Nanay and Tatay 40th Wedding Anniversary
Wedding anniversary celebrants Tony Antonio and his wife Elizabeth (3rd and 4th from left) are shown in photo with some of the guests who included Mr. and Mrs. Roman Ibarreta (right) and Mr. and Mrs. Manny Estanislao (left).

My wife and I celebrated last month (January, 2012) the 40th anniversary of our marriage, and we thanked God for keeping us together in the last four decades. We prayed that it goes on for many more years.

I am tempted to say that our married life is all bliss during those 40 long years, but that would be a bare-faced lie. There were ups and downs, but I guess there are more ups than downs. It cannot be all ups, that’s for certain, because of individual differences that cause friction every now and then.

But despite the human friction, we were able to clear all the obstacles along the way because God has given us the capacity to always try to understand each other. Understanding is an integral element of love; without it, love would wilt, die and buried under the sand of time.

Understanding comes with it a capacity to forgive and forget whatever pain caused by the heat of the moment. And love is very much palpable after every episode of forgetting and forgiving. Regret ensues, and love is revitalized once more.

We cherish those moments that follow shortly after the kink is ironed out, and domestic peace reigns again. And we feel that all is well in the world.

But as the years go by, we sorely miss those summers when we were still “red-hot lovers.” And now, we live a life “in dream of yesterday.” We fondly remember those happy hours when we were looking for every opportunity to sneak from the “madding crowd” so that we could enjoy each other’s company, talking about sweet nothing. The world was Eden itself, and not the “valley of tears.”

Yes, those were the days, my friend, when “familiarity breeds attempt.” Obviously, the attempts were successful for in the course of time, the mathematics of love has changed: One plus one is no longer two, but six – the two of us and our four children.

As time flies further away, the notion of familiarity turns upside down. It becomes, “familiarity breeds no attempt.” In other words, the “green fields are gone now, parched by the sun.” But all is not lost, though; it is that time when love turns profound and lives more in the philosophical mind than in the heart.

What is the natural end of a Romeo-and-Juliet kind of love?

It’s death — “till death do us part.” These five words are sacred for these are enshrined in our marital vow.

The “Song of Ruth” reverberates in the mind: “Wherever you go, I shall go; wherever you die, I shall die, there I shall be buried beside you, and our love shall be the gift of our life.” (If this song does not touch you, my friend, you have no soul).

In the continuum of space and time, where will love end? Will faithful lovers meet again after death? Yes, I believe that loyal lovers will meet again somewhere in the infinity of time. Faithful love is so good that the Almighty will not allow it to be just “gone with the wind.”

Yet the mundane question is: Should a man get married? Yes, he should; married life is still the best kind of life, many researchers found out.

A bard once said, “By all means, a man should get married. If he marries a good wife, he is happy; if he marries a bad wife, he becomes a philosopher.”

No wonder many of my friends are philosophers.