The time difference with Manila makes it difficult for me to find the right timing to surprise friends with a greeting, but for once, I did good with my bestfriend Gina. Thanks to my OFW sim phone which is on Manila time, I realized 12 hours ahead here in New York that it was already the 12th in Manila. So I dialed her number and surprised her with a prompt greeting this time. Quite apt for two friends who used to pop into each others lives for birthdays and Christmas only. It had gotten quite routine that Mom was no longer surprised when Gina rang our doorbell and saw Gina dropping something off for me. These days, we make it a point to see each other at least once during my trips home. (And we did see each other twice last Christmas..) We see each other on G-mail chat but I hate bugging her because I know she’s at work when she’s logged on, and she is always neck deep with official business whenever she’s online. So we e-mail, and I still write longhand.
She and I are one of the few who keep the post offices of the world busy despite the convenience of e-mail and texting these days. I am a little slow on the snail mail front this time around, but my greeting made it on time via telephone. One of the sweetest short calls I’ve made recently — it is always a blessing to hear Gina’s perpetually mild mannered voice. (Mild mannered even those few times she wanted to bop me in the head! LOL) She is probably one of the few friends I would ever take a tongue-lashing from — or a firm “No, you are wrong!” to the face.
Some of the best letters I’ve received have also come from Gina — those times an occasion pops up and we exchange cards. And the funniest thing is that I had always thought that we went as far back as elementary — and Gina has such a laugh reminding me (and some other batchmates of ours) ” no, we met in high school.” (Way back when her significant other used to get all jealous of me — for what, I cannot quite figure out.)
Thank you for blessing my life with your friendship, Gina, for the thirty-three or so years we’ve been in each other’s lives. For being the voice of reason when I don’t see it right in front of me. I’ve trusted you with my life’s secrets and have bared my heart and soul to you — and yet you continue to be my friend, loving me for everything and all that I am. I may say I didn’t follow your advice, and I know you’re raising your eyebrow in disapproval — probably cursing in Spanish again (LOL) — but I know you will say I love you, too, at the end of the conversation anyway.
Here’s to another thirty-something years together, my friend. (So promise me you’ll do the health checks I’ve requested and please TRY to stop smoking..)
Happy birthday, Gin! I love you, too — always.