Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Wishing for a Golden Wedding Anniversary?

In the beginning of this year, in January, my husband officiated a ceremony for the renewal of vows of a couple celebrating their golden wedding anniversary. After the couple renewed their wedding vows, they danced cheek-to-cheek to the tune of their favorite song “God Knows How Much I Love You” by the Righteous Brothers.

Last June, my parents-in-law celebrated their golden wedding anniversary too. Both of them are already in their 70's and have not been separated from each other. So we celebrated their 50 years of togetherness with a simple lunch with close relatives and friends. We were reminded that married life is not all bliss. It has blisters too, but with Christ in the center of the relationship married couples can stick together and be happy.

Two weeks ago, in this last month of the year, a popular month for weddings, we were invited to another golden anniversary. Teary-eyed the couple renewed their covenant of love to each other. And yes, the elderly husband planted a kiss on the lips of his gray-haired but still beautiful wife. It was a sweet, tender moment and we the audience responded with cheers.

Don’t you wish for a golden wedding anniversary too? I do. In my book How to Keep Your Hubby Happy at Iba Pang Tips para kay Misis I revealed some of the secrets to a long and happy marriage shared by real-life couples who have decided to stay together through thick and thin. Get the scoop from the book available at Omf Literature Book Shops, National Book Store, PCBS, and other book stores.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Mamay and Nanay

Mamay* tends a convenience store on the street where we live. I would sometimes go to his store to buy an item which I forgot to pick up from the supermarket, or to quickly replenish my diminishing condiment supply. At 86, Mamay moves slowly now but he could still count and give the correct change. At times when I would pass by, I would see him watching  TV placed in one corner of his store. This morning, I saw him repacking brown sugar in small plastic packets.

I see him in contrast with my aunt whom we call Nanay**. Nanay remains unmarried and now lives with a relative. She's about the same age as my neighbor Mamay. But unlike my enterprising neighbor, I heard Nanay spends more time watching TV alone. In her earlier days, she went out with friends but soon lost touch with them. It's sad that she has become more forgetful lately, not recalling the names of nieces and nephews, not remembering where she placed a personal belonging, or if she has already cashed her retirement check. I plan to visit her again soon. I hope she still recalls my name and that we could laugh together as we remember whatever happy memories we still share.

Nanay (right in printed dress) holding me

Read about enhancing your relationship with your elderly relatives and creating pleasant memories from my book Life in the Middle. Available at PCBS, CSM Book Corner, and some branches of National Book Store. If you want the e-book version, you may get it from Buqo. Want a signed copy delivered at your doorstep? Please email yahmunar@gmail.com for orders.

*Mamay is a Tagalog term used in Batangas for grandfather.
**Nanay is a Tagalog term for mother. Also used to refer to a grandmother.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Living Significantly

Before each year ends, I return to an annual habit. I look back to the previous months and recall the year’s events and milestones. This year, we grieved as many people close to us passed away.  But this year, we also celebrated the gift of life as babies were born to our family and friends reached their 50th birthday. What an undeniable reminder that life on earth has a beginning, a middle, and an end.

In one of the psalms, David affirmed that God created him and planned the number of days he would live on earth. If the number of our days on earth is limited, how then should we conduct ourselves so as to live significantly?

Live loving.
Jesus Christ summed up the commands of God this way: love God and love others as you love yourself. Is there a conflict here? None, if you keep it that way. Because when you love God first, He will enable you to love others and yourself. But when you love yourself most, you will have a hard time loving God and others.

 Live serving.
Rick Warren said, “There are three things you can do with your life: You can waste it, you can spend it, or you can invest it. The best use of your life is to invest your life in something that will outlast it. The worst thing you can do is to live simply for today and to live for yourself.” God did not put you on earth to live for yourself. Look for an opportunity to serve.

Live laughing.
We take medicine to reduce pain and to prolong life. There’s a saying, laughter is the best medicine. So if you want to live longer, healthier, laugh more often. Laughing boosts immunity and lowers stress hormones. It adds zest to life and improves relationships. And people tend to be more attracted to cheerful individuals. You’d want that, right?

Live wondering.
As we grow older, we lose our sense of wonder. We get busy and give up smelling the flowers. We face troubles and get tired easily. When dreams become unreachable and we fail to reach our goals, we lose our hope. When these happen, it’s time to pause and recharge. Enjoy God’s creation. Discover ways of doing things differently. Do something new. Recover your sense of wonder; God is a wonderful God and He is doing wonderful things in our lives.

Whatever stage of life you are in now, live loving, serving, laughing, and wondering. 

Learn more tips on how to live significantly from my book Life in the Middle. Available at PCBS, CSM Book Corner and other book stores. Or if you want the e-book version, get it from Buqo. If you want a signed copy delivered at your doorstep, please email me at yahmunar@gmail.com.