No Goodbyes

eugene 2

Eugene and I manning our booth at a company exhibit

I lost a good friend yesterday.

I didn’t even know he was sick. I mean, the last five years or so of my life have been chaotic and that’s probably an understatement.

Apparently Eugene had been feeling sick on and off the entire year last year and finally he got hospitalized in December, even spending Christmas in a hospital room.

He underwent a battery of tests that resulted to three chemotherapies and yesterday, his body succumbed to lymphoma. The cancer has said to metastasized to his brain.

But Eugene had put on a good fight. He fought even when the doctors had already stopped the treatment because he was no longer responding. He fought and at some point he managed to stand up again but sadly, it would never be.

I still remember the first time I met him—him and Bevs, our other friend and coworker—we were all fresh out of college. The three of us all started at around the same time and I noted at once how different the two of us were. Where Bevs and I were quiet and reserved Eugene was outgoing, outspoken, articulate, and friendly.

company outings

First Christmas Party (left photo, Eugene wearing red shirt) and last (right) summer company outing (swimming in Calamba right in the middle of a storm).

Working together coupled with company outings and Christmas parties helped develop our friendship. It was inevitable, we worked in a small company and everyone, with the passage of time, became friends and eventually we called each other family.

@Richmonde Hotel3

Christmas Party ’03 (picture nicked from my cousin, Ate Van)

We worked hard, partied our way out through our hardships and money problems but soon, one by one our peers left the company and in the end, our country for better opportunities and better future.

@Richmonde Hotel whole

Christmas Party ’03 (pictures nicked from my cousin, Ate Van)

You included.

gimiks

At the rooftop of my apartment during two of our numerous gimiks. Me (wearing pink) with Kuya Bogz and my sister Josa, Eugene sat beside Bevs at the far left singing.

You explained to me why you chose the path you chose even though you need not have to because I understood without you saying it out loud. We had lunch for the last time with our other friend and coworker, Pao. We talked about plans, the future, work, about everything and nothing. I realized we were at a crossroads and that from then on we’d seldom see each other again and I was right. Right there and then I requested that our picture be taken, for souvenir, I thought.

eugene 1

Me, Eugene in the middle, and Pao (June ’06)

Four years later you invited us to your thirtieth birthday. I wasn’t going to show up, but I hadn’t seen you for years, not to mention I gave you my word I’d come so I did. I arrived in your party sleepless having spent the entire night before monitoring my sister’s progress while she looked for hospitals with CT scan because my nephew Jonrae fell down the stairs. And when they finally found one, we had to rush to the hospital to arrange for his brain surgery and then wait, as the doctors performed it. It was excruciating.

But when it came down to it, I was having a shitty year. July that year my brother-in-law passed away due to aneurysm, over a month later I miscarried. So I said, why not? Party? But who partied when their nephew is in the hospital?

izakaya

October 2010 @ Izakaya

Now, I’ve never been so glad I attended your party in spite of my initial misgivings because that would be the last time I see you in person. I went off the grid because my life went even more downhill after that.

In between my and my family’s frequent trips to hospitals, dodging bullets, figuring in vehicular accidents, surviving a miscarriage, operations performed on various family members, my loved ones dying one by one and you being thousands and thousands of miles away, we drifted apart.

I regret that I have not known your pain just as you have not known mine. But I do hope that during those times we were always together, that you have felt my love, our love.

Eugene, thank you so much for lending your talent. I loved going to our gimiks, I loved receiving you and our friends in my apartment if only to hear you and the others sing. Thank you for letting me drag you to sing to my friends Alvin and Yeni’s wedding in my stead. You said yes without hesitations, saving me and my friends from a whole lot of embarrassment because, God, who wanted to hear me sing? Lol. 🙂

One

My favorite picture of us taken during our sendoff for Anj before she left for  abroad. We were playing Alin, alin ang naiba? Roughly translated as: which one is different?

So brilliant and so young; my heart breaks, just thinking about the things you wouldn’t be able to do anymore. But I find comfort in looking back and thinking you’ve done everything you can when you were alive. You lived your dream, you found your love, and you helped your family, made your friends happy.

whole

We wanted to know if other people can pick out which one of us was male because Eugene then sported a long hair while Anj had her hair cut short. I remember wanting to cover my butt because fucking hell, I had a period and I was afraid I may have gotten period stains on my pants. (Eugene and I at the center.)

 

I hope you’re living now in a world without pain. I never said it before but thank you for the friendship, Eugene. WE love you.

I love you.

So long, my dear friend. Rest in peace.

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6 thoughts on “No Goodbyes

    • Thank you, Freedom! ❤ Thanks for reading as well. I already cried buckets yesterday and today. I used to just keep it in but I've learned my lesson well.

      Anyway, Eugene was a happy person, he would not want to see us sad so I'm trying to share my grief with friends. 🙂

  1. My condolences, dear. Terribly sorry for your loss. If you need to talk, remember I’m here. Just holler, or heck, smack some random key characters at me. I’ll pick up. ❤

    • Thank you! I feel a bit better because I’m talking about this with you, guys! I wasn’t active in Facebook so I didn’t know he got hospitalized in December. 😦 To most of us, this is a surprise. 😦

  2. Friend! It’s really good you get to attend his last invitation. I too would regret it if I didn’t give in to a friend’s latest request, then just find that he passed away.

    Oh kind and let me guess Eugene in the last pictures. On the top left, he’s the first from the left. He’s on your right at the second and third picture. And I’ll leave the 4th alone. He dominated that photo hahaha 😀

    • Hi, friend! Thanks for dropping by and reading! ❤ Eugene stood third from the left right next to me haha. We asked both Anj and Eugene to stand in front as we had to cover them. Good times. We took these pictures after the rest of the guests had gone home. I think I stayed and slept over instead of going home here in Cavite.

      Of the six of us in the pictures, only our boss Ms. Pal (second to the left) and I remained here in the country. Cel, left most, immigrated to NZ, Eugene was stationed to NY because of his job, while Anj and my first cousin Ate Vannie (right most wearing blue) both went to Qatar to work. This was the time when most of our officemates were resigning and leaving the country. 😦 There were only like fifty of us in the company at most and we were really close, all of us. 😦 But it was only Eugene I can hold like that hahaha. We were really happy. 😦

      Too bad I misplaced our pics in Izakaya. 😦 Can't find them. Sabagay, I had no sleep, my eyes were practically closing on its own accord as I was going almost 42hrs already then without sleep lololol. PGH is a really huge hospital and Mark and I were the ones who paid, bought meds, bought the blood, accompany my nephew during the tests (and gosh there were plenty) etc. etc. The hospital was so big you can ride a bike inside so we were really tired frankly. I wasn't in a celebratory mood but a part of me was like, fuck it. I'm going. My nephew's fine. Part of my hesitation was the transpo, the shuttle going to Cavite in Glorietta is only until 10PM. With Mark and I both dead tired how were we gonna go home? Luckily my college buddy and his husband went out of their way to drive us home even if they live in Laguna. You know how far that is. Lol. 🙂 I'm lucky to have such loving and caring friends. ❤

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