"No Valentines, just love and commitment for half a century - CNA 14 February 2011
SINGAPORE: Opposites attract. It's clear as Mdm Hamidah bte Rahamad sits beside her 76-year-old husband, Mr Jaffar bin Saat.
"I am number 41," Mdm Hamidah says in mock indignation.
"But I'm the best one among all his girlfriends, because I married him in the end and became his wife for the next 48 years," says the 66 year old, breaking into a hearty chuckle.
Mdm Hamidah - the more animated other half - pats her husband's lap as she speaks of their marriage that's lasted almost half a century, with more than a dozen children and enough grandchildren to form two football teams plus a reserve.
The chatty housewife who's infectiously funny and has facial expressions and gestures to punctuate everything she has to say, paints a heartwarming picture when paired with her man-of-few-words "abang" (Malay term for husband)."
Valentines Day - that thing coined and created by marketing wizards to make money for the merchants and service outlets and whatever commercial. I don't celebrate that. I am too smart for it. I don't celebrate other artificial 'day of celebration' like Mother's Day, Father's Day, X'mas, etc....
Good to learn of the Muslim couples who spent more than half a century together.
Lessons for me are:
1. to fall in love is wonderful. To stay in the same marriage will take more than just love. Hard work and mindfulness help though love must not be totally gone!;
2. mutual respect, mutual understanding, mutual commitment to work to make a marriage work are crucial. Parenting skills help a lot when the couple have kids. Good parenting skills keep the marriage going. Strengthened love between the couple as they agreed on how to bring up their 'products' - the children;
3. if the couple lives in a commercial and urban environment, a little bit of financial independence goes a long way too to keep harmony and allowed whatever little love to linger.
May Valentines Day be something romantic for some, something expensive to be meaningful for some, and something lasting and go beyond romantic and expensive for MANY!!