My Brother’s Wedding

My brother got married last Saturday, February 9. While other people were celebrating the Chinese New Year, my family and I were giving one of ours away.

It was a splendid and surprisingly intimate affair. The guest list was small and well-chosen. The people who showed up at the wedding were really meant to be there and were truly invested in the happiness of the bride and groom. Just immediate family and close friends, and none of the hangers-on you’d typically find at grand weddings who were only there to criticize the food and the gowns the bride and her entourage wore.

The Sibal family at the wedding. The groom stands second from the right, first row, right behind the author.

The Sibal family at the wedding. The groom stands second from the right, first row.

I admit that my brother’s wedding is both one of the happiest and one of the saddest days of my life. It’s one of the happiest because, for all the hardships and challenges Adner faced with his bride, it’s clear that he found true love early in his life and stuck with it. Manny is his first girlfriend and college sweetheart. They’ve been together for more than a decade.

It’s also one of the saddest because, for all those platitudes stating that my parents gained a daughter and my other brothers and I gained a sister, the fact remains that Adner has left us behind to start a new life of his own. His move has forced us to acknowledge that a chapter of our lives is closing and a new one is about to begin.

It’s hard to face that fact. We are a very close-knit family. My brothers and I never moved out of the family home during or after college. We lead private and professional lives separate from each other, but we are all the best of friends. We have family rows just like any family, but we always recover from these quarrels quickly. Most of all, we know we can always count on each other when one of us needs the family’s support. For most of our lives, it felt like it’s just us against the world.

And now, Adner has moved out. I, for one, feel his move very keenly. Of all my brothers, he’s the one who gets my nerdiness and my fandoms completely. Our minds work on almost the same wavelength. We like the same stuff. We look alike. We both stutter, too.

Now that Adner doesn’t live here anymore, I won’t have to scold him for not texting me if he has to come home past midnight. That’s Manny’s job now. I can’t text him to run errands for me and Mom before he goes home anymore, either. That’s Manny’s privilege now, too. I won’t have someone to share the blame for waking up the entire house at midnight because some Facebook meme was just too funny to hold the laughter in. And I won’t have someone to have midnight conversations over the kitchen counter anymore.

But such is life. One can’t expect things to stay the same forever. Adner is just the first of us to get married. I myself have plans to tie the knot soon. I’m sure my other brothers have similar plans as well.

Besides, it’s not like we’re going to stop being siblings just because we don’t live in the same house anymore. We can always visit each other. We can always call or text or email or post private messages on Facebook. We will always be siblings. We will always be friends.


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Anna Sibal-Gonzaga is a freelance writer based in the Philippines. She likes reading books and watching movies and TV shows in the sci-fi, fantasy and historical genres. She is also a casual gamer and an all-around nerd.

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