When I first heard the confirmation that one of my friends had stomach cancer, I was dumbfounded. I had known that he had an operation to address a malignant tumor, but since I moved to KSA I had no idea how bad it was.
So I wrote my friends that our friend, indeed, is losing his fight against stomach cancer. I wrote: Please pray for him that he makes it to another round. It hurts to say it, but if not, please pray for him that his soul will be freed from anger, despair, and regret for the time he has remaining.
I was glad that in the intervening months between the operation and his death my friend accepted his impending mortality and learned how to treasure whatever time he had left. Battista said: "The greatest weakness of most humans is their hesitancy to tell others how much they love them while they're still alive." I'm glad in some small way, he knew that I cared.
At his passing, I was reminded of this story – I don’t remember where I first learned of it – about a man visiting an old lady’s grave. When I read the obituary of our friend –
CARLOS MIGUEL BALUYUT
June 11, 1976 – January 10, 2005
I wouldn’t measure his life by the number of years that he lived. I’d like to focus on the “–” that represented the entirety of his life. Funny that in most cases we are so focused on the beginning and end we never look at the “between.”
I dare not write a testimonial because I fear it will not be the truest and most faithful representation of Miggy. All I can say is that I treasure all the good times, and only wish I could have helped out more during the bad. As in all things I wish I could have been a better person to Miggy while he was still alive. My heart goes out to all of those who had to watch and wait for a dear friend to end his days.
One lesson that his life has taught me is that we can never celebrate life too much. No one can stay the inevitability of death, but only to live life as best as we could.
In the middle of 2004, I heard the news that the wife of one of my close colleagues from the Namfrel days died in a road accident, leaving behind a child who hadn't even celebrated his second birthday. Late last month, my mother's youngest brother died.
I have no personal connection with the victims of the recent calamities (especially the ones closer to home who were overshadowed by the Indian Ocean tsunami), but I empathize with the members of the affected communities as they get through the trauma such a tragedy has wrought on their lives.
Life is precious. But even more precious are those moments we share with those whom we love, and those moments of clarity where we fully realize the hand of God in our lives.
I’ll say no more before my sorrow swallows me up in front of my desk.
To all who were honored to be called friends by Miggy, be true and love one another always.
Miggy, I'll be seeing you again, someday.
What we do today, right now, will have an accumulated effect on all our tomorrows. - Alexandra Stoddard -