1981 – 2018
Only a few days back, we found out you were ill. And now, you’ve left us. It’s heartbreaking, but this is the reality of life. Goodbye, my sister.
Forgive us for not having the strength to fix everything that was wrong. Forgive us for failing you, for we, as your family, should have done so many things to make things right. I’m sorry we never got that chance, but now, all the pains and the aches that this world and this life has will no longer touch you.
I don’t know what else to say. You lived your life the way you wanted it, on your own terms and for your own reasons. I can’t say I understood completely, but I hope you felt how much I respected your individuality, your uniqueness because those were the only reasons why I didn’t do anything. Live and let live. That’s how I would have wanted it for me as well, and I guess, in a way, knowing that led me to my inaction/acceptance of your reasons.
I’ll always remember two moments – the first was when we watched Moulin Rouge together at our old house, in the wee hours of the morning, on cable TV. Our TV was like, 14 inch and the image was a bit grainy (pre-HDTV cable, duh) – and we were both in tears. At that time, we didn’t really shed a tear together for what happened to our family, yet here we were, bawling our eyes out over Satine and Christian. We probably both had our hearts broken that way then and we didn’t need words to figure out that we understood each other, how it was to have loved and lost.
The second was when I lined up to have my favorite graphic novels signed by Neil Gaiman in Gateway Mall. I was a stranger to this part of Cubao, and I was in the 8th hour of lining up, and I was hungry and in dire need to go to the rest room. I didn’t want to leave my spot in the line because I knew no one would vouch for me that I was already in line. I don’t remember how I was able to reach you to help but you came there, called me crazy and stood in line for me so I can pee. You got me something to eat and you helped me get to the end, and I got what I came for, a moment I’ll never forget because this book helped me through, at that time, was my darkest days. And we celebrated afterward – dinner, conversation, you teased me about how crazy I am for this and on and on. You saved me that day.
And today I find out that you’ve been battling this illness for three years. We did not have a clue. You fought this on your own, not even your closest of friends knew. We will never know fully why, but something tells me you did it this way to save us – you chose this exact moment to tell us and this exact moment to leave us because you wanted to us to feel only a flash of pain, instead of prolonged, “we’ll suffer with you” mindset. An imitation of Christ, which was exactly what He wants us to do on a daily basis. I admire you because you did that, without hesitation. I’ve never seen anyone be as selfless become misunderstood as selfish (I’ve heard some people see it that way and I’ve told them my take, so I hope they change their minds) and still do things the way just as she sees it fit. I admire you for it, and how prepared your bereaved family was and how they took it.
I’m sorry we weren’t able to get home in time to say goodbye, but I am relieved that we got to talk twice before you went away for good. That I got to say I love you and you heard it and you acknowledged it. That I got to hear your voice. I wish I could hold you or hug you one last time, and for that I cry, and I hurt. It’s gonna hurt a while.
Good night, my sister.