Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Not Goodbye, But Til We Meet Again

I’ve never been good with my emotions. That I know for certain. But I have always had a knack for words. Sometimes I use them to the best of my ability to preserve a memory, to encapsulate a moment, and to honor a wonderful person. And this is why tonight, I have chosen to write about you; because the world needs to know about you. They need to know how brilliant and stupendously great you were and that it was awfully tragic that they have not been given the privilege of knowing you in this lifetime. I still vividly remember everything so well, you know. They might as well be forever embedded on my mind.

I can still recall, it was a Thursday when I first met you. To you and your friends, it was what you know as Trivia Night. You and your best buddies would gather at this local place every Thursday night to join a weekly Trivia Quiz where you formed a team which was named after your own barkada. I remembered that you were grinning from ear to ear when you met me. You had this warm smile that made me feel so welcome. After the event, you and your friends would eat at your diner to either celebrate your victory or console and laugh together when you would mess up the answers during the event. It was my first time to join back then and you made me feel so at ease, as if I was already part of the team for such a long time. I remember that you really went out of your way to talk to me because you obviously did not want me to feel out of place. And I was very grateful to you for that. At that instant, I knew that you were one genuinely great guy. The weeks passed and I found myself looking forward to joining you guys every Thursday Night. To me, it served as my weekly respite from the horrors of school. I remember that I would be so ashamed if I couldn't contribute a single answer to the team. Not that it really mattered because it seemed as if you were our one-man team. From Geography to Sports and even Stock Exchange, you seemed to have answers to the questions from out of nowhere. Back then, the closest that we've gotten to was only Third Place. But it didn't really matter because we were all having a grand time as we were exhausting our brain cells and draining our wits out even if we didn't win. It was the hope that we had a fighting chance that always kept us going. And this went on for a good two years. You and your friends managed to keep in touch and meet up every Thursday until the local place decided to do away with the Trivia Night.

During those few times that I was able to join you, I have come to know how smart you were. Your bestfriend would always go on to tell me that you have always been a league of your own. He would tell me that way back during your high school days, you used to sleep your way off in class but still manage to ace all your exams. Even my sister who was your batchmate in College, had nothing but good words for you because you were really a force to reckon with - one brilliant mind. And yet despite your excellence, you kept your feet on the ground. You were always so kind to everyone and at some point, I've always thought that you were one of those very rare few who didn't have a bad bone. You reminded me so much of a good friend who was once very close to me back in the days. It was weird because I saw so much of him in you in many ways and yet you were so unlike him too in more ways than one. I would say that you both were equally amazing individuals. Like you, his name was placed on big tarpaulins displayed on our school numerous times as he won several competitions representing our Alma Mater. And just like you, our professors would be so baffled as he always managed to make it to the honor's list even without trying. I've always told my friends that you were so much like him, only that you were a kinder and better version of him. The similarity ended there I guess. To me, you both were two of the most incredibly intelligent men that I've ever come to know. But you weren't even half the monster of a man that he once was to me. In summary, therein lies the great distinction.

I remember that you joined us in a few of our study sessions. Your bestfriend and I were living in a tight budget at that time and being the sensitive person that you always were, you must have figured that out even without us mentioning it because you treated us with pizza. You brought with you your Med Books and studied with us until the wee hours of the night. I remember we were studying Banking Laws and much to my amazement, you knew the difference between commercial banks from universal banks better than I did even without you batting an eyelash. That was indeed a moment of self-defeat for a Junior Law Student like me.

Not only were you an excellent student, you were endowed with exemplary leadership skills as well as you were the President of your Fraternity in the School of Medicine. I remember we were having lunch with you one time where you excitedly told us your plans for your administration and asked for our suggestions although when we knew you would manage well even without our ideas. And even in your own barkada, you were the unsung leader of the group. You would always be the contact person and organizer for all events. You were the bond that made them all stick together, even up to now.

You were a wonderful brother too and you loved your family more than anything. I know this because in our conversations, you spoke so highly about your Mom and Dad. And you would always talk about endearing memories that you've shared with Ate En and Bling. And you dearly loved and adored Nica. To you, she meant the world. I remember looking at you both and thinking how great a couple you were. It seemed as if you were really made for each other.

Most of all, you were the greatest friend anyone could ever ask for. When your bestfriend needed you the most, you were there for him. You moved heaven and earth just to be able help him. When he transferred to another school, I remember that you would call him every single day to check on him and how you would even call me as well when you couldn't reach his line just so you'd know how he was. You never stopped checking on him until you were certain that he was doing fine. As an outsider looking in, I knew just how much you both meant to each other. You always had each other's backs and the two of you were not just the best of friends. You were brothers.

The night you left, I really wished I'd called you. I have been meaning to at that time and to this day, I wished I'd told you that your bestfriend needed you again. That same week, his dad was diagnosed with cancer. I did not know how to console him back then and I knew that you were the only person who could talk some sense into him. Most of all, I knew that you were the only one who could make him listen. If only for that, I would have hoped that you'd find a reason to stay - maybe not for long, but if only for one more day. To him, for the both of us, that would have made a big difference. We haven't had enough of you, Pao. We would give anything to have you back because we are missing you so much and it's never been the same.

The day you left was the day that the heavens welcomed an angel into their kingdom and the day that the earth cried and mourned with much grief. The world lost a budding entreprenuer, a brilliant doctor, a loving son and an amazing friend. It felt as if my heart was ripped open and cut into half. I remember crying so hard from a long bus ride because I just couldn't believe that I will never get to see you smile again. I've always marveled at clouds but I swear I've never looked up the skies in the same way now that you're not around anymore. I comfort myself with the thought that you're probably just lurking somewhere up there, happily looking down and watching over us.

During your birthday last year, you friends and I were at your place and we celebrated the life that you lived. We contented ourselves with the pictures around us. Seeing you smile through the photos gives us the strength to forge on, knowing that you are in a happier and better place now. It will never be the same you know but with time, we will all heal.

With your passing, I have come to realize that life is so short and things can change in a blink of an eye. To those who hold you dear in their hearts and who have had the chance to marvel at the life that you lived, I know they will all agree with me in saying that we would give anything if only we could spend a few more years and have more memories with you. And even if you had already told me when I dreamt of you once that it was indeed your time to go, still we wish with all our hearts that we had so much more. Because the world has not had enough of one great man.

And I think I never got the chance to thank you enough. And that is what I regret the most. Thank you for being all that you are to us. Thank you for being his bestfriend. He would not have been half the man that he is now, had he not been your friend. And although he and I are no longer together, I have not become bitter and remorseful. If anything, I still feel blessed because that relationship had caused me to have been given the opportunity to become your friend. And that is more than enough reason for me to still be grateful. Most importantly, Pao, Thank you for being brave - for yourself and for all of us. Only God knows the kind of battle that you've been treading on for the longest time and yet you put up a real good fight. And with your passing, there was only one thing that you took away and nothing more - our hearts. And that's why our love for you will never go away. Thank you for teaching us the value of life and love. I will always be grateful that I have had the privilege of knowing you. I thank the Lord for Divine Intervention that he had allowed us to meet. You are sui generis. And I am lucky enough to have been given the chance to marvel at your greatness.

It was indeed a pleasure meeting you. So long and til we meet again.

"Lost love is still love, Eddie. It just takes a different form, that's all. You can't hold their hand... You can't tousle their hair... But when those senses weaken another one comes to life... Memory... Memory becomes your partner. You hold it... you dance with it... Life has to end, Eddie... Love doesn't." - The Five People You Meet In Heaven, Mitch Albom

"Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die,we can't remember who we are or why we're here.” - The Secret Life of the Bees, Sue Monk Kidd

Friday, December 30, 2016

The Greatest Tragedy

It started with a note. Thus, I deem it proper to end it with one. 

As my favorite singer/songwriter puts it, "When you're dreaming with a broken heart, the waking up is the hardest part." However, I strongly beg to disagree. I contend that this is not so. It is during the wee hours of the night when you want nothing else but for sleep to take over your lifeless soul and weary spirit. It is the endless, pointless turning and laying back and forth, trying to drown everything away in dreamland but you are left forlorn and desolate, because you cannot think of anything else but him; it is during those moments when you have a myriad of questions but such few answers. It is when you try to give yourself a pat on the back because you've managed to be okay the entire day, only to realize that you will again sob yourself to sleep tonight. Most of all, it is when you sleep with your broken heart with the thought in mind that tomorrow, when you wake up, pretty much nothing will have changed. You are still lost, shattered, and all alone. That I must say, is the biggest tragedy of a broken heart.

And there is no telling how and when you can be able to mend everything and rise up from the devastation. There is no prescriptive period in such instance. Nor can laches be invoked in this case. In law, you can argue that one has slept on their rights. In love however, you cannot just sleep on your emotions. Because there is no final judgment or arbitral award that fixes the period upon which you shall serve the penalty. There is no judge or arbiter that will tell you how long its going to take for you to get your life back on track - you need to figure it out on your own because the world does not stop for your grief. 

The pain lingers and you can't just make it all go away. There is no medication that can alleviate the suffering. Every single time, you can choose to wear a mask of happiness but at the end of the day, you know that while you may be able to fool others, you can never feign your true emotions, at least not to yourself. 

But out of everything else, it is the part where I get to really miss you that breaks me the most. Knowing that I'll never be able to go back to that restaurant and relish my favorite dish with you or get to see that Star Wars movie which we had been raving to watch together bites me. Realizing that you will never be able to cook that recipe which you had wanted to prepare for my family at home or share our favorite burger and that heavenly ice cream together shatters my heart into a million pieces. I guess we would no longer be able to relish the joy of seeing ourselves take that Lawyer's Oath together as we fulfill our shared aspiration - one that we have toiled for so many painstaking years in Law School. And we will never be able to build a family together as we wont get to raise our little Sofia and Vito as we had planned. They were dreams that we had built together on solid ground. But we never really got there. Now they have crumbled into the ground, swallowed by the pit of nothingness. And all that is left are our scarred and wretched hearts. 

You and I both know that our journey ends here. You can beg me to stay and I can tell you not to go; but deep inside us, we both know that this is all for the best as this has been long overdue. I wish we could tell each other that what we feel is enough to sustain and keep us going and holding on to this. But you and I both know that it isn't. It's not enough. Through time and the many things that have happened around us, we've become different individuals with conflicting priorities and needs and sadly, we have grown apart. And as much as the pain kills and sweeps the life out of me, I know that this is how things must be. Our time is up. And we are just better off living our lives separately.

I am taking all the good with the bad, the bitter with the sweet. Our memories are not going anywhere. They are forever etched. What we had was real and I will always be grateful. And this is why I am choosing not to delete anything because I know that I can never undo three beautifully poignant years of my life with you. I am keeping them close to my heart if that is the only way that I can be reminded that once in my life, you marvelously came and made me feel how it is to be truly loved. Sweet, Surreal, Imperfectly Beautiful, yet Fleeting and Impermanent. 

The future appears bleak and dreary but I know that one day, all this will finally make sense. It may take a while but I know we'll both get to where we should be. And until that day comes, I will take comfort knowing that you and I will learn to be happy again someday, even if it means not being together. 

"You bleed because you know the wound cut so deep. But eventually, you will regain your strength. Because nature has its own way of healing. Such is the constancy of change."

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sweet and Surreal

 
(September 23, 2013 at 1:29am)
 
I've always thought that fantasies will always be just conjured-up illusions in my delusional head and that dreams are but mere illusions of my neurotic and overly-rational self. After all the bitter tragedies that have come crashing in my years of existence, I had myself believe that my pot of gold was nowhere to be found and that a rainbow, is really just that. A rainbow.

And then you happened. And nothing has ever been the same.

I can come up with several terms - Good Karma, God's Grace, My Miracle, Answered Prayer - but it would do you no justice to reduce into a few words all that you are to me and what you have done to my life. In a split second,you revived my dampened spirit, relieved my broken soul and remolded my battered heart. After which, my life has never been the same again.

You are everything that I had long dreamed of and all that I hoped to be. And I can only bow down in utter gratitude and storm the heavens with praise and thanksgiving because he brought you to me. At a time when I had sunken at my lowest of lows, you came to wake me from my slumber and bring me renewed faith and hope in my life. You showed me that I deserved to be happy and that I can be loved, cherished and appreciated in the best way there is.

You made me believe that my dreams are worth fighting and waking up for - every single day. And because of that, I am forever changed.

It may have been Fate, Destiny or Serendipity. I don't really care. But somewhere along the way, I must have done something right. All the sacrifices, the pain and the misery that have almost cost me my sanity, they must have meant something after all - because they led me straight to you.

I can put all of that behind me now, heave a sigh of relief and pat my back. The worst is finally over. And the best is yet to come. :)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Delete


For quite some time now, I had tried to avoid anything and everything that would, by any chance, vaguely remind me of you. I have been hiding myself at home and burying myself in my books because at some point, I just did not want to feel anything. Not Anymore.

And then one night, I just had to do it. I just needed to do what had to be done.

But how do you take it all away? How do you detach yourself from the memory and the emotion and tell yourself that it doesn't bother you anymore? How do you erase four bittersweet years of your life and pretend that you've suddenly become numb from all the pain? Most of all, how do you tell yourself to just let it all go?

I looked at each photograph - one by one, I went over them and I realized that we had better days back then. Despite everything that's happened, there really was a time when we were just happy and we thought that what we had would truly last.

After all that's been said and done, I can only tell you this. Whatever it is that we had, it was beautiful and I'll never forget it.  I'll always be grateful that for a time there, we loved each other and that once your life, you had touched my life in a way that no else ever will.

Thank you for making me feel that I was worthy of being loved and thank you for teaching me how it is love unconditionally without knowing any limits or bounds. I want you to know that I am grateful for all the sacrifices that you've made and for accepting me completely - the world that I know and the entirety of me. But most of all, thank you for trying your best and giving it your all - even if it already came too late. Because although you and I both know that our time has passed, in one way or another, you knew that I had loved you with all of me too and I never really gave up on you. I just needed to set you free.

We may not understand completely why it all had to come to this but I know that one day, we both will find the answers to our questions. And soon enough, we will find whatever it is that we are seeking for in our lifetime.

" So one by one, I took them down. I gave it one last lingering look and did what I had to do. But the memories are mine to relish. And that's where you'll always stay. Because the heart never forgets. "




Monday, June 10, 2013

The Story that Never Ends


I'm no cynic. But I do know how the world works. I know there is just too much sadness and craziness all around. And as much as I do not want to be a part of any of it, I already am. That being said, although this journey might have turned out to be quite not the way I had intended it to,  I wouldn't have it any other way. Because if this is how I can come face to face and reconcile myself that which I have tried to shun off my system for the longest time now, then I shall let it be. I will let divine intervention (or fate perhaps) take control.

My heart has been ripped open for quite a few times now. And several times, I've witnessed how it has been torn to bits and shreds, probably even to pieces. It is a painful process and to speak of it is something that I cannot perfectly articulate into words because it just what it is - drearily bittersweet and tragically melancholic. Through time and experience, I must say that I have, in one way or another, learned to manage and cope with the entire process. This does not however mean to say that I've been able to avoid all the pain and hurt that went along with it. Fresh as it still is, I am well aware that the misery and desolation along with the idea of such a loss is still lurking somewhere within me. But maybe, I am just able to mask it off and put it away because I do realize that there is an even greater issue at hand. And that is you.

About 14 months ago, I was on this very same airport, stunned and on the verge of tears, waiting to board a plane that would take me elsewhere, even when my spirit and soul was unwilling and reluctant to leave. 14 months and counting, I am here again and the confused state of my heart remains the same. I'd like to refer to this as the story that never ends and a love that just amazingly never seems to falter, after all that it has silently endured and gone through.

I can't really tell if you relish the same pain and anxiety whenever we part ways, but I do know that you know how I feel. I know that you very well know why I came. I know you realize that I needed to be there and that more than anything, I wanted to see you and speak with you. There was so much I wanted to tell you but I seem to get the words all tangled up and the timing just never works to our advantage. I just wish I had the opportunity to unload it all and let you know that I am not really hoping for a lot. There was just something that I needed to let you know, never mind that it doesn't seem to matter to you anyway. And it was this that I wanted to say:

I looked back on the first half of this year with this realization in mind; that the last time I ever felt truly happy was the moment when I was with you, talking away endlessly like we had all the time in the world to spare. It was then that I realized that I am happiest when I am with you. It is your company that I yearn for every single day and it is your voice that I want to hear whenever I feel down and upset. You are the only one who can make me laugh at my mistakes and comfort me in my misery and make me feel better in my moments of utter solitude. Your laughter is the sweetest music to my soul. Your smile, how your eyes dance whenever they meet mine, inspires me in a way that no one else does. It is you, all that you are and the entirety of your being that has made me travel all these miles just so I can be with you and see you again because I want to believe that someday soon, I will still be capable of feeling alive and whole again, the way that you make me feel whenever you're around me.

And I wish I would have the courage to someday tell you this because you are the one person that I cannot live without. I'd rather have this piece of you than an eternity without it; if this is how it's going to be, if you only want me to remain being just this to you.

I know you think that in this world, you don't amount seem to very much. But to me,  you mean so much more than what the entire world has to offer because I would willingly do anything for you in a heartbeat. And I wish that would be enough for you to stay in my life and not push me away. Because In your nothingness, I see your worth; in your humility and selflessness, I see your beauty. I'm not asking you to feel the way that I feel if it is not in your heart to reciprocate or if you see me in a different light. Just let me be if you will it to be so. But know that I will always be here for you and I will be patiently waiting for the day when you can learn to love me back or when my emotions will get the best of me and I will finally give up and have a change of heart. Until then, It is you that shall linger in my memory. It is you and no one else.


I miss you already. 







Sunday, May 5, 2013

Brave

I guess I could consider it some stroke of luck that I had managed to survive the first quarter of this year alive. To say that it had been the most trying months of my entire life would be an understatement. Those were the months where I had willingly gone through hell and back just to maintain status quo. Those were the moments where I would have traded anything and everything just to keep my sanity hanging down that thin thread, if it meant that I could keep us together - so I could still fight for whatever it was worth, never mind that it no longer amounted to very much. 

I groped for my own dear life because all the while I thought, I had nowhere else to go, that there was no one else that I could turn to. Little did I know that my insistent and stubborn ways only dragged me down further to that self-imposed pitfall of gloom and melancholy. I had seen it coming and yet I had resisted for the longest time. Maybe I just really wanted my heart to be torn into a million pieces before I could finally wave the white flag and succumb my wretched spirit to failure. 

I've always considered myself to be too much of a coward when it comes to my own share of reasonable and unfounded fears. Because more often than not, I would rather endure the fear of not knowing than confronting my demons. This is probably why even though I had already seen it coming, being the control-freak that I always was, I had turned my eyes away from reality and conjured up the fantasy that I would still be able to handle everything. And one day, I woke up and realized the futility of it all.

So just like that, a dark cloud had come upon me and after what seemed like an eternity of sheer unhappiness and misery, I had tasted the victory that was liberation. For the first time after a very long time, I was alone and on my own. And this only meant one thing, I was free.

I could finally let go of all my wishful thinkings and unmet expectations. I could now bid farewell to my lifelong dream of a happily-ever-after and a bright future together which I had been working and plannning for, sadly on my own. But most importantly, I can now allow my heart to just breathe - to stop hoping that things will be better, that he can find it in his heart to change or that he will finally realize that I was right after all.

None of that matters now. Because today, it's just all about me. No one else.  It's my time to take care of myself and relish this new-found freedom. And for the first time in my life, I feel brave. Though I may not know what tomorrow brings or what the future has in store, none of that worries me now. Because I know better days are yet to come.

And though the worst is not over, I am certain that soon enough, I will be okay. I just know, I will be happy again.

Not today, maybe not tomorrow still. But someday soon. 



Saturday, March 2, 2013

So Let Me Dream of You

One more day, a few hours more
Ten more minutes if you must
Let me have it
Allow me to relish

If only for that smile
And that lingering look
Eyes which has stories to tell
I'd run away with you

But if this is all that we'll ever have
Then let me dream of you
So tomorrow won't be so bleak
Just let me dream of you
If that's how I can make you stay
Whatever this is, let me have it
And maybe then, I'll be fine

Make the clock stop ticking and the world just freeze
Let me bask in this moment
When you and me can make believe
That being here is all that really matters

If this is all that it is
Then I'd have to memorize
Every detail, every memory
Enough to last me my life

Grant me another moment
Let me see your face
Comfort me in my solace
Let me listen to you too
Missing you chokes me up
And only dreaming can keep me sane

But if this is all that we'll ever have
Then let me dream of you
So tomorrow won't be so bleak
Just let me dream of you
If that's how I can make you stay
Whatever this is, let me have it
And maybe then, I'll be fine

**************************************************************************
In this lifetime, I may have written so much. Too much, at times. However, my greatest masterpiece, I would have to say, was writing lyrics and creating a song out of the words that I put together with the help of a very good friend. Looking back, that song was my catalyst for change and renewed faith. It healed me and brought me back to reality after wasted years of desperation and sheer self-destruction. 

I'm not good at writing poems, but once in a while, I try to make one. However, I intend to create a song out of this one. Maybe turning it into something worth listening to might do me justice when everything seems to be too much for me to bear. Or better yet, I hope it can somehow ease this pain in my heart, one way or another.

Because there are just days, days like these, when feeling so much and not being able to do anything about it is more like being diagnosed with a terminal illness. You know it exists and fighting it only proves to be futile. For the thing is, it's never going to go away nor are things going to get better in time. And all you can really do is just accept it.

Live with the pain and misery. And find joy in dreaming.