earlier, i read direk joey's blog entry about the death of his friend. i texted him to say how touching his blog entry was, it even moved me to tears. he called me and recounted the times he stayed by his friend's side until the end. they were friends for more than four decades... i can't just imagine how painful it is to lose a friend who was a big part of your life.
"kilala mo naman ako, iyakin ako. nung na-hospital ka nga, iyak ako ng iyak," direk joey reminded me. but he stayed strong for his friend. he tried not to cry because he didn't want his friend to feel sad. he said he was holding his friend's hand as he made, to quote him, "the hardest impromptu speech of my life."
direk j asked me if i have friends whom i have known since i was a kid... "treasure your friends. sometimes, your friends know you more than your family and relatives..."
his blog entry made me remember the time i was rushed to the hospital last january. my headwriter/friend joel rushed me to st luke's. a few minutes after, my writer-friend danica arrived. danica called my other friends ilai and claring. ilai, coming from her shift that ended at 5am, went straight to st luke's. they didn't leave me until my mother and sister arrived that night. and yes, wala silang tulog that time...
when i was hospitalized, i realized who my real friends are... who visited and stayed with me, despite their busy schedules. i was in ICU, comatose, and very critical. come hell or high water, they wanted to see me, be with me, even if i was unconscious, even if i didn't know they were there...
before my aneurysm, i knew i was not a perfect friend. heck, im not sure if i was a good friend. but having these friends around me, i realized, i must have done something right, to deserve them in my life. and as i live my second life, im trying hard to become a better friend.
hindi na ako masyadong masungit at mainipin. mahaba na ang patience ko sa mga friends. bihira na ako mag-tantrums at magtampo. minsan, i told claring, "iyung old noreen galit na ngayon pero dahil mabait na ako, hindi ako magagalit..." (tinawanan lang ako nung sinabi ko yun, hayup na yun!) and as much as possible, im trying to be more generous and thoughtful to them -- pambawi ko lang sa kanila, for being reliable friends, for being with me and my family during the most difficult time of my life.
the aneurysm was life-changing for me, literally and figuratively. direk joey's blog entry about me was an eye-opener. hearing stories about my friends while i was in the icu has become an inspiration for me to be a better person, a better friend.
and to those reading this blog entry, don't wait for a life-threatening moment to make you realize how lucky you are to have good friends around you. ngayon pa lang, treasure your friends. minsan, sa sobrang close na natin, nate-take for granted na natin sila. we know they will always be there for us, and they will always forgive us. kaya okay lang minsan na ma-abuso sila. let us cherish our friends, love them, forgive them, and stay with them... kasi sa totoo lang, they are our real treasures in this life.