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Thirty-first year wedding anniversary during the pandemic

Text by Mae Cayir, Vienna

My husband and I will arrive at our 31st wedding anniversary, vaccinated against COVID19, in our mid-life years during one of human history’s markers: the COVID19 pandemic of 2020-2021.

Two socially-loving persons isolated at the 31st year of union is one that could potentially sway towards disaster or follow the course of grace. We were able to successfully follow the latter because there was no other option. We are too old into our relationship to allow petty matters build into atomic possibilities. After all, it only takes one ‘pissibility’ of a thousand to break this union, especially during a phenomenon of global proportions that no one in our generation could ever conceive ever happening.

This, and a major car accident pre-pandemic that had us reeling in shock for months. It is still raw at almost two years to get into details here. Suffice it to say that we never anticipated ever having to deal with such an event in our lives. We could have erupted into a blame game, but it was far too traumatic that it sent us into a center of healing between us where we could bond in silence. We each knew the narrative behind this event, to the last alphabetical letter, that there was no need to discuss and analyze it to the last detail. We were both spared of the immense weight of loss and injury that the other caused and was found guilty of. My husband, the driver, was cleared of guilt, but not the picture of the aftermath, one that we kept out of our minds by constructive distraction.

Our marriage started out with two people made up of molecules that had nothing in common down to its very core. The one enduring component that held this bond has been the innate love we do have for each other, one that we didn’t know we had. That knowledge only comes with the years unfolding. Our marriage has not been one of any ease for either one of us. That, we never took for granted. Not only were we different of our respective composition, but we also came from different backgrounds. He grew up in the healthy environment of nature, in one of many villages that lies in the heart of Anatolia, Turkey. I was born into a million-city metropolis of Manila, Philippines, and grew up in a small island of Samar, in the city of Calbayog, where I spent my childhood with my family, extending to my mother’s side of the family.

When I first met my husband in 1989, the one trait that I felt we shared and would take us through to the long run of a marriage is our common background of cultures that has a strong core and sense of family. That can both be a blessing and a harbinger. Marriages inevitably have to contend with the conflict that naturally arise out of families, both nuclear and extended. It is test of endurance and patience, tolerance and understanding. It can either make or break a marriage. Simple as that. And, thank God, in our case, it has been more of a blessing and wisdom. R&W


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