Rest well my friend

A very good friend of mine just passed away.

He was much older than me.  In fact his youngest sibling,who was about 13 years his junior was my classmate.

Our sons played the same sport and played in the same teams.  Aside from that, we found so many things that were common to us that we hit it off quickly.   In fact, he would frequent our home and we would find ourselves just talking for hours on end over food and drinks, talking and laughing.   Our relationship deepened as we got to the point of being able to talk openly about our concerns as husbands to our wives and fathers to our children.   We would share our hopes and aspirations and at the same time try to lift each other up as we also openly spoke of our frustrations, shortcomings and challenges.

He passed just two days ago.

He was diagnosed with stage 1 lung cancer just 3 months ago, a fact despite of how close we were,  he never shared with me.

My chest felt like exploding when I was told of the sad news.    I was just with him 2 weeks prior and had no idea what he was going through.   I felt he should have told me but I am sure he had a very good reason for not doing so.

That is one of his traits that I admired so much.  He was always cheerful amidst adversity.  He was a great person to be with in times of trouble. Even during long phone conversations when we would discuss really tough situations he would come up with jokes and anecdotes that somehow lightens up the mood and makes it easy to solve problems.

I have learned so much from this man.

He loved his family more than anything in the world.  Actions truly reflect what is in one’s heart.

He spoke of his wife all the time.

He would share how she would get upset about things that he did.  How he would wiggle out of every situation and eventually win her back.

He shared where they would go when they were still dating.  He could vividly describe how he would be able to make his wife smile and enjoy every moment  even with limited resources.

Every time, and I mean always, when he would come to the house for a chat, he would have already brought his wife to where she was supposed to be, either at work, with friends or at the mall.  And if he had to do errands for her, he would do it first and cancel our agreement.  It was wife first for him.

His life was dedicated to his children.

He loved each one of them equally and unconditionally.

He spoke of each and everyone of them with delight.  He was proud of who each of his 4 children have become.  Yet he was humble to quickly say he is blessed to have them acknowledging that they were God given.

There was one instance where he fought hard in behalf of his youngest son.  Father and son once found themselves in a tough, stressful situation. A situation where he thought his son was not getting a fair share.  My friend fought tooth and nail, stepping out of his comfort zone to get what he thought was right for his son.  They both came out of the problem bloodied but definitely not unbowed.  That episode in their life taught his son that his father will protect him and will never leave him.

He would speak of his eldest daughter’s courage to pursue her dreams and ambitions even if it meant leaving home. He was proud about his eldest son being the way he is, responsible, respectful and loving.  He spoke dearly about his youngest daughter and how she was a blessing to him and his wife.

My friend lived his daily life loving his spouse and children.  I realized that that was all he did and was living for.

Whatever he had,  he gave them.  Whatever they needed. he got for them.  Whatever he was, he sacrificed for them.

He taught me that it is true, one must live for what matters most.  The enthusiasm, excitement and joy he shared everyday was because of what he had, his family.

Your treasure is truly where your heart is.

Till we meet again , Noli.

Moment when you want time to stop

Moment when you want time to stop