I WANNA GROW OLD WITH YOU
I WANNA GROW OLD WITH YOU
(Song and Lyrics by Adam Sandler)
I wanna make you smile, whenever you're sad.
Carry you around when your arthritis is bad.
Oh, all I wanna do, is grow old with you.
I'll get your medicine when your tummy aches,
Build you a fire when the furnace breaks.
Oh, it could be so nice, growin' old with you.
I'll miss you, kiss you,
Give you my coat when you are cold,
Need you, feed you.
I'll even let you hold the remote control.
So let me do the dishes in our kitchen sink,
Put you to bed when you've had too much to drink.
Oh I could be the [wo]man who grows old with you.
I wanna grow old with you.
Well, I guess almost everyone has heard about this song from TheWedding Singer (Adam Sandler/ Drew Barrymore). For a few who might have missed it, I supposed you can easily search it in YouTube if you haven’t come across some animated version of it from Facebook yet.
I was talking with a close friend earlier and our usual silly jokes towards each other turned to a more serious topic of getting old. He told me that he is, indeed, afraid to grow old alone. There was a sad tone in his voice as he went on telling me how much time he had spent in his life being focused in his career. Now, at 32, he realized that he has been getting much older ALONE…and he has suddenly become afraid to be on his own until his retirement.
For most people who are unmarried or those who do not have children of their own, planning a successful retirement may be quite bothersome. Of course, there may always be nieces and nephews, brothers and sisters around, but having a family of your own-with a husband/ wife and children to be with, provides an easier, if not the best, course to a blissful senescence , simply because you are almost guaranteed of not being alone in the process.
However, marrying someone does not give you a hundred percent assurance of a happy old age with your wife/husband, although for some lucky couples, it may be a good start.
I was inspired by a verse from co-blogger, Jocelyn Soriano, as it goes:
Growing old together, being wrinkled and cozy and warm at the same time. Knowing that after all the years that passed, some things remain, the most important things do. You have each other, and you look forward to each day as you have looked forward to each one before… with great anticipation and joy. You have traveled the world together, and yet you still see things as though you were seeing it for the first time. You have been tested, and you have been victorious. See how sweet your victory is – for no young love could ever compare to two souls that have danced a lifetime. Heaven.
More than a month ago, while I was talking with my Mom over the phone, I heard my Dad’s voice in the background, as if he was asking Mom for something (it was his car key that he couldn’t find that time). Mom excused herself from me and asked if I wanted to hang up the phone while she helps Dad find what he was searching for. I told Mom I’d wait (although I didn’t have much to tell her anymore coz we already talked for more than fifteen minutes, but I wanted to hear what they were talking about…and how they go through the “key searching” process).
I heard my Dad shouting, as he had obviously become impatient because they couldn’t find the key. Mom insisted that she placed it on the drawer and Dad was saying that he did not take it. So, there were some banging, falling, and slamming and still, they did not find the bloody key. My Dad kept shouting. He picked up the phone and said,”HELLO!HELLO! MEMEN!!! TUMAWAG KA NA LANG ULIT MAMAYA AT HINDI MAHANAP NG INAY ANG SUSI!”. I asked Dad to calm down and to take it easy on my Mom, and then I hung up.
As I put the phone down, I looked at the clock on the wall. It was 1:30pm here (Riyadh) and it’s 6:30pm in Philippines. Probably, it was already dark in our place, and I thought that if Dad happened to leave the key outside the house, in the garage or in our small kubo outside, it would be quite impossible for them to find it then. I was almost certain that if they don’t find the key at once, then it would result to a sleepless night for my old parents. At 64, my Dad could hardly see without his eye glasses especially at night.
There was a big lump on my chest as I waited for thirty minutes to pass by. Then I called again.
Mom: Hello, sino ‘to?
Me: Mommy, si Memen to! Anong balita jan??
Mom: Ay naku Ineng, nahanap din namin ang susi ng van.
Me: Talaga ho? Hala, salamat naman. Haysst. (I breathed out a sigh of relief.) San nyo ho nahanap??
Mom: Dun sa hinubad na short ng Tatay. Sabi ko na nga ba at ginamit nya kanina ang susi.. Kaya lang sabi naman nya ay natingnan na daw nya dun sa lamugan (*lagayan ng mga maruming damit*.
Me: Ah, Mommy, na-mislook nya lang pala…Hay…si daddy talaga…
Mom: Ano pa nga ba?! Yang matandang yan! Hay naku! Napaka sungit eh sha naman itong laging makakalimutin!!! Tapos sa akin pa hinahanap lahat ng gamit nya..mantalang sha naman ang laging gumagamit…tapos pag nawala, sa akin hahanapin!!! Pagsabihan nyo nga yang tatay nyo!......
There were still some other complaints from my Mom but I could not remember them all, until I heard my Dad’s voice while he came towards my Mom.
Dad: Sino yan, Inay? (He sounded far softer than how he was talking to her an hour ago)
Mom: Si Memen…. (pause)
O, kausapin mo! (she gave the phone to my Dad)
Me: Daddy! Kamusta???( I tried to make my voice sound cheerful).
Daddy: Ay di ayos! Nahanap na ang susi..
Me: Sinong nakahanap??? Hahahaha (I teased him).
Daddy: Ay di ang Inay mo…hehe (He was cheerful..and I heard he laughed.) (I bet my Mom was standing near to him, and he was teasing her also. )
Me: Yan..kasi naman…tsktsktsk… Sabi ni Mommy ansungit mo daw eh. Hay naku daddy…easy..easy easy!
When I hung up for the second time, I felt relieved. The tension was over and I was thankful that it was a quick one. Thank God for showing the car key!
In a conversation with a high school friend, I asked her why she chose to remain “single” at the age of 33. She came from a well off family in Mindoro, and she is already a successful civil engineer. Our chat went like this:
Kris: I’ve met several men and I had some relationships in the past, but none of the guys I’ve known fitted in the criteria I have.
Me: So, there should always be huge criteria to select a partner? If you click together, isn’t it all that matters?
Kris: I only dreamt of finding a partner who would understand me and accept me for who I am.
Me: A perfect husband?
Kris: No, certainly not. I never asked God for a perfect husband- just somebody who would appreciate me, and somebody who will look forward to growing old with me. But I was not able to feel that—at least not with any men I met before. Perhaps somebody up there had planned something for me otherwise.
Me: Well, I hope you find him. There’s never too late for true love for anyone, right?
Kris: I know. Thanks ‘Men.
In our lives, choosing whether to be alone or to be with somebody to grow old with is a personal decision. It is however mandatory that we choose a certain path, because growing old, like death, is inevitable. So while we can, as long as WE still can, we need to focus on investing for a happy, successful retirement, alone or otherwise.
My point is that, if finding the right partner becomes impossible, then maybe, we should try being the right partner for someone.
I’m happy for my parents that they complement each other almost perfectly. (On a sad note that right now, being far from them, I very seldom witness this magical experience unfold before my eyes). My Dad, being strict and harsh and my Mom being cheerful and carefree. Of course, there’s a lot of fighting and shouting along the way (everyday!!!), but ultimately, they eat every single meal together, sleep together on the same one bed every night, and they wake up every single day, happy to see each other. For a daughter like me, it’s one of the greatest blessings I receive from God, and I’m thankful of it every day. I hope and pray that their love (although they sometimes call it “tolerance”) for each other will outlast their age…and that the ever good God give them more years of togetherness… with us.
As for me, when the time comes that I no longer can write a blog, I’ll let you know how much I appreciate growing old with you because…
I know you’d be there for me when I feel down- to comfort me, to assure me that things would be okay even if they don’t seem so… I know you would hug me when I’m scared because I’ll keep you warm when you feel cold...I know you would think I’m beautiful because you always assure me that you like the way I look….I know you’d be proud of me because I would always show off your achievements to my friends….I know you’d to talk to me when something’s bothering you because I will always be there when you need someone to listen to you….I know you’d make me smile because I will always make sure that you are happy with me….
It will be a two-way relationship. You and me together, giving and sharing. After all, you taught me that perfection can only be achieved by two hearts beating as one... turning on each other for strength and comfort.
When our kids find their own successful lives with our guidance, then it will be you and me, together, alone, AGAIN.
At the end of the day, I could perhaps play the song by Adam Sandler and let you feel how blessed I am to share the rest of my life with you.
I was doing my usual routine in the office when I suddenly received an email from my sister in UAE. She sent me a picture taken recently during our parents’ tour outside Philippines. The shot was so vivid- my Mom and Dad were sitting next to each other, with my Dad’s arm around my Mom’s shoulders. There was no caption or anything (my eldest sister’s too lazy to even put the date or any other information about the picture).
I suddenly felt tears rolling down my cheeks. A sudden rush of guilt filled my heart. Perhaps, it was such a feeling of longing- for the parents I am missing so much and with whom I have missed to spend time with.
I asked myself how could they have become so old, so fast, and how could I have let it pass my eyes.
Then I simply understood why I started to sob…
For many years, my parents are left in our hometown in Mindoro with only my 7 year old nephew. Their kids, all four of us, are in separate parts of the world trying our lucks with our own different lives.
Of course, they miss us. No amount of phone calls could compensate to the absence of people we love. During holidays, their birthdays, or even when they get sick, they’re alone with themselves and it sounds and feels terrible from both sides.
It is indeed disturbing…. and to say it is sad, is an understatement.
Because as I look at the picture and see those two persons smiling boldly infront of me, I also get to notice those 2 pairs of eyes yearning for their children’s presence.
A Night Before New Year’s Eve
It was a quarter past midnight and I was still halfway done through cooking some desserts for our New Year get-together the next day. I had been working in the kitchen for almost four consecutive hours and the whole place was already in chaos. I looked at the clock and I told myself I need to finish so I could rest.
Suddenly, I was surprised to see my two year old daughter, Aisha, standing near the kitchen door, holding her small Mini Mouse stuffed toy, she was staring at me. I could tell that she must have been standing there for quite some time without me knowing it.
I stopped and slowly approached her. I noticed that her eyes were red, probably from feeling very sleepy but was fighting it off.
“Ma..”, she murmured.
I bent down towards her and touched her face. “Yes…baby???”, I asked.
“Karga…tsaka kanta…please???” (She wanted me to carry her and sing for her a lullaby).
My heart melted… I was so busy the whole day preparing gifts and food for friends, (I earlier asked my kids not to disturb while doing so) that I have ignored this little darling… and she had been patiently waiting for me to finish what I was doing before she ask me to attend to her! How could I forget that this girl deserves my attention before any gift or any food for anyone else?
I hugged her and carried her. She hugged me back so tightly and kissed me on my cheek before she put her head on my shoulder.
On our way to bed, I saw our reflection on the mirror in our bedroom. I noticed that Aisha already fell asleep.
I quietly put her down on the bed and kissed her gently on her forehead.. My little girl… my baby. Watching her sleep and hearing her soft snore was priceless. It was all I needed to realize that no one deserves my attention more than my family… ever.
What makes me happy?
People. Everyone around me who believes and inspires me.
Life itself is a happy experience. The world is a happy place.
I had my own share of struggles, life was not easy for us back then but my Dad taught me how to believe in myself, work hard , be kind and to be strong. He inspired me to go out of my comfort zone. He used to tell me that the possibilities in life are endless and so I believed him.
l Iost him quite a few years ago but he has left me with so much inspiration to follow my dreams - to visit places I have only dreamt of or have seen in the movies when I was little and to do things I thought were only for the privileged few.
Wherever I go, I always remember my Dad, wishing he could see me from afar and somehow be proud of me as I have always been so proud of him. Life is short and I promised him that I would make the most of mine.
Travelling makes me happy and in all other things, I choose happiness. We all should- always..