A joyful, wonderful senior life
I will turn 63 in July, and my daily routine starts at 5:30 a.m. when I rise from bed and kiss my wife for a new life. Then we thank the Lord and seek favors for country, church and family.
Later, I search the internet for news, then take a warm bath. At 7 a.m. I am on my way to the park for a stroll, with my arthritis and osteoporosis as company.
My doctor told me to keep moving to ease the disease. I prefer to walk alone as I meditate and enjoy the sun, as well as the people around.
After 45 minutes of pushing my body to perspire and shed old fat, and with some pain in my knees and back, I hurry home for breakfast — pandesal, fried egg, and hot milk or chocolate.
My morning continues as I go to work at the bank which is one and a half kilometer from my house. I am at my desk before 9 a.m.; some clients and paperwork occupy my day. I take lunch and merienda at the office as the day drags on.
Soon, early evening comes. With my wife, I attend the 7 p.m. Mass at a church in a nearby subdivision. I serve God as a lay minister. Having been a servant of God for 25 years, I have been told by my wife in jest that I looked like a priest!
The night comes to our home as we take supper with all members of the family present, bantering as we watch “Ang Probinsyano” on TV.
Later we are in prayer for the graces of the day. We then sleep soundly, and eagerly await the next day.
A few days ago I received a letter from the mayor of our small town in our province, congratulating and requesting me to attend a ceremony for the outstanding family awardees.
It’s not a big feat, but I am quite happy and feel privileged. I am not the only one who was chosen, but I can’t deny that I was elated by the recognition, realizing that this honor comes only in 100 years as my town celebrates its centennial year at the end of this month.
Last April 9, I accompanied my daughter to BGC for a meeting with her client. On our way to the mall, we met a group of seniors happily strolling. I walked with them and joined their conversation.
Later I found myself lining up with them at a cinema to watch a movie for free. I was glad to know that even if I am not from the place, as a senior I am entitled to a free ticket.
After the movie, we ate in a fast-food restaurant. I was happy, and when I left, I knew that I had gained an additional six new friends in my life.
How I wish good things like these come each day to everyone — simple, joyful experiences, no political, social or economic issues.
Life will be beautiful and wonderful if only there were no quo warranto petitions and impeachment complaints, as well as burning issues such as Boracay, the push for federalism and divorce, and contractualization at hand.
But as they say, life, no matter how good and exciting, is always laden with problems, challenges and responsibilities.
Nowadays, I have accepted my daughter’s marriage to and new life with a Muslim. It seems like only yesterday when she lived with us, in our faith, happy in passing the board exams and landing a job.
She then worked in Singapore, found a good man of a different faith, and soon will have a baby — our life’s additional joy and grace, a first grandchild in the family.
Yet, there are also worries that occupy my day — the payment of bills for sustenance, and health issues such as arthritis, osteoporosis and diabetes.
Helping the poor and serving God are my top priorities.
At my age, sometimes I forget things, and lose my sanity temporarily. This happened some years ago when my brother died. I was sad and depressed, and forgot everything. Thank God, my family was around and brought me back to my senses through prayers.
Daily, I take things in stride, though often I pray hard for the President and his near-authoritarian rule.
* * *
Mario D. Dalangin is a past grand knight of the Knights of Columbus and a member of the Special Minister of the Eucharist and of Adoracion Nocturna Filipina at Fatima Parish, Las Piñas City.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.