It was my cousin Jane’s wedding, with long time boyfriend Marlon. It was one happy event, an affair with the whole Bautista-Reyes family. We have relatives flying in from across the land and seas, siblings and close relatives from my fathers side of the family. We have Tiya Amelia and her family from Australia. Tiya Zenaida, Tiyo Nicanor and Lola all the way from Valencia, Spain to witness the event. There’s Tiya Virginia and her daughters from their holiday in Hawaii. Then Tiya Alicia, Tiyo Manuel and Tiya Conchita from Manila with a family entourage. All seven children, along with spouses, grandchildren, great grandchildren and close relatives. So it was sort of a big event, like an unplanned reunion. Just our family alone, excluding Marlon’s side was a whopping 85 guests. I think there was enough number of people to fill a whole ballroom.
Of course with members of the clan all together in one roof, means both drama and endless criticisms. I remember my Tiya’s eyebrows raising when my mother made her grand entrance in her lilac floral gown, along with Daddy Aldo (my mother’s fiance’). Mom has just a way of intimidating people without uttering a single word. But allow me to remind you that my mother’s tie to the Reyes clan was severed when she got divorce to my father (considering it was my Dad’s vice that instigated the separation). And on top of that, my Mom’s new companion came as a big surprise to them. My golly it’s been so many years and some people refused to move on!
But since Mom was cousin Jane’s godmother, and one of the guests of honor; mother decided to attend this wedding. My cousin was insistent and Mom could not refused. Also, Lola asked to see my mother in person. They haven’t seen each other for almost a year now. And beleive it or not? The two has such a wonderful relationship besides the failed marriage. As my grandmother would say over and over again in family functions — that it was my fathers fault and his mistress (turned wife after) that caused the family scandals, that led to my parents separation. That no one replaces my mothers place in her heart. I tell you, my grandmother is a character. Hahahaha!
Besides my mothers grand entrance, I saw different facial reactions from other members of the family when Lola introduced Mom to relatives as her most adored daughter-in-law. When in fact there’s another woman in my fathers life that she refuses to acknowledge. In as much as I’m also not fond of (though we’re civil and I have my own reasons)) Tiya Lourdes (the new wife), I felt like what Lola was doing was an insult on her behalf. But who am I to stop the last living matriarch of our family? So I told Dad and Tiya Lourdes to ignore grandmothers rave and just move to another table, which they did. I was saddened to see my madrasta teary eyed and feeling alienated among her supposed-to-be family. My stepmother and I were never closed, but if I try to put myself in her shoes — I would really feel bad. And so I needed to do something to help lessen the embitterment she’s feeling. I went up to her, paid my respects and had a descent conversation. I also went up to my Tiya Virginia, the coolest of all my (snobbish) aunts and asked that she joins us and talk to my fathers wife. Thankfully, she agreed and kept her entertained the whole time. In no time, they were laughing and giving each other high fives. That was such a relief!
Then there’s my cousin (the one who once owed me money, remember him?) who was pretending that we’re okay. What a jerk! I guess he was trying to put a show for the family. But in fairness to him, he did apologize after the wedding reception. I did accept and was polite about it, but I can’t pretend we’re all good. That’s just not part of my nature! Maybe in the next couple days or weeks, I’d hit my head on concrete, forget what happened and let things be the way it once was. Yah, right!
So as you can see, in as much as you’d expect our family to be so open and accepting, the idea of divorce is not so well received (till this day). My dad’s siblings find it quite hard to beleive that separated couples can be friends (like in the case of my parents). I don’t know what kind of mentality they have, but for some reason they’re still stuck in the ice age. There minds to refuse adapt with present time. But then again, they’re entitles to their own judgement. Seeing our parents happy and in good terms is enough for us children. I couldn’t care less what others think of them. You can call them dysfunctional or deficient, but they’re the best for us. We may differences and separate lives, but nonetheless we’re auspicious in our own right; just by simply having each other.