December 2, 2000
St. Alphonsus Mary de Liguori Parish
Makati City, Philippines
All rise as the first notes of the theme from Love Affair float into the air. Wrapping my arm around my Papa’s, we wait to take the first steps down the aisle. The church is a-glow with candles and lights, its aisles bordered with sprays of chrysanthemums and lilies, but the skies outside are gray from rain.
“It’s time, Mieke,” my best friend, Marga, says with a bright and excited smile. I thank her and start walking behind the members of our wedding party. As my foot lands on the red carpet, the first warm tear roll down my cheek. Soon, my Papa is sobbing too. Through the open church doors, I see the sky crying too.
A ruffle of voices comes from the crowd. Murmurs, I believe, about the sentimentality my family is famous for. There's laughter too. Curious as to what is so funny, I scan the crowd to find the source of their amusement.
At the altar, I find Gary, hiding his face behind his Best Men, Monchit and Dojie. Their smiles quiver as they suppress their own laughter. A feeble attempt to shield the bawling man about to be my husband.
Finally, we meet at the end of the aisle and dab our leaking eyes and noses. Even the Monsignor is crying too. What a picture this must make of all of us at the altar? Such a sniveling mess.
I hug the first man I ever loved, then turn to the man who has my heart forever. There is a flutter in my stomach, as we start our life as one.
We will be of one heart, one body, and one soul, till we are parted by death.
New Jersey, USA
To my dearest Gary,
The warranty is up. You can't give me back anymore.
Your loving wife,
P.S. I love you! Happy 10th Anniversary. You still have my heart, my body, and soul.