Wednesday, December 16, 2009

So Long My Friend


One of my colleagues passed away last month.

It struck me with surprise and dismay

I had known him since school days.

I didn't know the family well......

I didn't remember knowing his father.

I had seen his mother a few times but I had never talked to her.

Vaguely I remembered he had only one brother who was still around and happy married.

I didn't know the whereabouts of the mother now.

And I presumed he lost his father since early his childhood.

His house was very near to the main road, a wooden house near a junction with a sloping road leading far into a chinese village.

I remembered he had a few fruit trees around his small house.

He had most probably come from a very poor family.

*******

I didn't talk to him much during our school years.

But I clearly remembered seeing him in the public library, reading those chinese sword fighting books, literature, and novels.

He was of a quiet and modest disposition, keeping things mostly to himself.

I was told he was very diligent in his study.

He was one year my senior and we used to greet one another with a smile.

We didn't commune much, but I thought I knew him...He was contemplative and calm, and an experienced and thoughtful chinese chess player.

*******

Many years later.......

I met him in the same school where we studied.

I was surprised that we were both teachers in the same school.

I laughed heartily and enjoyed his company.

He had graduated as an engineer and had been an experienced mathematics teacher before I came.

I loved to talk to him; he was very philosophical and had many great ideas.

I loved to play chinese chess with him, only to realize he was cooler and wiser.

Then he told me that he had stomach ulcer because of his gastric problems during his school days....

And he had taught as a temporary teacher for many years to finance his monthly medication....

*******

Then came his fiancee teaching in the same school....

I used to tease him about his relationship...

Then the unexpected happened!

His fiancee broke up with him.....

He told me how he had sponsored her in her studies.... shaking his head always with tears swelling on his eyes.....

*******

Not long later, his ex-fiancee died of leukemia....

.......And he ultimately left the school to continue his study.

I had no news about him until few years later when I met him again....

....He was teaching in another town......

*******

Then he came back to my school again.

He had advanced health and mental problems......

He didn't talk to me much, except an occasional greeting and talking.

He was a totally different person......

He couldn't teach much and I could see his frustrations.

******

He had spent thousands on medication that has side-effects.....

But his conditions were getting worse and worse.....

Then he started to skip school and went elsewhere during the school days.......

He started to do things as he pleased.......

He had taken a few cars....

And he was happily married to a beautiful girl.....

Then he started to wear charms and amulets......

And he started to behave weird and crazy....

I felt sorry for him and I followed him a few times.

*******

I didn't remember seeing him after June this year......

Then the unexpected news came early last month.....

He had collapsed on the road after shopping in a pharmacy...... Most probably after buying his monthly medical supplies.

He was unconscious and someones sent him to a hospital......

He remained in ICU until he passed away.......

*******

This is a sad end of another story of a common man....

It happens everywhere and every time.....

No one seems to care or mind...

Only those who are close and familiar....

Nonetheless, he was my friend....

A respected and dear friend....

So long my friend...

May you rest in peace.

2 comments:

vickie said...

So sorry about your friend :*(

Thanks to you, he is known to many.

Jordasche Bledsoe said...

That's awful about your friend I'm so sorry :(