Growing old with the one you love

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By Luci Lizares

Thursday, February 13, 2014

FEBRAURY is the month of hearts and tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. The day of Love, sweet love.

I shall stay away from romances and weddings. Romances are delightful but no guarantee for a march down the aisle. Neither do marriage nuptials ensure a life of being together for a lifetime. So I would like to write about love – everlasting love. The love that has transcended the test of time which is really what love is all about.

I Corinthians 13:13 says: “Three things will last forever – faith, hope, and love – and the greatest of these is love.” I checked all the different Bible versions on this and they all come down to the same translation. We may walk in faith, we may pray with hope but if we do not love, then our faith and hope are for naught.


As Robert Browning says, “Take away love and our earth is a tomb.” Love is so important in our lives because we redound to nothing but empty shells if we love just our narcissistic selves. Love is giving and forgiving. In so doing, we open ourselves to receiving so much love in return.

Another quote from Robert Browning goes: “What’s this earth with all its art, verse, music, worth compared with love found, gained and kept?

A love found, gained and kept is really what this earth needs. Not sensual, not selfish, not fleeting nor obsessive but a love that has experienced the roses and thorns wrought by life yet continues to bud and blossom despite the many seasons.

I know of a love such as that, my parents. When my dad passed on, the earth was like a tomb for my Mom until she knew that she can always keep the love they shared aflame in her heart and no one can take that away from her. Now that my Mom is gone, I know that they are enjoying a more glorious bliss far better than the one they had here on earth.

However, I know of a parallel love story that continues to bloom after 70 years of marriage. This is the story of the parents of my best friend, Dolly. Because of the time we share with our best friends from childhood to forever, I witnessed a beautiful, rare story of a love that was found, gained and kept as well in Tita Angie Jereza and Tito Jimmy Dacanay.

This is their story. It was during the American-Japanese War when Tita Angie’s family hid in the mountains of Ma-ao together with the families of her Uncle Packing Rodriguez, the first cousin of Tita Angie’s mother.

Hiding in the mountains as well were relatives, Eve Jalandoni who married a Teves, and Teresing Jalandoni, who later became Mrs. Fernando Cuenca.

Tito Jimmy was in active duty as a soldier fighting for the Philippine Army. When the Japanese came and conquered, his troop was asked to surrender but Tito Jimmy was among those who refused to bear down their arms and instead chose to hide in the mountains. That hiding place was where he found love – Tita Angie.

The mountains became the playing field of his courtship and where he finally gained her love. Even with the war ongoing, they were married in that mountain where love was found. That was also where the first fruit of that love was born, their eldest daughter, Madie.

After the war came Toto, then Linda, Dolly, Boboy, who died when he was just four years old but the Dacanay children still grew and grew. Bob came then Anna and finally Menchu completed the family.

A love that has been kept and cherished through time and space, is worth celebrating. Last year, Tita Angie and Tito Jimmy celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. Madie, married to Peque Gallaga, is the only child living in the Philippines but for the big occasion everyone came home.

Toto, Linda, Bob, Anna and Menchu all live in the States. Dolly lives in Barcelona. The empty nest became a full house with children and grandchildren coming together for the precious event.

Today, Tito Jimmy and Tita Angie are blest with 15 grandchildren and 10 great grand children.

Tito Jimmy turned 96 years old last December 18 while Tita Angie became a nanogenarian last November 5. In this month of hearts, they will be celebrating their 71st anniversary on the 27th of February.

Truly a rare and beautiful love story!

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on February 13, 2014.


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