Life in the Fast Lane


The Musketeers

By 4:05 PM , , , , , , , , , , ,

Picture this: three kids running around the garden; climbing trees; collecting scraps of wood to make a treehouse; screaming at people who would burn leaves because they'd pollute the air; wearing matching Vikings helmets; playing Cops & Robbers, Langit Lupa, and softball without the rules; learning how to rollerblade and bike and then fall countless times; playing basketball and purposely (maliciously) missing the hoop, just to get the parrot (whose cage was hanging near the basketball court) riled up; learning ninja moves just like the Three Ninjas ("Rocky loves Emily!"); wishing they could play ice hockey like the Ducks.

Those kids were actually yours truly, my cousin Angelo (whom we called "Gel"), and my brother Chuck.

We were the best of friends long before we made friends in school and in Sunday School. Since we lived in a three-house compound (my mom and her two sisters each had one house), we were inseparable for the most part. Gel and Chuck went to the same school and as soon as I got home from school (I hated the fact that I had to go to an all-girls' school; I couldn't hang with my two best buddies 24/7), we'd play nonstop.

And then Gel had to migrate to Canada just a few years later. I was 12, he had just turned 10 (literally, his last birthday in Manila was a few days before flying out to Toronto), and Chuck would be celebrating his 9th birthday without his sidekick. That was when I first understood was loss was all about.

Chuck and I were inconsolable wrecks for days. I remember crying myself to sleep and looking at our common garden forlornly. Who would be Rocky to our Colt and Tum Tum? The "Angelo" of our Michaelangelo would no longer party it up with Donatello and Raphael.


Fast forward to 2007.

After 13 years away from Philippine soil, our beloved Gellybeans finally came home for a visit.

And he finally met CJ, who was born three months after Gel and his mom migrated to Canada.

But Chuck and I were still relatively new to the working scene, so we couldn't juggle our schedules around too well. Thus, we couldn't really hang with Gel as much as we wanted to.

And Gel flew back to Canada once again, leaving us with holes in our hearts.


Fast forward to 2013.

After another 6 years away from Philippine soil, Gel came back. Now wiser, now more mature, now even more of a gentleman.

But he was not alone. With him was his wife, Brittany (who, like Gel, is of a non-Canadian background: she has Jamaican, German, and Lebanese roots).

If there were anyone with whom you felt this instant connection, it would have to be Brittany. From the second we first exchanged hugs and squeals, it was as if we've always known each other. Gel found himself a jackpot wife: someone sweet, thoughtful, caring, family-oriented, God-fearing, down-to-earth, well-mannered, hardworking, and a dog lover (that matters to our family!).

We've been spending a lot of time with them these last few days (they're only here for 13 days) and I've come to re-realize just how important family is.

It's not a cliché, but being with your family, you wonder how it is that they just get you. There are no pretensions; no explanations needed. They will accept you 100 or even 200% — quirks, foibles, and all.

And I've also come to realize just how much I've missed having a cousin close to my age to hang out with on a regular occasion. See, most of my cousins on both sides of my family are either older or much younger. Unlike my friends who see and hang out with their cousins often, my siblings and I usually have to wait for a special occasion (i.e. birthdays, Christmases) to be able to get together with our relatives.

Now, there are two of them to hang out with.

In a few days, Gel and Britt will be flying back home to inches upon inches of snow, and kissing the tropical sun goodbye. We'll have to make do with technology to keep us in touch once again.

I'm hoping, though, that these last two weeks have given them enough fond memories to last several lifetimes.

And in the meantime, we hope and pray that they'll be back in November for Chuck and Anna's wedding.

'Til then, we still have a day trip to the beach and their farewell dinner to look forward to (or not) — trying to maximize whatever time they have left.

We may have started off as the Three Musketeers back in the day, but now our circle has expanded to include siblings and cousins; and now, better halves. And for this, I'm glad.

Thanks, Gel and Britt, for also making these last two weeks some of the best weeks of our lives as well. We can't wait to see you both (and all your parents) back here really soon! 

We love you!

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  1. Ang liit pa ni CJ nung 2007! Hehe. Britt is so pretty. Gusto ko yung mix ng features niya. And she accessorizes really well. Magkakasundo nga kayo.

  2. @Rose: Yeah, he was just 11 then! Haha! And yup, Britt gets along really well with Cooks and I because we have the same shoe size (10), and she has a similar way of dressing. :)

  3. Bruuuu! You used to wistfully talk about reuniting with your "cousin in Canada" when we toyed around with visiting my mom remember? I'm overjoyed for you and grateful for these treasured memories with beloved family. (◡‿◡✿)

  4. Bruhilda! Yeah, that was always a dream of mine! Haha! And now, I really wanna save up and visit them next year. Hopefully in the fall (so I can experience another kind of climate, haha!). :D

    Thanks for sharing my joy!


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