Sunday, January 08, 2006

Spinning the Wheel

My new year started out great because we were vacationing in Oz. It also went abit bad because we received news on the passing of a very close friend who lost his battle with lung cancer. Next to my grandmother who passed away in 2000, he is the next closest person to us whom we have lost. I wasn't there when my grandmother suffered a stroke and was hospitalized. My mother felt there was no need for me to fly to California and watch my grandmother die. I felt bad I wasn't needed there, but in the end, I was glad my last memories of my grandmother were of her alive and happy.

This time I've come much closer to what has happened. Although I wasn't able to visit him at the hospital, I did see him a few weeks before we left on holidays. He had become frail and thin as a stick. The man I once knew as the ultimate king of his household had withered into someone I no longer recognized. The man whom his family lived in the shadow of his tempers and rule had to be carried in and out of his bedroom. But in true character, he took up smoking again because he had nothing else to loose.

He leaves behind a wife and 4 grown children. He has no grandchildren and so far it doesn't seem like there will be any. I've asked myself what a person like this would have left behind. Most of the marks he left on his family are not of happy times. I asked myself what impact has he had on my life? And has his life influenced that of mine?

At first I thought the answers would be no. But then I remembered that last time we visited him at his apartment. His youngest son started taking out pictures we had taken through the years. It was a treat to see such old photos since we had lost some of ours in a fire and then majority of the rest in a misplaced shipment. I didn't realize just how intertwined our familes were. There were pictures of birthdays, baptisms, weddings, anniversaries, dinners, parties, etc. They were that family we actually grew up with. The pictures may hide the pain or trouble that lay beneath all those smiles, but his family was a part of mine. My childhood memories composed of him and his family. And that is definitely a mark that will live on of him. Rest in peace Sun papa. We already miss you.

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