Marriage they say, after a decade or so, can turn for the better or worse. Generally it is the former that prevails but the later, if taken for granted, can overshadow and mar everything positive that a marriage institution can offer. The reasons can be anything from A to Z (or a combination of some or all) but all that can be summed up using a single word, UNFAITHFULNESS. You see, I am not a "qualified" marriage counselor to go into details of the "dos" and "don'ts" of a marriage life, so let just leave that to the "experts". All I want to share with readers is that there are parties out there that do really care about the "happily ever after" marriage life institution and vocation. One that I am familiar with is the Family Life Commission, Archdiocese of Kuching, with Rev Fr Joseph Chai as priest in charge. The Commission conducts courses and seminars on family matters and one of the more familiar and popular ones is the MEE, short for Marriage Experience Enrichment or the PPP which is Malay for Pengkayaan Pengalaman Perkahwinan.
The Commission conducts MEE almost free of charge, only with a minimal registration fee provided that there are enough required number of married couples (preferably of over ten years of marriage) participating in a particular session. The facilitators are Archbishop John Ha for English and Monsignor Fr William Sabang for Bahasa Malaysia, assisted by a number of volunteer (and time tested) married couples.
During the recent MEE seminar (3 days 2 nights duration) held in Lundu Holy Spirit Church, there were twenty one married couples participating. The oldest couple have twenty grandchildren and seven in-laws to their credit while the youngest was married just slightly over ten years ago. During the seminar the couples were "refurbished", making them a lot "leaner and meaner" in their spiritual love life towards each other. Some of the more nostalgic and romantic episodes of the seminar were when the couples were required to write the good old style love letter to each other and have a "romantic date" within the assigned spots. Wow, what a wonderful love story revisited and the writer is proud to have participated in the seminar a few years back.
Below are faces of some of those happy couples immortalized for their generations to see.
We are married couples, we are happy people.
As if like yesterday, though we are already bald and gray.
"I love you, you know! But please don't let the priest hear this"
Two couples posing with Monsignor William Sabang. The couple on the right are grandparents.
Seated first two from left: The oldest couple with twenty grand children and seven in-laws to their credit.The gentleman's laughter is proof that the seminar is indeed a wonderful one.
21 couples altogether, time tested, posing with their facilitators and some with their children too. Their smiles are worth many miles.
A couple with their children and their children's children.
The MEE facilitators enjoying their dinner.
My love, the last time I did this to you was more than a quarter of a century ago. Dear son wasn't anywhere yet to witness.
Be careful mum or you might choke daddy. I love him as much as I love you.
If mum and dad could do this once a week, we would be the happiest children in this world.
"Remember son, this is how we nurture our love life". The oldest couple, the husband being 64 years old and dear son hapilly looking at mom serving dear dad with a slice of cake.
More images can be viewed here.