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IMPULSES | Father’s tale of virtually letting go

By Dr. Herman M. Lagon

Writing this piece has sent tingling feelings through my bones, including pride, nostalgia, and melancholy. My daughter, Psyche Mae, will enter a new, crucial chapter of her life this Friday, April 12, and it will be more than just another day on the calendar. The lively and adventurous girl who clutched my hand with her little fingers is now about to begin her life’s most transformative journey–her marriage. Her future husband is waiting for her in a tuxedo here in Iloilo while she gets dressed in white in Arizona, and the two of them will tie the knot virtually, creating a very unusual wedding ceremony. It is, for many, a contemporary demonstration of love that has no bounds, regardless of location.

Up to this point, Psyche’s 28 years of existence have been a mix of fantastical elements and harsh reality. It feels like just yesterday when she was among us, shining brightly as a source of love and joy, enriching our lives with her smart “kikay” quirks in countless ways. Observing her journey has been an emotional whirlwind, from the cherished moments of her primary education at Ateneo to her more mature, equally precious college and graduate school years at WVSU. Alongside the yearning for more time together, there were those assertive declarations of independence, her “back off, Pa” remarks, which, though snarky, marked important milestones in her quest to carve out her identity. A mix of pride and a pang of loss has accompanied each achievement, every step closer to her goals.

She took a daring step towards her aspirations when she boldly decided to teach abroad last year. As she prepares to “walk down the aisle,” albeit virtually, I’m dealing with a whirlwind of emotions. It breaks my heart to think about technically parting with my daughter, my tiny darling, to her nine-year-best friend. But I also know this is a natural and lovely part of life’s inevitable cycle. A tribute to the adaptability and durability of modern love is the virtual space that will witness their vows, with us “witnessing” in the required pink attire.

An email from Vincent in the past formally requesting permission to court Psyche, complete with his resume attached to it and the promise to support her plan to earn her Ph.D. the soonest, brings up fond memories of a bygone era when wooing was more leisurely and flavorful. Their blooming friendship into love exemplifies the solid and enduring foundation they have formed. Marriage symbolizes hope and uncertainty, and Psyche’s, and probably also Vincent’s, fears and doubts about the future reflect this. Nonetheless, marriage is also a consensual promise to stick together through thick and thin, a partnership that hopes to endure life’s ups and downs with grace and grit.

Indeed, there are many hazards in life, but one of the most significant is probably marriage. Until death separates a couple, marriage is a promise to stick by one another through good times and bad. On the other hand, it is a joyous commemoration of love, demonstrating the resiliency and power of two souls bound together in harmony.

I have unapologetic, calculated reservations about marriage due to my experience, worldview, and context of its intricacies. It is because, ideally, in marriage, two people’s hearts unequivocally join forces to form a single vessel, ready to weather the storms of life side by side, regardless, irrespective, nonetheless, and nevertheless. It is because marriage, as they say, is about loving and accepting one another, sharing in successes and failures, and sticking together through thick and thin, no matter what, and at times, no matter how, no matter when, and no matter why. Strangely, its strength and beauty come from the enormous risk, sacrifice, and dedication it requires.

Nonetheless, in prayer and with His grace, I feel relatively at ease because of Vincent’s enduring dedication to alpha female Psyche and his articulated willingness to go on this adventure with her sooner rather than later. I used to be Psyche’s guardian and guide, but now I watch and cheer her on as she grows into her lady. As she sets out on her journey with Vincent at her side, I pray that she continues remembering the love, morals, and lessons she received at home, school, and church.

Indeed, their upcoming civil and church weddings after this will be an exciting face-to-face occasion to celebrate Psyche and Vincent’s love anew and bring their loved ones together in unity, happiness, and optimism for their future. It is a moving testament to the power of love to overcome any obstacle, whether physical distance or aisle length.

Despite everything, I take comfort in knowing that love, bolstered by faith, respect, understanding, and good foresight, will be the foundation for Psyche and Vincent’s future as they exchange vows. Seeing my little girl take flight fills me with joy and sadness, but I can’t wait to watch her reach new heights with Vincent.

Thus, the everlasting love of a father is brought to my mind as I get ready to see Psyche and Vincent’s wedding. I will never forget my daughter, the tiny girl who brought so much joy to her dad, mom, sister, Lolas, and loved ones, even if she is starting a new chapter in her life. No matter what happens, our love, support, and pride in her will never fade, no matter what role we will play.

As you begin your adventure side by side, Psyche and Vincent, may you always carry with you the qualities of passion, humor, and understanding. Your marriage should be a magnificent tapestry of life-giving and God-fearing moments stitched together by love, respect, faith, hope, and trust.

And who knows? Observing the eventual happiness and contentment blossoming in Psyche and Vincent’s marriage may serendipitously prompt some of us, me included, to reassess our doubts and reservations. After all, isn’t life’s essence found in embracing change and finding delight in the most unexpected places?

Nonetheless, here’s to fresh starts, boundless love, and an endlessly promising future. Psyche, my beloved daughter, my dearest heart, please know that I am proud and happy to be by your side as you take this next step. To the happy couple, may your love shine brightly now and forever!


Doc H fondly describes himself as a ‘student of and for life’ who, like many others, aspires to a life-giving and why-driven world that is grounded in social justice and the pursuit of happiness. His views herewith do not necessarily reflect those of the institutions he is employed or connected with.


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