By Greg B. Macabenta
56 years ago on December 24, 1963, Giigi and I exchanged marriage vows. We promised to love and honor and care for each other till death parted us. Till then, it would be the two of us facing the future and taking on life’s challenges.
But we soon became more than two. Ringo was born.And we became three, Then Christina came and we were four. Then Jojo and Jinky followed. And we were six.
For years, there were six of us. But then we moved to Maryland. And on our first new year’s eve in America, all the children had their own places to go to and friends to greet the new year with.
In our little chalet in Cambridge, Maryland, Gigi and I found ourselves alone with each other once more. Just the two of us.
It was a harsh realization that, at the end of the day – or of the year – or of life – we could only count on the two of us.
Life has been good to us all these years. Our family has managed to stay together in America. But we soon needed to go our separate ways. I had to work in California while the kids had to study in Salisbury, in San Francisco and in Baltimore.
Gigi found herself all alone in our little chalet in Cambridge. So she asked to join me in California.
Happily, all the other children decided to join us in the San Francisco Bay Area. And we became one large family again.
But not for long. The children all got married and raised their own families.
First it was Ringo who got married to Vicky and had one child, Derick, Then Jinky married Kathy and now they have Vegas and Cerise. Jojo wed Anne and they have Sofia and Max. Christina married Jack and they have a son, Lawson or Jack-Jack.
We soon found ourselves counting six grandchildren plus in-laws.
But the children have to raise their own families and live in their own homes. They have to live their own lives.
Jack and Christina and Lawson. Jinky and Kathy and Vegas and Cerise. Jojo and Anne and Max and Sofia. Ringo has decided to go back to our home in Paranaque. His son, Derick stays with us. Derick’s mom is in Maryland and has remarried. We hardly see Derick because he is always at work or with friends.
Tonight, Dec 31, 2019, 56 years and several days from when we were wed, Gigi and I are waiting for the year to end.
As I write this, it It is just a few minutes to midnight.
The children are with their families, celebrating the new year. Derick is with his friends.
Gigi is watching TV. I am nursing a glass of wine, waiting for another year to end and a new one to begin.
When the clock tolls, I will go over to Gigi. I will give her a kiss She will smile at me and we will hold hands, resigned to the fact that, at the end of the day – or of the year – or of life there will be just the two of us.
And then just one.