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Monday, February 15, 2010

An unfathomable conundrum

Once again, death stares me at the face. I just visited my old boss who retired about ten years ago. He is 76 gone to 90. His dignity lost, he is reduced to a decrepit,sickly man suffering the pains of a failing liver. We had such happy days together. We would go for a drink or two after office hours together with friends. There was even a time when he sparingly wrote a note to my wife saying I was with him until the wee hours of the morning. My brother-in-law had a good laugh over that "parental" letter one usually submits to a teacher lest the student gets into trouble.

The house that saw big parties, flowing with alcohol and food enjoyed by guests coming from all over is just as old. I have spent many happy moments there. My eldest daughter's baptismal party was celebrated there. The house was a very happy one. He was on top of the world and that was his kingdom. His royal subjects knelt before him, shivered even at his most benign commands. The house is almost dilapidated now and so is its king. Anywhere you look, the house where little boys used to run and roam, where you heard roosters were kept in a coop crowed, with the garage where we played mah jongg or whatever game it was we could play is just as lonely, needing more care from its owners. He couldn't even utter an understandable voice to say what he wanted.

Such is the way of the world. We reach the top of the world and plummet back to earth in the end. I just hope I never get to experience the pain of having to suffer a decline that would rob me of my dignity where someone else has to wash my behind or feed me in a tube.

If only to console me and my boss' family and friends, he has lived a full life and I don't think he is sorry for what he has become. It is my fervent prayer that with his memory almost gone, he is just as oblivious to the pain.

God's Trick

God tricked me.
He gave me time
that does not stop
for anything. Just like
a snail that crawls
ever so slowly
from one point to another,
it reaches its destination
no matter how far
or what obstacles hurled
along its way.

God tricked me.
He gave me youth
to squander and abuse
so that I
can lay in my death bed,
inutile, suffering the pain
of an ignominius state,
devoid of all the dignity
I used to possess.

God tricked me.
He gave me strength
so that I can waste it away
and harm myself.
Reduced to decadence,
I am decaying even before
I am dead.

God tricked me.
He gave me friends
I cannot keep.
They will be there
for a while
only to return
living their own lives.

God tricked me.
He gave me the gift of life
only to take it anytime
He pleases. Gifts should
be for keeps
and so it is with God’s
little trick.


My boss passed away this afternoon, February 16. Please join me in praying for the eternal repose of his soul.

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Anonymous JMom said...

Sorry to hear about your friend. That is the most cruel way to go, I think. To suffer the indignity of infirmity. I imagine it helps when you have family and good friends around.

Beautiful poetry as always.

10:20 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

JMom Yes. I hope I shall be spared of that. Especially with a family that I know who would suffer with me both financially and emotionally.

Thanks for the thumbs up on the poem.

12:56 AM  
Anonymous Panaderos said...

I'm very sorry to read about the passing of a dear friend. May he rest in peace.

Stopped by to say hi and wish you and your family well. Take care f yourself always.

10:22 PM  
Anonymous Mona said...

your words echo how much he meant to you. i am so sorry for your loss.

10:48 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

Panaderos Thank you very much.

Mona I followed your blog before you changed it. I'm glad I found it again.

11:26 AM  

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