I am lighting a candle for my two friends and their families.
For Vince Abejo, whose father passed away.
For Gigs Francisco, whose mother passed away.
As I learned about Vince in school, where he was my classmate for about eight years, he was somewhat of an understatement. He never made a big deal about his capabilities (of which he had a considerable amount of), but was more concerned about being a better person and friend. In his career, he has been rewarded with great material success and renown spanning into the international field, and still he was more concerned about his family than gaining more accomplishments. Definitely not an understatement.
From Vince's example, I learned about staying the course and while the chips may fall down as they will, one always has a choice.
Gigs was an enigma to me even in high school though he helped in my training as a peer counselor. He was a lot closer to my buddy Gerard since they were contemporaries in PC and lived in the same condo complex. We were already professionals when we struck up a true chord of friendship and it was astonishing that we have the same birthdays. Gigs is a truly unique individual that he borders on the eccentric, but this is the kind of eccentricity that resonated with me, since I'm on the fringe in many areas of my personality and beliefs anyway.
I pray that the journey of Vince's father has ended with the knowledge that he has left behind an invaluable legacy in the lives of his children.
I pray that the tragic death of Gigs's mother (she died in a devastating fire that has rendered Gigs homeless and an orphan) will help shape and define not only the life of Gigs but all of those who had been in direct contact with her.
In my case, I pray that my mother keeps on finding more reasons for happiness. She has borne too many crosses in her life that I wonder whether she keeps anything for herself. I pray that as long as I have strength, that her cupboard be full and never bare, that she may continue to draw upon the fountain of Life and of God's blessings because she is such a generous and caring soul. I accept that it is difficult living with her but that is no reason for me to deny her what she truly deserves.
Since I am truly helpless to uphold my family's welfare while I remain here in Saudi Arabia, I thank the Lord that no force of nature has yet impacted on our family, and I pray that it will continue to be so. I must die one day, and if my life can serve some purpose to save theirs, then so be it.