"How varied are the ways that people can praise God. Some people praise God through their art; others through their perseverance; others through their work; others through their friendships. In short, when we are most ourselves, doing what we are capable of doing, we are praising God." ~ Tim Muldoon from the book The Ignatian Workout: Daily Spiritual Exercises for a Healthy Faith
My dad's best friend was laid to rest yesterday. Papa called me from the funeral, all trying to be chipper. I was on my way out so I told him I'd call him later.
When I called him, he was home and had just gotten back from an evening walk with his eldest grandson Papi. He let his grandson speak to me for a bit (It is pure joy when Papi converses with me. Truly priceless. These moments are the highlights of my days). I asked Pa how he was doing. He said he was ok, although his sadness was palpable. He said his best friend wasn't always the easiest person to get along with, or even to like, but he was his best friend. I told him I understand. We all fall short in one way or another, but it is good that he had you as a best friend, Papa.
My dad was there at the wake everyday. Mama told me that the first day he and Ma came to visit Tito Jo at the wake, Tito Jo's common-law wife saw Papa come in and said to her companions: "That's Jo's best friend."
What a privilege to have that status in someone's life. And what depths the pain of losing one can be.
I cannot imagine what sorrow Pa's going through now. When Mama's best friend in high school died when I was a teenager, I was in her hospital room when she breathed her last as they were trying to rescucitate her. I had to go tell my mother that her best friend had passed. It was excrutiating. There were moments that Mama wanted to die, just thinking of life without her best friend.
I think of this now and realize what great friends both my parents are. If you are my high school classmate reading this, or a member of the geek squad, you would have met my parents for sure. And hopefully, not just have met them, but I hope you've experienced the pleasure of their wit and company. They always welcomed my friends. They always want to see my friends. They always ask about you all and want to know how you are doing. If I had a dollar for everytime they reminded me about the importance of being a friend, I'd have no mortgage to pay (Haha!).
One thing I know for sure that this past week has taught me, is that I learned to strive to be a good friend because my parents showed me how.
And they continue to inspire me by how they live their lives. I'm home for a work trip later this month and Pa said I wouldn't see them both for three days while I'm there because they'll be going home to Bacolod for his high school reunion. I smiled, not the least bit surprised that he would not find time but make time for his friends. Then I told him to say hi to the gang.
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