Fr. Victor Badillo, S.J.’s story about the mystery box: a woman’s secret to a happy marriage

Yesterday, Genie accompanied me to Fr. Victor Badillo, S.J. in the Jesuit Residence.  It has been a long time since she visited Fr. Badillo.  And besides she is on her way to Miriam College to meet somebody.  Genie works at the Urban Air Quality project of the Observatory.  She knows Fr. Badillo longer than I do.

Fr. Badillo asked us to sit down and showed us two envelopes.  The first envelope contains his old brown pictures of him and his sister who recently died.  One picture showed Fr. Badillo with other Jesuits: they wear either black or white habits.  That was still in 1957.  The other pictures are more recent: it is with her sisters when they visited him at the Infirmary.

Fr. Badillo is more joyful than before, even after his operation two weeks ago: a cyst was removed from his lower right abdomen.  Even he notices the change, because he is now cracking more jokes. Below is one of them, which I copied verbatim from the Silent Dewdrops blog by Jomari Manzano S.J.

The Mystery Box

There was once a man and woman who had been married for more than 60 years. They had shared everything. They had talked about everything. They had kept no secrets from each other except that the little old woman had a shoe box in the top of
her closet that she had cautioned her husband never to open or ask her about.

For all of these years, he had never thought about the box, but one day the little old woman got very sick and the doctor said she would not recover. In trying to sort out their affairs, the little old man took down the shoe box and took it to his wife’s
bedside. She agreed that it was time that he should know what was in the box. When he
opened it, he found two crocheted dolls and a stack of money totaling $25,000. He asked her about the contents.

“When we were to be married,” she said, “my grandmother told me the secret of a happy
marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doll.”

The little old man was so moved; he had to fight back tears. Only two precious dolls were in the box. She had only been angry with him two times in all those years of living and loving. He almost burst with happiness.

“Honey,” he said, “that explains the dolls, but what about all of this money? Where did it come from?”

“Oh,” she said, “that’s the money I made from selling all the dolls.


About Quirino M. Sugon Jr
Theoretical Physicist in Manila Observatory

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