when my dad died, it hurt me, like there was a numbing force that hit my heart. but when this girl died unexpectedly, it hurt me like little pinpricks everytime i remember her. I was never really close with Lei (middle of the photo). But for a short period of time I got to know her, I grew to like her and appreciate her as a person. I met her when we danced to represent psych in front of the whole CSSP, dancing Dancing Queen. After that, she would always greet me like we were longtime friends already. She would always greet me “Ate Karen” even if i never wanted anyone calling me “Ate”. One time she disclosed “Natutuwa ako kay Ate Karen, kasi para siyang si Ate Cris.” Even if her knowledge of me was still that superficial, I already liked her bubbly personality. We were both “feeling close” to each other. We would team against one of my batchmates, and it just seemed natural that we be like that to each other. I remember forcing her to go to the Benefit Concert we had. She was not obliged to, but she did even if it meant going out of her way.
When I heard the news, my heart stopped. I could not hear her name right. Or maybe it was my way of denying it was “Lei” i was hearing. I thought, who? Elaine? May? But there was no point denying. what I heard was right, and it was “Lei”. My first thought, Lord, why? I would not understand well, and I wonder what more if I were in the place of her parents, or the people closer to her. I guess everyone was at that point of asking why, since everyone was caught by this big surprise.
Hindi naman kami close, pero bakit ko siya ginagawan ng blog entry? Because with the little time I had with her, she has touched my heart dearly. Her passing away reminds us that sometimes, life will not allow us to be able to say goodbye to everyone we love, but that each moment spent with them should be one that you would want them to remember you by.
Unknowingly, she was already bidding goodbye to each of us during her last days on earth. It was a sweet goodbye such that we never noticed it was already her last, and it was a sweet goodbye because the times she spent with us are those we would always remember her by.
I still hear her laughing. Lei had that distinct laugh. It was a laugh she could never fake. Her happiness was always genuine, and it was such that would make you unconsciously happy as well.
In my head, I see her standing in the middle of the crowd. Everyone’s attention is directed to her, with her loved ones surrounding her. And I stand at a distance as she glances to my direction to say a short goodbye. And I respond with a simple but heartfelt thank you. You will be missed, Lei.
Dad, meet Lei. Lei, meet my Dad. 🙂 He would tell you how I was also asthmatic as a kid, and how pasaway I was about my asthma. Oh, and he’s a pulmo specialist, he’ll take care of you. or maybe there’s no need. silly.
photo from sam isleta