[COLUMN] 3 curses and a blessing

My wife Gigi always causes eyebrows to rise whenever she gives her date of birth.

9-11.

For years that date was celebrated (or cursed) as the birthday of President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos. Then came the attack on New York’s Twin Towers and the Pentagon in Washington DC. These would supplant Pearl Harbor America”s Day of Infamy.

During the incumbency of President Gloria Arroyo. an arrmy general gained notoriety as the Butcher for the disappearance and suspected extra-judicial killing of radicals. Because he was also born on 9-11, I added him as a third curse.

But I can’t remember his name. He is lost in the garbage dump of history. Anyway, 9-11 is a reminder that one’s curse could be somebody else’s blessing.

One curse is bad enough, let alone two or three, but one blessing could make up for the bad fortune.

What’s important is the blessing (nay, BLESSINGS). To be blessed with a pretty college sweetheart and then be blessed some more with a wife willing to put up with a husband who was on the job virtually 24/7 as an advertising man, newsman-columnist, screenplay writer, TV producer-director, and breadwinner of parents and siblings, and then be blessed even more with a life partner who was also a mother-driver-tutor-cook–disciplinarian of three boys and one girl and in our old age to be blessed with a caregiver and nurse – what more can one ask for?

If our household was a government Gigi çould take on all the functions of the Cabinet, from Secretary of Education to Social Welfare to Finance to Health even to Justice , Interior and Defense and Homeland Security, as well as the Supreme Court. Indeed, there there is a lo† of truth in the saying that the funds one’s wife manages for the family would never be enough but for her uncanny ability to make ends meet.

On December 24, 2022 God willing, Gigi and I will have been married 58 years. We met before turning 20. went steady for 3 years then decided to make the relationship permanent. We had both just turned 24, wth me a few weeks older.

It was not a well-planned choreographed wedding. In showbiz lingo, much of it was ad lib or bahala na si Batman.

The printed invitations were handed to the guests in the church. At the church entrance, Gigi’s parents met mine for the first time. We had the best man and the bridesmaid handle all the usual chores (cord, veil, etc).

We were scrimping, of course. I had to write a story and screenplay for our wedding funds and Gigi only had her monthly allowance from her parents.

She borrowed the wedding dress of her younger SISTER, Lourdes, who had gotten marred to Lito Uy, A year earlier, also on December 24.

A limo was not an option. Raul Silos , who was my best man offered his Renault Gordini, no larger than a VW Beetle, but I had to find a driver, decorate the car myself, and deliver the car to Gigi’s dorm. My family and I had to take a cab to church.

But it was a nice wedding, otherwise.

I kept counting all the guests and the drinks to make sure we were within budget. Mercifully we had enough left for taxi fare and a small family reception at home.

We had no honeymoon. I was back at work next business day.

At any rate, we made up for the scrimping on our 50th anniversary.We pulled out all the stops, including a designer gown for Gigi and a new tuxedo for me. The kids also hired a limousine.

God has been kind to us.

But when you have a lifetime partner like my wife money can never repay the Lord for His blessings.

In our old age, the Lord may decide to send for me first. I have made sure she has no heavy debts to pay. There is no mortgage or car loan, no heavy medical bills and Gigi will have a modest nest egg and a small Social Security pension to last her remaining years. And the kids, for whom she was driver-confidant-cook-tutor and caregiver have promised to take care of her.

She will at least be relieved and able to enjoy her blessings as I have enjoyed mine.

Happy birthday, Mrs. Mac, my love, my Blessing(s).

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The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Asian Journal, its management, editorial board and staff.

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gregmacabenta@hotmail

 

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