“Communicating hope and trust in our time.”

- Pope Francis

Family life, a climb of love

Sarah Mabansag Puno

By Sarah Mabansag Puno

“EVERYDAY should be Valentine’s Day, every month should be Valentine’s Month that should be celebrated by families just like Christmas for it is checking and strengthening the bond of love that binds the family.” My old uncle started his valedictory message (for it was his last) with conviction during the diamond wedding anniversary with his wife and it was also Valentine’s Day. In front of all his children, grandchildren, relatives and friends he delivered a message that remained in our hearts.

Family members should be strongly bounded with love for family life is likened to a climb of love up to a mountain, a rendezvous with love. In this endeavor started by the husband and wife, and as their children come to be with them, many obstacles will be encountered that will prevent them to move forward. But there is nothing impossible with love because if there is love, there God is.

He shared his hardship together with his wife in raising their children, in supporting their studies and guiding them to what they are now today. One of their sons was so in love with music, with musical instruments, with friends more than his studies. He was expected to graduate but was discovered to be out of school. But love understands, accepts, forgives and extends never ending second chances that made this son a successful professional musician,now serving the church with his music.

In this climb of love other loved ones might be lost along the way. One of their daughters while studying in the big city was with socialite friends who were engaged in “ sugaring business”. She was discovered with a child fathered by a married man. She was guided back home, accepted , forgiven and supported with her child towards the right path.

Sometimes in this climb, the path is so slippery with temptations that if we succumb, could pull us down far away from our destination. He shared his own struggle as head of office, exposed to many amenities in life, including worldly pleasures that could ruin a family. Pleasures that could create amnesia of our real purpose of life which is love and that family life is a climb of love to its rendezvous with God. Realizing of the downward pull to darkness, he extended his arms to our forgiving God who helped him up. Thanking also his forgiving wife and children who held his arms for support to be back to the light.

We also encounter storms and floods in our struggle to move up the mountain to reach the peak. But our strength is our faith that our God is above the storms and floods of our life. In their diamond wedding anniversary the wife, my aunt was smiling with joy and happiness with pure innocence facing nameless faces because of Alzheimers and my uncle talking with a very loud voice with conviction was totally deaf. He could be communicated only with sign and written language. They were living in two different worlds but they were one in love.

It was his valedictory message. It was their last wedding anniversary because months after, the wife left this world but before she closed her eyes she smiled to the nameless faces around her as if saying, “I love you and thank you for your love and care”. Yes everything has gone but what was left was love. After few months also the husband followed her leaving their loved ones behind, but all are striving to be like them to reach the peak of the mountain in their climb of love and praying to be with them in paradise with our Creator when their time comes.

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