31 Years Ago and Year of the Earth Ox

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January 26 for the past 30 years always called for some sort of celebration. It is the day that I met my ex-boyfriend at the Shopping Center in UP Diliman. Yes, my college sweetheart and now my partner for life. I can’t believe we have been together for so long. My daughters cannot imagine that we were steadies at an age much younger than they are now. He was 18 and I was only 20. Was it just yesterday that I fell in love with his “bad-boy looks”?

I rumple my husband’s gray hair and tease him that he hasn’t really gained that much weight. I have gained 40 more pounds yet Butch manages to lift my spirits up even at my most “ugly moments”. I cannot tell if he is just flattering me or he means it. I have gotten used to his flowery words for the past 31 years.

Time has mellowed both of us.

The thing is we learned along the way. We learned to compromise, to lower our pride, to be committed to our love and most importantly, to love ourselves first. Everyday we show love in words and in action. We continue to be romantic, and often whisper to each other ““I love you”. When we have our bad days, we just keep our distance.

Today, after 3 children, a death of our son, white hair, lines and creases and flabby tummies to boot, our love is stronger than it ever was …

So as we celebrate our day, we greet our Chinese brothers and sisters around the world as they welcome the Year of the Earth Ox. May it truly bring a “dutiful, family-oriented, and dependable year.”

Kung Hei Fat Choi!