I will be honest here. I’ve never really written anything about my family specifically here in my blog (and all the other past blogs I’ve owned and operated), but today, I felt very inspired to write something about one of the members of my crazy (not dysfunctional family, but good crazy) family.
I’ve never been in serious relationships before with the opposite gender. It’s not because I’m unattractive or anything, I mean boys in general have flirted me before, but I guess my mind— maybe my heart— isn’t really in to it back then. Even until now, I’m still not in to it. However, I wanted to write about my brother, simply because he’s my BFF inside the house and one of the reasons why I love him very much.
Eleven years ago, he was a 2nd-year college student at UCSC. His goal was to simply focus on studies first (Computer Engineering) before he could get in to other things, such as relationships and all that. However, one fateful date happened when his roommate (also one of his best friends back in the old high school days) invited him to go to his girlfriend’s debut (you know how Filipino traditions are when a Pinay turns 18-yrs-old, right…?). Eventually he did attend, and at that place, he met a particular young pretty girl, at a tender age of 16, who would eventually become his own girlfriend. The girl happened to be a cousin of his roommate’s girlfriend, which was why she was there in the first place.
So, they met, hung out whenever my brother was home (Santa Cruz is kinda distant from my hometown, almost an hour drive), exchanged phone #s and talked, and he and I used to fight for the computer so he can chat with her online (back then we only had one computer system). Among the four of us, he and I were the closest (we still are today, by the way), and he used to talk to me a lot about this girl. Even if I had no personal experience with relationships whatsoever I can already tell that he was seriously head over heels on this girl. I gave him my (lamest) advices from keeping in mind the age gap (he was 19, she was 16) and all the other general stuff like teen pregnancies and everything. Knowing how my family is in terms of persona, I fully trust him when it comes to responsibility and discipline anyway.
Some months later, he eventually opened up to my two younger sisters (they were two-four years younger than his girlfriend) about her, and eventually my father. All three of them were happy for him and were excited to eventually meet this girl soon, but when it came to my mother, she had something else in mind. Bearing that I was already ahead of my mother when it came to advices, she told him the same thing, not just on that one day, but almost every single day, up to the point where the rest of my family, including my father, were already suspecting that my mother was not quite pleased with my brother’s first-ever serious relationship.
I wish I was at my mother’s shoes during these times as to why she was not accepting of the girl my brother fell in love with. Like any Filipino family, they also took that person’s accomplishments seriously as well. The girl actually had a better educational record than my brother did. She graduated Valedictorian at her class when she reached her senior year of high school, interested in taking chemical engineering and bioengineering at the same time. She was captaing of the girls’ high school volleyball team, tennis team and swim team as well. Despite of her nerdy accomplishments, she was really pretty— light-skinned, she’s around my height too, and even my cousins thought she looked like Pinay actress Judy Ann Santos. She was also the only girl of her family, with only three older brothers as her siblings and grew up living with a single parent (her mother) because her father died of cancer some years before.
Eventually each of us family members had a chance to meet her. My brother and girlfriend happened to be at the mall one time when I was having my lunch hour from work and we ended up eating together. That was also the first time that I met this girl and that I was also the first person to meet this girl at the same time. We chatted, got to know each other, laughed, joked, shared some memories throughout my entire lunch hour. The next time we would meet again was at our double-joint birthday party celebration, since my brother and I were born on the same month, five days apart. There, my parents met her, my sisters met her, the rest of my relatives present met her, and with the eventual icebreaker conversations, it seemed that everything was going good. Even my mother was happy with her.
And yet after that one particular day, my mother reverted back to her old self again, saying the same thing to my brother all over again regarding his girlfriend. The rest of my family, including my father, also wondered why my mother would still act that way to my brother, like her so-called advices were becoming more of eventual discouragement to his relationship. There hasn’t been anything else that was distracting him, he still got good grades, he still worked hard, staying up all night until 3-4 am just to study, and all of that. Plus his girlfriend was doing so much success on her studies that you would think that she would be the major reason, the major influence, why my brother was doing so well with his studies back then. Even if that was the case, nothing really changed my mother’s outlook on his relationship with this girl.
I really wished I had the power to step in to my mother’s shoes regarding what her real feelings are. I always thought that parents should always be supportive of their children no matter what their decisions may be. Their decisions may not be suitable to the parents but if that decision was for their own good, wouldn’t the parents honor that choice, as long as that child is happy with it? Among all the girls my brother could’ve picked, he picked this girl instead. I can see all that because he knew her more than the rest of us, and because of that, we shouldn’t have the right to say or make some kind of a senseless opinion about that person, not unless if we got to know more of that person ourselves. During that time I could see how my brother was always distraught whenever my mother would tell him off like that. I wanted to say something encouraging to him during that time, but I did not have any encouraging words to say to him. The only thing I told him was to go to where he was happy with and not let any obstacles get in his way.
I’m not really sure what happened. I never asked my brother or my mother or anyone in my family about it. But in about a year or two later, my mother finally gave in and welcomed the girl with open arms on any event we may hold in our house or even in a relative’s or a family friend’s house. Whatever happened that caused my mother to finally change her mind about the girl would always remain a mystery to me, but is it really any of my business to know? The only thing that mattered to me as his only older sister is his happiness and his successes. To me, wherever he goes, I’ll go with him to that same direction. Why? It’s all because of my love for him.
That was eleven years ago. He’s 29 now, going on 30 in two months. He’s still with that same girl he fell in love with at his tender age of 19. The girl is 28 now. They already had their official engagement two years ago, but due to the economy and all other things, both decided that they would earn their living first until the perfect time that they would eventually tie the knot in front of the altar.
All I can say from this point is that life is indeed a roller coaster. I’m not just talking about relationships in general, but I’m talking about life on its own. We’ll always have our light days and dark days, our ups and downs, but keep in mind that what comes down, must go up. We’re all human after all, right?
I hope this would give everyone the chance to contemplate on becoming positive when it comes to any dilemma they may have in their lives. Nothing is perfect. And for all you mothers out there, I may still not be able to understand your hidden reasoning to you being overprotective on your children. I know you’re doing it out of true love, but if you don’t use this type of love wisely, it will go down in to being sour. Maybe even sour than that.
Stay positive always. First if you don’t succeed, get up and try again.