How a wristwatch brought Mom and Dad together
Updated: Jul 26, 2020
A wristwatch, or "lack" of it, brought our parents together.
In the mid-1960s, our parents -- Lauro Velarde and Erlinda Cabrera, met each other at work, Chrysler Philippines. This was before Dad transferred to Ford Philippines.
Apparently, a guy at Chrysler, had a crush on Mom, who was a working student at that time and had two jobs.
The Chrysler guy wanted to surprise Mom by showing up at her other workplace when her workday ends. The guy even borrowed Dad's watch to impress Mom.
Dad gave his wristwatch to the guy but asked what time he intended to see Mom.
The guy said 8:00 p.m. and Dad sneakily beat the guy by showing up at Mom's workplace an hour earlier at 7:00 p.m.
Then Dad told Mom, "Simula ngayon ako na lang ang susundo sa 'yo kasi gusto kita." Kilig!
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Dad pursued Mom for three years before they finally tied the knot on June 30, 1968. They got married at St. Rita Chapel in Quezon City.
When my siblings and I were growing up, Dad would always tell us stories of how for three years, he always accompanied Mom to their home in Alabang after her work.
At that time, Mom wasn't keen on having a relationship with Dad who was two years younger than her. But Dad was determined and he escorted Mom home every day of the week.
Dad would stay at their house for two to three hours every time he brought Mom home. But he did not spend those hours with Mom but with our Lolo Ludovico (Dubeng), Mom's father. As for Mom, she would help out with house chores after working two jobs.
I was surprised when I learned this so I asked Dad what he did with Lolo and he said, "Wala lang. Pagkakain, manonood kami ng Lolo mo ng TV o magkukwentuhan."
Dad's strong relationship with Lolo Dubeng continued even as Lolo grew older and weaker.
I remember three days before Lolo passed away on August 16, 1993, our family visited him. The visit was short because Lolo was weak and Dad wanted him to rest.
Before we left, Lolo kept telling Dad that we should go back there on August 16 as it was fiesta in Alabang, feast of Saint Rock (San Roque). We didn't know that we would really go back as Lolo would pass away.
Fourteen years later, on August 17, 2007, it was Dad's turn to be called home to Heaven, a day before his August 18 birthday.
It still feels so sad to think of Dad. It is especially painful on days like this, June 30, which would have been Mom and Dad's 52nd wedding anniversary.
The wedding vow says, "to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part."
But I don't think death brought Mom and Dad apart. I see Mom praying everyday for Dad and our whole family -- my siblings Fernando, Melissa, and myself, our spouses, and her grandchildren.
I believe that Daddy is watching over us and praying for us too. A priest said we remain connected with our deceased loved ones through prayer. We can pray for them and they can pray for us too.
Daddy, we love you. Please don't worry about us. God is taking care of us and we know He is taking care of you as well. See you in Heaven!