Are promises still promises?

The past week has been a hectic one. My uncle passed on. No one saw it coming – not even the people closest to him. It’s honestly sad to know that when someone faces problems in his/her life, the probability of the people closest to him, his loved ones knowing are smaller than people who are distant from him. 

The few days I spent at the sanctuary and crematorium/columbarium really taught me a couple of things. First, that there’s only 2 reasons as to why loved ones cry at a funeral – remorse and anger or disappointment. Remorse for not treating the person who passed, better when he/she was alive, for not giving him a second chance, for not loving him enough. If you feel that you have dutifully fulfilled your part as a parent, sibling, cousin/relatives or friend, you wouldn’t cry because you know that you have done your best and that you have brought happiness to the person. Anger, be it towards one’s self or towards the one who passed. 

“For better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward till death do us part.”

Many of us would have heard that statement, claim or love/marriage vow, whatever you may want to call it, at least once. Really, it’s easy for one to say it. But for one to mean and to live to that? For better or for worse –  Of course, we’d always stay with our partner if he’s treading down a smooth path, with a broad, direct route, with little or no obstacles. But let’s say your partner is facing trials and difficulties in his life, it’s really easier to run and find another, than to stick with him through it all. Escaping is always the easy route out (if there is an exit, that is). 

Similar for the subsequent sentences; for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish. Taking care of a sick person is definitely not an easy task. To love unconditionally, and to be commited in a marriage is no longer a given, no longer important. It has now become conditional. It’s okay to be unfaithful as long as the other party doesn’t know. 

People nowadays sign Certificate of Marriage like they are signing up for a job. Treating marriage almost like a transaction. Marrying another for the financial and social benefits – wealth, popularity/fame/status. Voiding it the moment something crops up like as if it were a trial product – “Return within 30 days if you change your mind. “

To watch old, wrinkly, white-haired couples lock hands while they cross roads, feed one another, to push another on a wheelchair, or to support each other while walking or even bicker (over the smallest thing) is a very touching sight. The love and affection for one another, still burning as brightly as it was 30-40 years (or more) ago. The time when if the marriage was met with a trouble, the couple would cross it together. When if there was a misunderstanding or conflict, they would talk about it instead of faulting or silencing one another for it. 

Now is the time when, if there’s a miscommunication, couple would no longer discuss with one another. One party would send a lawyer’s letter over to the other, requesting for a divorce, together with requests for alimony/allowance, child custody, or the dividing of one’s marital assets. Now, when there’s a miscommunication, people escape, they run from the problem, far and fast. 

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