We were perfect for each other: asar siya, pikon ako. And he found pleasure with my raised eyebrows and smirks and screams. This is how I made him smile…
In the Beginning
We started as high school classmates who ignored each other intentionally as we do not like each other’s attitude.
But I met his adorable family…
His father, mother and aunt brought me closer to God. My mother loves his family too and I was eventually opened up to the idea that a great family like his’ will never bear the fruit that I initially saw in him.
To my surprise, he left our hometown to answer God’s noble calling. I did not mind until his first vacation happened. I met a different person: he suddenly became kind and pala-kwento. His father constantly brought him to church activities where I was also involved and we learned to like each other’s company. When he went back to the seminary, we started writing letters to be updated of each other’s whereabouts. Those were the times where he used to call me names like “Ate Helen” and “My Adviser”. We looked forward to summer vacations because that is where we can talk a lot. And even though we normally ended our days na pikon na pikon ako sa mga biro nya, I can clearly recall that I still looked forward to talking to him again.
He quit priesthood during college days. I knew long before through his letters that he doubted about his calling but I never expected that he will entertain the thought and eventually leave the seminary.
We lost touch and found…
A couple of years passed. His father got sick so I felt the need to visit their house in Caloocan. We did not talk much but that paved the way for us to get back to communicating through beeper. We occasionally met with friends to hang out. There were times that we talk but it wasn’t as insightful as we were in Sibuyan. Puro lang asaran.
We had constant occasional communication; only when he was down and was in trouble. As a friend, I took the absence of his beeps and calls as a sign that he was okay.
Then texting became a trend. We never lost track of each other. Then there came a time that the absence of his text would mean he was with a “girlfriend” and I must not disturb… but as usual, he never fails to text if he has problems and issues he cannot resolve on his own.
Time passed and a life-changing moment hit me. I learned I was pregnant. After knowing about my situation, I suddenly felt I needed a friend who will not judge me but will help me take my situation lightly. And it was him. I was right. He never judged and he never made me feel bad. He helped me cope by pretending to be the father of my child until the time I was ready to be honest with everybody. He was there when I gave birth. He became the god father of my daughter.
The same with others’, our friendship was put to test but we failed. I even came to the point of hating him and swearing not to talk to him ever again. We endured years without communication.
One more time…
Then one day, he texted me with a “Hello” coupled with a “Sorry” and with the news that he was getting married and he wanted me to be there. I never attended his wedding and told him I had a commitment at work. I lied. I did not attend because my pride was still on top of my head.
After that, every moment where we saw each other became awkward. We found ways of pretending that we don’t miss talking.
Until came another text. He told me that he has brain tumor…
His situation changed our hearts and opened our minds. We kept on texting. We started telling each other how much we actually cared and laughed at ourselves for wasting most of our time ignoring each other.
I was so happy and proud when he started addressing me as “Bes” in his texts, meaning his Best Friend. Eventually, after so many years of disagreements and “snob” moments, we were finally honest about our appreciation of each other.
With his texts, he never failed to ask for prayers. He never stopped dreaming and hoping to get well and eventually to do more. He kept on informing me of even the slightest improvements he had been observing with himself. He kept on telling me how blessed he was with his family and how sorry he felt for his wife for not being able to give her a life that she deserves. As with other husbands, he wanted to provide and he wanted to give everything to his wife.
Looking back, what made our friendship special is the fact that we were like super heroes for each other. We showed up only in times of need. We never celebrated birthdays or any occasions in our lives together (which we both realized end of January 2012) but we’ve been there for each other during the most difficult moments of our lives ; even though it’s mostly through letters, telephone calls, beeps and text messages.
If there’s one guilt I have as a super hero, it is the fact that I ignored his stress call two weeks before he passed away…
To my dear friend…
Happy birthday, Francis! Have a blast there in heaven!
I definitely miss you but I am moving on with a happy heart knowing that you are now with our Creator. I am sorry for ignoring your last stress call. I believe you know how guilty I am until now.
Thank you for showing up from time to time. I appreciate that you are doing it in a very subtle way. You know me so well. You know that I’ll have a heart attack if you’ll make it real!
Forget about the things that you were not able to do, maybe they were not meant for you to accomplish. As what we all know, God has better plans, way better than ours.