Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Tribute to Thess (March 30, 1970 - February 13, 2012)

Thess and TJ
Today is the birthday of a dear friend, Thess.
She's supposed to turn 43, and I am sure she's celebrating it wherever she's found happiness.
Because last year, about a month before her birthday, she left to find her own heaven after a heart attack.

I didn't realize she was already having heart problems.
The thing is, she has lost a lot of weight since I first met her in 2008.
We started as co-workers before we slowly yet surely, found a friend in each other.

We had lots of adventures together. We did long distance commutes to visit fellow employees: riding buses, tricycles and getting sun burned while sitting at the back of an open jeep.

We did overnights, karaoke nights, binge nights, strike nights.
We went window shopping, midnight shopping, bargain shopping.
We watched movies, watched television, watched people.
We went swimming, sometimes even at night.

Created our very own adventure which we call exercise. After work, we would change our working heels into a pair of running shoes. We would jog from where we work along Roxas Boulevard in Malate, Manila to Libertad, Pasay City. It took us around 30 minutes.

Both of us, we're crazy. Can you imagine jogging in the pathway of that area? Dark, wild, polluted, inhabited by squatters, hiding place of snatchers, and normally, a no man's land. But we are doing that for our health, we told ourselves. We wanted to keep fit. We wanted to live a long and healthy life.

The real deal, I think is that, we wanted to have fun :-) And we did. We enjoyed the adventure. Thinking about it now, we are really crazy. But nothing happened to us, right? Instead, our friendship deepened.

Then I found another job. Thess stayed behind and remained a friend. Then I had to go away, long, long distance. Thess stayed behind and remained a friend.

Then Thess told me, she's pregnant, and wanted me to be a godmother to her son, TJ. I said yes, it's an honor. Though I wasn't able to attend the christening. You see, I was still away, long, long distance. But Thess stayed and remained a friend (who is now a mother).

But everytime I come back home from far, far away -- I always look for her. And she would come, would stay to talk and remained a friend.

The last time I saw her was in 2006 (I think), she was looking great. She has lost a lot of weight, she was happy, and there's a sweet man on her side. She told me TJ is growing up to be a happy little man, too. I was really happy for her.

Afterwards, we lost contact for sometime. There's still a distance between us, but we found each other again in Facebook in 2011. Then distance didn't matter anymore, we planned and planned and planned. There were a numbers of things we wanted to do when we meet again.

A few months after making our grand plan, you know, when we meet again, I sent her a birthday greeting through Facebook. That was March 2012. I was looking forward to chatting with her.

Oh, I did got to chat. Because after sending my birthday wishes full of joy, I saw someone posting on her wall saying, 'did you know that Thess died last February?'

I was shocked. And I cannot believe what I was reading. I immediately sent a private message to that person, a relative of Thess. I learned that my good friend, the one crazy enough to jog in that dangerous part of Roxas Boulevard with me, died of a heart attack.

I went back to my last messages with Thess, reading our grand plans. My thoughts went to TJ. Good thing I learned that he is happy with his lola (grandmother).

Nope, there were no tears. Because I still cannot believe that Thess is gone. Though I kept on going back to her Facebook, reading through her wall posts. Some people sending her birthday greetings seemed not to be aware that she's gone. I decided to sent some private messages to some, especially to those people we both know.

Some people were shocked, some people struggled to remember her, some cannot remember her, some people stayed silent. How would it be when its my turn? I wonder.

Anyway, I grieved for my friend. But the tears only came today. Because realization and finally acceptance, that she's really gone.

Dear Thess, now you are the one that is far, far away. I miss you, dear friend.

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