The marriage is more important than the wedding
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman) - November 16, 2019 - 12:00am

My parents were penniless when they got married in 1949 in the old San Nicolas Church. They had no reception and they didn’t even have money to buy a wedding ring. Yet they lived together for 65 years (until mom passed away in the USA in 2016) through thick and thin, in good times and bad. Thus, as the eldest in the family, I rewarded them with a grand wedding in 1995 with three bishops celebrating in the grand ballroom of the Cebu Plaza Hotel (now Marco Polo Plaza). I married my wife from Nueva Ecija in the Sacred Heart Church in 1978, four years after I became a lawyer. My godfathers were then governor Eddie Gullas and former governor Francisco Remotigue, with then mayor Florentino Solon. My groomsman was my student, Mike Rama.

What’s important is the marriage after the wedding. From 1978 to today, our marriage has become stronger with five children and four grandchildren. It hasn’t been all a bed of roses, there were so many difficulties. But love, as St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, surmounts all obstacles, defeats all odds and comes out stronger than any challenges. I have always believed what I learned from the Jesuits in Ateneo, where I experienced the marriage encounter, that love isn’t a feeling but a decision. And the decision is final and without appeal. It’s reclusion perpetua without clemency for good conduct. There’s no retirement from marriage.

Tomorrow, my youngest son, Jeremiah will marry Lara, a pretty international flight stewardess of Qatar Airlines. The wedding will be at a beach in a secluded island off Coron, Palawan. It’s a sunset wedding. I would have preferred sunrise, but it’s not my wedding, I don’t make the final decisions. Anyway, there is much symbolism and meaning in this ceremony. The groom and the bride planned it so well, that even the guests were screened to the minutest details. They waited so many years to finally come to this. They have traveled all over the world for tips and guidance. Finally, we come to this enchanting island.

The test of it all, however, is not the ceremony today but the years of togetherness that the two will spend for many decades, beyond my lifetime perhaps. But I have high hopes because Jeremiah is a very responsible man. We reared him in the strict tenets and values of Catholic and Christian life. We sent him to Montessori, Don Bosco, La Salle, and St. Benilde. He came out as a fine gentleman who loves Lara and considers her as the only true love of his life. I thus pray for them to surmount all odds and win over all challenges.

It will be very difficult since Lara is traveling a lot and Jeremiah has many clients in the advertising industry. But since, they truly love each other, I trust that theirs will turn out to be a successful marriage, with many grandchildren for me and my wife.

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