Monday Musings: And Jonathan said hello

One of my dearest and oldest friends just chimed in this morning after I had sent him messages on Viber and Facebook asking about how he was.  He had appeared in one of my dreams (which, superstitious as I am, I take as a call or nudge of sorts from the universe), and I sent him the usual “How are you?  Hope all is well.. dreamt about you” kind of e-mail.  It took him a while to respond but I was relieved to hear things couldn’t be better.

He’s probably one of the few guy friends I have who have known me for decades and still know everything that is current about me. Well, almost.  Our lives make it hard to catch up in real time, but when we do, we update one another as if we just spoke yesterday.  He was also one of the few friends I saw during my last trip home in December 2013.   He is not only one of my closest friends but has been designated my personal lawyer and executor.  (Reminder to self: Finish that holographic will.)  We never miss each other’s birthdays because we were born just 2 days apart — so when he greets me, I greet him.  It has become a race of sorts as we try to beat each other to greeting the other one when our birthday month comes.  So how can we forget?

He was there during the most painful time of my life where I didn’t know where else to turn.  When I shunned seeing most of the other friends I would have run to, the one guy I called straight from New York was Jonathan.  There are certain people who we know will catch us when we fall, no matter how long ago it was that we last spoke with them.  They will always be there.  Jonathan is one of those people in my life.

His counsel is one I value not just because the advice he gives is deeply thought out and deliberate, but because I know I will always hear it straight, coming from him.  No matter how the truth may hurt, he will give it to me but with the gentleness and compassion of a brother at heart.  I remember around the time I was hoping to settle down just over 15 years ago, I had gone out with him and our usual group of boys from college — half of who were already lawyers like him and me, and others equally successful in their chosen careers.  I was seeing someone who seemed to be “the one” but was not quite nestled in my comfort zone the way I wanted him to be.  Jonathan never met him, but when I told him about this one who made my eyes twinkle, he flat out told me this guy was no good for me in plain and simple terms.  (The reason for which I will keep between Jonathan and I.)  And that was that.  It was like the truth was revealed and I took it as just that: the truth.  As bull headed as I can be, the truth is not always something I take to hearing kindly, more so when it runs contrary to what I hold it to be.

But not from Jonathan.

Happy to hear that all is well with you, my friend.  I have missed you but you are always in my heart.  I hear your voice and laughter in the background when the memories come, more so when I feel alone and needing your counsel.  There are so many things I want to tell you, and in time, I will.  Very few people know the whole story and because you do, no explanations are necessary.  You know because you know my heart.

So maybe we will get to do a joint birthday celebration next year, even if belatedly.  And we can laugh and drink and catch up then..

 

O.K.

I’m waiting for the bus that will take me to the city, but since it’s an “off” hour (10am), I am at the mercy of the 10:10 bus coming or not at all. (In which case it’ll be the 10:40.). No pressure. I took the morning off.

Which is just as well as I had difficulty sleeping last night. The last time I checked the clock before finally dozing off, it was 1:25. Blame it on all the papers I had to fill out and sign for the start of the school year. I was all done a few minutes after midnight but I guess it jogged my brain and “woke” me up.

Angelo and I walked to school and I dropped him off and walked back. It’s not hot nor cold but the skies are gray. Is that okay? I guess it’s good for a “between summer and fall” day. Summer’s practically gone — and here we are almost into the final quarter of the year. And before you know it, it’s 2014.

When I look back at the things that have happened in my life the last year and a half, it hits me. It gives me another angle from which to see the oft-repeated line that “(l)ife is short.”. Indeed. I somehow managed to get from then to now, and I think I’m okay with how things went — finally.

Acceptance. Yes, it’s okay. We all have our place under the sun — it’s up to us to embrace it or fight it. And maybe things will fall into place. Perhaps they have.

I have a bestfriend from elementary and high school who passed away tragically during our college years. We had drifted part after high school, but she had always been special to me. In fact, she was one of the reasons I had created one of the categories here: “The People in my life”. I had wanted to write about her and how I missed her and how we had such a special bond. We kept each others’ secrets — and she is forever going to be a part of my life.

What even made it sadder was I was unable to say goodbye to her at her wake because this was one of those periods when Dad was gravely ill back then and we were caring for him.

At the time of her death, she had a little boy. Yesterday, from out of the blue, one of our high school batchmates working at a Costco in Nevada announced to our high school FB group that she had met this boy, now a grown man, and had chatted him up — he wanted to hear stories about his mother.

I texted him for his e-mail address and he texted me back. Just getting that text from him almost brought me to tears. On the way home, I wrote him an introduction of who I am and who his Mom was to me. That was a very emotional e-mail for me to write. It brought back memories.

I am waiting to hear back from him. I suppose reading what I wrote was just as emotional for him as it was for me when I tried to describe his mom.

I can almost hear her telling me “It’s okay.”

Two syllables. It speaks an ocean. More often than not, it is enough to calm one’s heart.

O.K.

Downtown

Yesterday was the last day that Donna and I saw each other in New York, as she and her family are getting ready to fly out to Las Vegas before heading back Down Under to Sydney next week. it was a simple spend-the-day-together kind of day, and while I would’ve loved to spend more time with Donna, she was feeling under the weather, so I brought her all the way to NJ via the Path train and doubled back by late afternoon.

Donna is one of my dearest friends from high school.  Although we met in high school, we only became close halfway through, sometime in my junior year.  We also ended up in different universities, but this didn’t prevent us from visiting each other in our respective campuses.  Our lives had its ups and downs just as our friendship did — and her departure for Australia and then my subsequent move to New York even brought us farther, but there is something about real friendship that keeps it alive through time and space.

We spent the day Midtown and at the end of the day, I brought her all the way to New Jersey via the PATH train, and then I doubled back after I had safely deposited her to Tita Doy who graciously fetched her at the train station.  It was a lonely ride back.  I’ve had several of those rides after I brought Mom or Ofie to the airport during their prior visits to New York.  I’m trying not to dwell on it, but there’s no denying it.

I ended up downtown where I chose to be adventurous and look for the express bus stop which I found on Park Place.  I used to know the twists and turns of this part of Manhattan, back when I worked for a non-profit on Wall Street in 2001.  The landscape has changed and continues to change.  It is the same that it is not.

I looked up and saw this stark contrast of the new and the old, side by side.  One day soon it there will be a building in front of these two concrete giants.  There is a construction site from my vantage point which is still in its early stages.  Perhaps next year, when I go back (IF I find myself there again, that is,), I will see the new building rising.

I was exhausted by the time I got home.  I know it wasn’t just the physical exhaustion exacerbated by the summer heat.  My heart has a way of taking my body over when there is a dark cloud hanging over me.  I’ll get over it.

Donna will always just be heart beat away.

Downtown

A warm hug from across the oceans – From my bestfriend, Fe

Wherever you are,

whatever you’re doing right now,

you are so very loved.

Can you feel it?

I hope so, I really do.

Because we both know

some days can be, well,

trying —

to say the least..

And although I know you’re fine

and perfectly capable

of handling things on your own,

you still deserve some moral support.

I still want to be there for you.

Rooting for you in the tough moments,

celebrating the good things with you…

caring about and supporting you

every step of the way.

So don’t be afraid to reach out

when you need me, okay?

And always remember

how dearly and completely

you are missed, appreciated,

admired, and loved.

Always loved.

Then she writes : “I love you.  Happy birthday.”  Of course I had to reach for the tissue and wipe the tears away.  Thank you for the love and friendship, Fe…