I have learned yet again that when someone crosses your mind, you have to honor that moment.
Last Sunday, the name of a friend just popped in my head for no reason so I sent
her a text message, “Tita, let’s have coffee sometime.” Immediately, she replied, “Are you okay this afternoon?”
I could have easily thought it was too soon but I felt that if I would let that chance pass, the coffee time I promised would never happen. When I greeted her at the cafe, I learned that it was the 40th day since her mother passed away — and I never knew about the loss. The urgency of things was never a coincidence. There never is a coincidence.
So there I was listening to Tita talk about existential loneliness, bittersweet memories, and life questions. All I did was listen, ask some more, and nod. Many times, too, I found myself laughing and smiling at the bittersweet memories, but I was quick to explain that these light moments were my admiration for her strength, and for bearing up.
I couldn’t tell her, “Don’t worry, be happy” or “Be joyful always” — which have helped me cope with anything — else I would sound too preachy. Nor could I cite that Matthew verse about the birds and the lilies that never worry because I didn’t memorize it. It’s like, I can hum the tune and feel its truth with all my heart, but the lines just escape me. If indeed there was a comforting verse that ran through my head, I had to stop mid-sentence, otherwise it would have come out like a juvenile limerick: No ear has seen nor eye has heard…
Generally, I did not know how to console her. But I hope that my bear hug had sufficed for my silence. I hope, too, that I wasn’t being selfish by “bookmarking” her stories as a reference for my life– what to do, what to think twice about — when I reach my late 40s. Tita should be assured that I am learning so much from her.
So now, I’d like to pray for her… I actually don’t know what exactly to pray for. I guess, I just want to thank the Great Connector and honor the moment as it comes.