A Memorable Wedding Made Even More Special

This morning, as I was finishing up my work, I had one of the biggest surprises I wouldn't have imagined.

There was nothing extraordinary about the morning service except there were a couple of attendees who requested their intentions to be read. As before, I was a bit hesitant to oblige because the standard procedure was for intentions to be forwarded to the secretary for proper receipt and recording. The office secretary then schedules these.

Well, both ladies' excuse was that the office was still closed. Reluctantly, I still accepted their requests but reminded them to properly submit their requests next time to the office.

Unexpected Visit from a Gentleman

At the end of the mass, I exited the lectern to wait for the mother-butlers. The mother-butlers would be bringing the offertory baskets for accounting. The basket is where the cash donations would go - including the late intentions.

While I was waiting, a gentleman entered the premises and was asking for me. As I acknowledged that it was me he was asking for, I was trying to recall his face. But nothing registered. With my mind still blank, I asked, "How may I help you Sir?" He said, "I've been looking for you, don't you remember me?"

Flashback to One Year Ago

"No Sir", I said. I swear I couldn't make anything from his introduction. "You spoke at our 50th anniversary!" Speaking at an anniversary gave me an impression of delivering a speech in a company anniversary. And that is something I've never done. At this point I was worrying, half embarrassed, that he mistook me for somebody else.

When he volunteered his name, Jose, the surname seemed to ring a bell. When he said that I worked at their wedding and mentioned his wife's name as Olivia, memories of a Renewal of Vows wedding flooded my poor brain.

I joyfully tried to recount to him that in their wedding, they had Fil-Americans attending and that the mass reader was actually a lector from a different parish church in the US. Much to my amazement, he confirmed all the details I gave. I distinctly remember having to change my commentator's script to reference their names. Ordinarily, I would just read their names as Jose and Olivia. But Fr. Ben earlier fondly called them Tatay Jose and Nanay Olivia (terms of endearment to elders). And so I changed my script as I recited their names.

Token of Gratitude a Year Later

Tatay Jose said he and his wife just celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary (a year after their Golden Anniversary) and remembered those who worked during their wedding. I said it was highly remarkable and so very nice of them to remember. After all, I noted that most newly-wed couples wouldn't know who helped during their weddings, especially a year later.

He said he wanted to personally thank all those who were present then and mentioned a couple of other names. It was quite coincidental that the priest who officiated in my service today, Fr. Ben, is the same priest who officiated their wedding a year ago. He regretted that he couldn't invite us to their celebration. I wasn't sure if it was the 50th or the 51st celebration he was referring.

Nonetheless, he passed to my hand a bill, a token amount, which he said was a gesture of appreciation to those who made his wedding a success. WOW. I couldn't believe it. I told him that a couple who remembers me and greets me a year later is wonderful enough. Still, I thanked him and accepted his kind gesture.

An Elderly yet Energetic Couple

I asked Tatay Jose how his wife Nanay Olivia is doing. He pointed me to her at a front pew, waiting patiently for us. All three of us got to talk very briefly. Tatay Jose and Nanay Olivia are septuagenarians, but they really look surprisingly young for their age, especially Tatay Jose who could be mistaken for a 50-year old.

They apparently have spoken to Fr. Ben already and sought his blessings. Tatay Jose was still looking for a couple of parish workers, and so I pointed them out to the head mother-butler. That person, I said, may be able to help them in their search. And with that, I bid them both farewell.

Today was truly amazing and it was made special by a memorable wedding that happened a year ago. To Tatay Jose and Nanay Olivia, Happy 51st Wedding Anniversary and thank you for remembering!