I have just received news that my college buddy, my best friend, Lynne Sanchez, passed away last April 4 after a gruelling battle with the Big C. Lolit, her sister, told me that I was to give a eulogy for her.
It might sound a bit cliche but it just seems like only yesterday when I first saw her on her motorbike driving from home to school. You should understand that during those days, that was not a very usual site so I was really impressed.
She was my partner in crime from first year till we parted ways after graduation. When I got married and had my first child, she was the first one to come for a visit while wife was heaving in pain, counting how far apart were the contractions. Naturally, she was first on the list as one of the godmothers. From then on, she would come for a visit with another friend and stay in our house. There was even a time when she and another friend stayed over while we discussed the friend's philosophy assignment.
In college, we would meet in our favorite tambayan at UERM in the morning, have breakfast at Laurel and Hardy, attend classes until we got tired and decide to go some place else, like watch a movie with our friends. Usually, we would go to her sister's printing press and stay there to eat, bum around, play the guitar (this was the time when not even the karaoke was invented yet.) She loved singing Carly Simon songs...Legend in your own time, Anticipation, and her favorite, I've got my mind on my man again. She also played a mean Lucy in The Skies with Diamonds, among others). From her, I've learned to like sappy songs like Tavares' Hardcore Poetry, Allesi Brother's OhLori and Kenny Rankin whose concert we saw at the Folk Arts Theater. We would separate ways at about 6 pm when there's no other place to go, and talk on the phone afterwards. No, we were not a couple. We were just good friends all that time who shared the same likes and tastes for music and practically everything.
No sooner than the first time we got together, her family and friends became known to me and I would spend Christmas with them, go to discos, Baguio and all other fun places. In school, we would go with our friends and roam all over town on her sister's car, have lunch at the Golden Room of the Aristocrat or whatever fancy place we would chance upon. These we've done for what seemed like ages.
After college, she worked for a Travel agency for a time until she decided it was time to migrate to the US. The last time I talked to her was when she was already ill but she was still the same kind of woman I've known. Her hearty laughter permeates the room everytime. I remember that her strong presence was felt once you've entered the room. Her cologne was simple and yet always had a lasting effect on anyone. We always had fun time together.
It just seemed so impossible that death should come to her, young as she was and full of vibrance and wit. And yet, it did. It is during these times that I know how small I am, that I am not invincible and that life as I know it should cease one of these days.
So, to Lynne whereever you are, thank you for the memories. One of these days, we will be jamming again!