Dance with His Father

I had just finished working out. I opened my locker, fished out my phones, and checked my messages. There were three.

The first was from my brother asking me to buy him a Francis Magalona shirt. I mentally noted to buy him one.

The second was from a friend cancelling a date. I blogged about this here.
The last one was from another friend. Our common friend she said, who is based in London since last year, is coming home.
His dad died.
I know that my friend was having the best year of his life in the UK. His online photo albums can attest to this – pics of him in Paris. Rome. Barcelona. He has bought gadgets that he wanted to own. A PSP. A Canon EOS 450D. A MacBook.
Then the tragic news.

I later learned that his dad was a victim of hit and run. Caused by a reckless jeepney driver somewhere in Recto. That is devastating. To have someone taken away from you that way. Death by natural cause(s)would have been much easier to accept.

*****
When I and this friend would get together, which we seldom do, we always talk about our respective families. I would talk about my niece. He his nephew. I would talk about my brother. He his siblings. I would rant about my work. He would rave about his.

But we never talked about his parents. He has mentioned his father only twice, though never his mother, since we became friends back in 2004. I remember him telling me that whenever he would have the 6am shift his father would wake up early to fix his coffee and cook his breakfast. He fondly told me about this. And I’m sure he will terribly miss.

He is back in town now. He called a friend of mine a few hours ago. He said he was still in a state of shock. Di pa daw nagsisink-in na wala na ang tatay niya.

I haven’t texted him. Or called to give my condolences. I want to leave him alone for now. Alone with his father. His family. His thoughts.
Tomorrow will be different though. I’ll be going to the wake after work with a friend. I’m not sure what I’d say. Or how I’d act. But I want to hug my friend. Give him a pat in the back. Be a shoulder to cry on. Be there when he needs someone to talk to. Be there to share his anger. His pain. His grief.

*****
I’m going to end this post with Luther Vandross’ Dance with My Father. This is a terrific song from a terrific album of the same title.

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