By Jane Santos-Guinto

Three years ago today, I became Mrs. Jonathan Guinto.

We had the ceremony at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Tagaytay.  Father Vic Sadaya of the Claretian Missionaries traveled all the way from Quezon City to bless our vows. Father Vic’s sermons have inspired me since high school, when I vowed that he’d be the priest to officiate my wedding someday.

It was two in the afternoon on the twenty-second day of the second month of the year 2009, a date half-planned, half-serendipitous. I walked down the church’s long aisle smiling at the guests who had come to share the day with us, wondering why quite a number of them were teary-eyed, unaware that my groom had been crying as his parents walked with him towards the altar. “Walk slowly, walk slowly,” said the church assistant, gesturing that I should take my time.

I guess I was in a hurry.  I so wanted to be with the man whom I have loved since I was a skinny 22-year-old grad student.  The man who had given me my first kiss, the one who could listen to my rambling stories for hours, the one who prayed for and with me.  In my heart, God told me it was the perfect time, the right time.

Till I Met You, a 1980’s song by Odette Quesada was being sung with violin accompaniment:

I never dream
‘Cause I always thought that dreaming was for kids
Just a childish thing
And I could swear
Love was just a game that children play
And no more than a game

Till I met you
I never knew what love was
Till I met you
This feeling seems to grow more every day
I love you more each dayI believe you
I believe in every word when you say
‘I love you all the way’
Now I can swear
Love is not a game that children play
So tell me that you’ll stayTill I met you
I never knew what love was
Till I met you
This feeling seems to grow more every day
I love you more each day…

The wedding party that followed at Casablanca Private Resort was all that Jonathan and I had hoped it would be: good food, great weather, a perfect view of Taal Volcano, family and friends. Many flew in from the United States, Hong Kong, and Singapore: all of my mother’s siblings, his parents and aunts, his boss, and his high school buddies. It was a wonderful reunion, a big thanksgiving. We never grow tired of watching the video.

As I write this, I’m waiting for Mr. Guinto to finish watching the news and go online for our virtual anniversary date. I’ve put on a little makeup and a nice new dress from my mom. The cake is resting in the refrigerator.

Yes, we may have been apart for most of these past three years but our hearts could never be as close. Each morning I wake up thanking God I have a good husband.  Each day I pray to be a good wife. Each pause in our conversations, we’re silently wishing we didn’t have so many miles between us.  Each “I love you,” says we long to be together again soon.

Today, more than ever, I miss the gold and silver band that said I’m “Certifiably Jonathan’s.” The ring that I had carefully picked out and had never taken off after our wedding day, but which I flushed down the toilet one hot summer night last year.  I hope to have it duplicated some time soon. Then again, I don’t really need a piece of metal to know I am his.

Today, we’ll be looking at our wedding pictures, dreaming of our third honeymoon, and praying for a lifetime of love and happiness.

Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash