This post was inspired by a couple of things. (1) Timehop, (2) This day being Friday the 13th, (3) Septembers, (4) #throwbackthursday and #flashbackfriday and (5) This guy I shall call “J”, who my husband and I have been exchanging letters with since the start of the year. More about him later.
Based on my Timehop, the past Septembers have been full. Timehop is a mobile app that pulls out photos from your social networks, from the exact same day the past years, putting them together in a nice little message alert that you receive every morning.
Since the start of September, my Timehop has been on a roll.
September 1, 2006: We went to a music festival.
D was about to end his one-month vacation, flying back to New York the next day. As a final date, he took me to Penshoppe’s Denimlab Rockfest. We were “just friends.”
Photo: Couple selfie taken inside Araneta Coliseum that night. (Uso na selfie nung 2006.)
It’s been 7 years since that September night, and most of what happened then has become a blurry memory. But I do remember Imago singing “Akap”, my song for the night. I remember riding a cab after the concert and hearing the first Christmas carol of the year. I remember us having coffee at Starbucks Pearl Drive, catching up on years worth of stories until the early hours of the next day. I remember blogging about the concert. I remember D walking me back to my apartment—a moment he lowkey tucked into the words of a song.
I remember the awkward goodbye, a casual hug that lingered a little longer than “casual”, one last glance and a wave. I remember watching him disappear around the curb, totally clueless that that was the boy I was going to marry someday.
September 9, 2010: We got engaged.
He’s back in Manila, and for a reason.
September 13, 2010: We spent the night at Hong Kong International Airport.
Ending his one-week vacation here, he was flying back to New York with a 12-hour layover in Hong Kong. Who in the world would buy round-trip tickets to Hong Kong just so she could hang out in the airport while someone’s in a layover? Well, me. Ahh, young (stupid) love!
And hey, that was the exact same day as today!
Photo: Taken while having breakfast at HK International Airport, an hour before his flight.
Sometimes I wonder why I put myself through all of this unnecessary torture, lol. It was the saddest day ever, sending him off, alone in a foreign place. And yet I made the choice (and spent a ridiculous amount of cash) if only to spend a few more hours with him. As soon as his plane took off, I ran to the other side of the airport and boarded my plane back to Manila.
It’s been 3 years since that bittersweet (and expensive) day in HK!
The rest, as they say, is history.
September 13, 2013: Friday the 13th.
And here we are today.
Three long-stemmed roses from the husband are on top of my desk as I type this, and the twins are playing, screaming, and making a ruckus around the house. Looking back at the past Septembers, I can only laugh at all the crazies, thankful for the long-winding road that brought us to this day.
The point of this backtracking exercise is to acknowledge and appreciate how far the Lord has brought us. You said you read this blog from cover-to-cover (or page-to-page), and based on these pages it might look like we had it easy. But there were long days, months, and years in between the dates I mentioned above.
In between these stories were long periods of uncertainty. Nights when we felt like giving up (and nights when we actually gave up.) Prayers that weren’t answered the way we expected. Days when it felt like God wasn’t listening. Months where we were so sure we would never get back together ever.
We messed up, many times. We were impatient. We struggled to do things our own way. We had too many missteps and God had to pull us, break us, tear us, maybe all for the purpose of bringing us back to the path we’re supposed to be.
I pray that you find the courage to make better choices than we did. God knows the desires of your heart, He knows what He’s doing, and someday, you’ll see why you have to shed a few tears right now too.
David & Rhiza