marriage? You yourself is heaven, my dear Bunso. And while, this MOB is at it, add perfect love and happiness.
That Sunday, the weather was perfect for a weddings. The hors’ d’oeuvres, the flowers, were perfection. And of course, I played the perfect dramatic person. I cried, as I did in your eldest sister’s wedding at the Church of Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills. I cried at the 2nd daughter’s wedding in the quaint pre Spanish Sanctuario de San Agustin in Intramuros. I cried at the third girl’s garden wedding in the city that never sleeps. I cried at the weddings of perfect strangers, they can be perfect too. You did not mind, when I cried and outsobbed the Niagara Falls at your wedding. You girls collectively knew, it was my Amalia Fuentes way of enjoying myself!
When you took my arm and we began that awkward but almost royal walk toward your husband-to-be. That was the only single moment, ever, that I felt he was more blessed than me. He was able to see you coming toward him. He beheld you in your brightness, confidence and wonder, as you caused everyone to gasp in amazement—just as you did the day I presented you to the world.