MERCY AND COMPASSION: A TIMELESS AND AGELESS EXPERIENCE An Interview with Mrs. Chloe C. Romulo-Perqiuet By Jonathan Cruz

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For most people, the loss of a loved one is unbearable. The death of a parent, a sibling, a child, a spouse, or a relative can be a traumatic experience; one that may seem almost impossible to overcome. It has the power to shape your identity, your actions, your outlook, and thus your future. So it is only logical to imagine that having lost not just one, but two husbands from separate marriages, Chloe C. Romulo-Periquet would be distressed and embittered about life, love, and the Lord.That, however, could not be farther from the truth.

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Her first husband, Gregorio V. Romulo, had been a childhood friend she had grown up with since her teenage years. Their friendship flowed naturally into a relationship and they decided to wed when she was 24 and he was 29. She and Greg lived full lives together raising three children and practicing their professions as a ballet instructor and performer and as a member of the diplomatic service, respectively. Their marriage lasted more than 30 years when Greg passed away. He suffered a stroke several years before which left one side of his body completely paralyzed. She remembers that his favorite phrase was to “keep on keeping on.” “Don’t think I’m going to cripple your lives too. Let’s go on ahead with what God gives us,” she recounts him saying.

After his death, her prayer to help her cope with the pain was, “Lord, I think you are sending me this emotion. If you are sending me something, I can only be able to carry it with your help.” She continues, “I accepted it and it eased the pain because it [was] the natural thing that [would] happen. All of us will go through the same thing.”

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She met her second husband, Jose J. Periquet, Sr., seven years later through her future daughter-in-law. She was in her 60s and he was in his 70s.They started out as friends and their relationship progressed with the urging and support of their own families. They were married for seven happy years and spent their time together travelling and enjoying life and retirement.Jose eventually passed away due to natural causes.

When asked how she has managed to get through the loss of both husbands, she attributes it to her sense of faith, “My calling throughout all this is, ‘Whatever God sends, I accept.’ I pray for the strength to accept the things that the Lord sends [me].” It has been that total trust in God’s plan that has allowed her to let life unfold and lead her where God wants her to go. She believes that the key to getting through any challenge in life is to have that trust in the Lord that everything will be ok. She prays, “Give me Lord the strength to keep where you want me to stay.” She says that you never know what the Lord will send.

When asked what she feels is the most important attribute for a happy and successful marriage, she answers, “Patience. No matter what it is, just stop and hold yourself from saying anything and wait. Don’t volunteer opinions. Just wait and see and pray that whatever your actions that are going to react to whatever they actioned…is correct. Wait and ask always; don’t do right away. Wait, sometimes you wait too long but it’s better to wait than make a mistake and hurt others.”

Her faith has helped her navigate through the ever-changing seas of life. It is difficult to believe how Chloe has gone through love and loss twice and still come out ever-so joyful, kind-hearted, and peaceful. And if you were to ask her how she did it, surely her reply would be that it was all in a Lord’s day and that she is looking forward again to tomorrow.

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