I was cleaning my laptop a few weeks ago. Weeding out old files. Keeping the ones that hold sentimental value and the documents that prove our family’s reason for being to a safer storage. Oh boy, do I have a lot of memories stored in my laptop. One of these is a .mov file I made in April 2009 about the Family Encounter Weekend (FEW) we attended as family auxiliary. Of the numerous files I was organizing, this one made me stop from my inventory. I watched it and I was hurled back to the past.
I remember the Prietos, Tito Eli and Tita Edith, leading us through the three day retreat for families. We were joined by our MEW batchmates then, the Macalalads and the Antonios as assisting auxiliary. Fr. Ruben Tanseco was the spiritual director of that weekend and the family sharers were the Concepcions and the Escosias. How time has changed and so many things have happened since then. Some of the people in that FEW are still active in Magis Deo. Many have left us for a variety of reasons. A few faces I recall and I wonder where they are right now.
At the end of the video, I could only utter a prayer of thanks. We have grown and matured through Magis Deo’s formation programs and it enriched many areas and facets of our lives. We are grateful to belong to a community that nurtures couples as well as their children.
Nine years ago, both of our kids, Nico and Zoe, were young grade school students. Now, Nico is a junior in college in UP Diliman and Zoe is in 10th grade at the school where I currently work. I was, at the time, unemployed. I have just retired from Xavier School after fourteen solid years of service with and among Jesuits and lay partners. I was neither young nor old to sit in a rocking chair. I wanted to try something new. Something entirely different. For the next two years, I worked freelance. Domeng, on the other hand, was fully employed. To this day, he remains consistent, stable and steadfast.
That’s when another realization hit me. Domeng is my constant.
Right now, he is the reliable presence in my life. As I have learned in Magis Deo, one’s relationship with God reflects his or her relationship with his or her spouse.God is my home and it is in His strong and steadfast love where I rest. This fills me with contentment and joy. However, the mere idea of death and being rent apart from Domeng assaults me with sadness and deep anxiety. I often wonder how the widows and widower in the community manage life on their own.
I turn to prayer. I lift all these thoughts to God. For who else could fill the empty spaces and the vacancies in life? Only God.