A Best Man at an Uncle's Wedding

Past, Present and Future

My appointment as the Best Man to my uncle's wedding is something that might pose some questions in the minds of some of the guests.  In addition to the fact that we belong to different generations, we also live in two different islands: I grew up and continue to live in Luzon, while my uncle resides in Mindanao.

I write this not to justify my appointment as the Best Man.  I may not be the best Best Man for my uncle, but I can at least say that among my uncles, he is probably the one that I know best, and maybe the one that knows me best.

We have spent enough time with each other for me to say that we have had a relationship that goes beyond that of a simple uncle-nephew relationship. We had been roommates in several of our more-than-once-a year family reunions. I had even been a border for weeks in Initao Big Brother House when I was still a kid. During that time, I had even been an apprentice (well, more of a nuisance if I am to be completely honest) to him in his work. To top it all off, we have also spent quite a great deal of our international travels with each other where he ends up being seated with me in the plane as I eagerly talk of things which normally isn’t interesting to
grownups.

All of these experiences showed me that my uncle is very caring, concerned, pragmatic, real and true. I do remember how he would often hide his lack of sleep because of the noisy sleeping habits of his pesky little roommate. I do remember how he painstakingly explains what he is doing in his work to a curious but uncomprehending nephew. I do remember how he patiently deals with an unpatient fellow traveler, and I do remember how he would try to find interest in the things I used to speak of, even when now, in hindsight, I realized how difficult doing that would be.

I do not think “Best Wishes” is enough. After all, people keep on greeting newlyweds, “Best Wishes” even if they do not really know what these wishes are, yet they still call them “best”. My wishes for 三舅 and 三妗 are:

  • The wishes of a roommate to a former roommate and the latter's new roommate: Of warmth that makes going to bed a restful end to a busy day and of a good night’s rest in the company of each other so that waking up becomes a peaceful and energetic start to a bright new day;
  • The wishes of a border to the best Big Brother and his wife: Of a home that provides a feeling of serenity, joy and security, and of children who are obedient and respectful;
  • The wishes of an apprentice to a master: Of children who are intelligent enough to learn and think faster than I have done, and of a greatness in his field;
  • The wishes of a fellow traveler: Of the joys and experiences shared with a new companion not only in foreign travels but in your everyday life; and
  • The wishes of a boring speaker to a patient listener: Of a more insightful and listening fellow in the person of your spouse with whom you can share your interests.

In the future, I might not miss having an uncle hiding his lack of sleep because of his pesky little roommate. I might not miss having an avid listener to my endless and repetitive discussion of commercial passenger plane sizes. I might not miss having an uncle who will entrust me with our way to the hotel in a foreign city because while all things may change, I believe that he will remain to be the loving, practical, honest, family-oriented and selfless uncle I had known. But, I will definitely miss having an uncle who is a bachelor, for yesterday, he has given himself to a new life of friendship, companionship and love.

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