I was heading home from school Monday night, closing my eyes to make it savor a lil rest while in the jeepney, and setting my mind off to Far Away Land when I suddenly received a text message from mum that said “That tanned man who greets us when we pass by their place is now dead. Just this morning. Nightmare, they say.”
I was shocked. Still in great disbelief, I really confirmed if mum was referring to the person who first registered in my mind after reading her message. Yes, it was that man. The man whom for four years I never knew the name of, but had left a mark on me. He, together with his wife, always greets us when I or mum (or both of us) pass by their place. The name wasn’t important during those times, at all. What mattered were the smiles that we exchanged. But starting tomorrow, I wouldn’t see those smiles anymore. Because the person who creates them is gone. Like a bubble that just pops out after seconds of flying through the air. Just like that.
I, with mum, headed directly to their house to attend the wake. The moment his wife, Betty, saw me, she said these words mournfully: “Dai, imong kuya gikuha na…” (Dear, he’s already taken away from us…) I went speechless for a minute. I just realized that I was hugging her. Of course I could not say “Okay rana ate,” (That’s okay, ate) because it’s not. Then I finally found the most appropriate word to say at that very moment – ‘condolence’. I walked to that long white stuff, watched him lying peacefully beneath that glass and silently bade goodbye.
That night had me thinking. We could never really tell when death comes to end our life. We are clueless. Some days may just be ordinary for us and we do our usual routines, but without knowing it, one of them could also be our last.
Aah, death? Without asking our permission, comes unexpectedly. It could come next year, next week. Perhaps tomorrow, or even later this day. We might not know it, but during our trip on the road, a reckless fellow would be delivering us to death. Don’t scorn at me. This has happened to many people because no matter how we try to be careful, if there’s someone out there who’s reckless or evil, it could mean our end. Have you heard of that certain news where 6 high school students were cheerfully walking down the side walk when a car suddenly crashed on to them, leaving 3 of them dead? How about that freaking accident in Antipolo back in 2012 when a person merely crossed the road but all of a sudden a big truck went uncontrollable so that it dreadfully hit and killed him and four other people who thought it was just an ordinary day for them? Even when we are peacefully at home, we couldn’t escape from death. It can kill us even when we are asleep. It happened to Rico Yan, to many, and to my neighbor whose name I just learned was Jaime.
Oh, death. Could you at least send us a sign? Tsk.
Are we prepared?
Aah, man. Whether we like it or not, we must be. We should live every single day like it’s our last. Let’s always be good, say sorry to the people we hurt, spread the love, and most importantly, be reconciled with Him. All the fame and wealth could be gone in just a snap. It’s not ‘the richer, the greater chance of entering heaven’. Don’t be materialistic. They’re just temporal. They’re not tickets to God’s kingdom. But then I remember my college professor, Sir Elton, saying, “Don’t die poor”. Hihi. Wait, not just literally okay? But spiritually as well. 🙂
And yeah, don’t be foolish to say it’s awkward to tell your parents those three words. Don’t wait for death to butt in. Don’t wait for the time when you tell them ‘I love you’ but they could no longer respond ‘I love you, too’ because they’re already in that long white stuff or because it’s you who’s in there and you’re already a soul. Don’t wait for tomorrow for you might only have TODAY. We can never really tell. So?
Be prepared before it’s too late.
Fix and strengthen your relationship with Him.
Live the day like it’s your last.
Because death? It comes like a thief in the night.