She requested me to arrange their meeting after 40 years. She was a balikbayan from the US; he never left Philippine shores.
“When I saw him again, the 40 years disappeared,” she confided to me later. She looked like a lovestruck teenager.
“When I saw her again, the 40 years disappeared,” he admitted as much separately. He was visibly smitten.
They were only in their 20s forty years ago—so young and so in love. So they got married before she flew to the US. She discovered that as a nurse, she had a bright future there. Deciding to stay and not to come back home, she tried to convince him in her letters to follow her.
He loved his job as a Navy officer in the Philippines. He asked her to come back, but she wouldn't.
No one budged. Years passed and they both “married” other people, and each had children of his/her own. More years passed and through Facebook they met each other again: she is now a widow and he, a widower.
Perfect ending to Love is lovelier the second time around?
Before the Facebook encounter, he had entered into a relationship with another woman. And in the meeting I had arranged for them, he told her about it.
He refused. So she flew back to the US desolate. He was left pining for her; he didn't want to lose her the second time around, but he also couldn't afford to hurt the girl with whom he has a relationship now.
Are marriages made of these? Is this what love is about?
As we celebrate what the world has dubbed the "month of love," February, may we ponder the love shown to us by Jesus, our Lord of grace:
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; . . .” 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 (ESV)
(Adapted from my book, 'Circle of Compassion,' published by OMF Lit in 2013)