Thursday, June 22, 2006

sweet rest, tita lets

we were just talking about tita letty, our beloved pr coordinator at the department of finance, at the BSP press room late yesterday as we were wrapping up our stories for the day.
there was news that she passed out last week, for unknown reasons, and was rushed to the hospital. yesterday, we were told she was taken to the ICU because she had difficulty breathing.
we were asking questions what could have downed her. the phone rang and the caller broke an unexpected news - tita lets was dead.
it hit us like a thud, for a moment we stood still trying to comprehend the swiftness of the events. we had no time to digest - the truth hit us, we've lost a precious friend.
tita lets was helpful as she was friendly. she tried to accommodate us all reporters, with all our eccentricities.
she was a gentle soul from whose lips you'll never hear a word of complaint. she may be unmarried but you don't see bitterness in her as with other women who grew old alone.
we used to play badminton together. i would join her saturday club to play badminton. why, it was a big bunch of players composed of young and old, male and female. they were electric in the courts.
tita lets and i would often team up - some games we won some we lost, mostly on my account. yet she never complained.
she was agile in the courts yet she was not brash. she would glide here and there and threw back the shuttlecock out of reach of the opponent. she's that good and i loved her because she did not sneer at my game.
but how could we lose someone like her so soon? the doctors at the UDMC said she died of pancreatic cancer. if she was sick, she did not tell us and we were none the wiser able to see she was in a precarious state.
for all we care, she was hale and hearty, even too fit for her age.
our last dinner was about last month with other reporter-friends at an eatery along macapagal avenue. tita lets was worried what could be hitting her badminton mates, at least two had died and some were getting sick.
little did she know she was next. shades of "final destination."
tita lets' death again awakened me to the reality of death. truly as the bible says, life is like a grass in the field, here now but gone tomorrow and its place knows it no more.
but i shall always remember the good soul in tita lets. i'll play my badminton games for her.
sleep tight tita lets, you'll be sorely missed but you will live on in our hearts.

we choose to be chosen

some of the workers in our community were complaining to me last night that community work is proving to be a burden.
most of us in the community are single, unattached young professionals. because we have time for community work, we were given assignments - either to head a chapter or a ministry.
now our community is getting bigger. with it, the tasks to be done and the responsibilities we have to shoulder.
i had tried serving as assistant head of a chapter myself and i would say the tasks are not peanuts. i was assigned last month to head a forthcoming chapter. since may, i was technically on vacation as we're still looking for a parish to host that new chapter.
so i was not really pressured as those other workers who never had a hiatus from the community work.
but i recall having those misgivings when i was deep in the ministry. indeed, why should young people like us carry a yoke when we could have an easy life?
we could just go to the movies after office hours and enjoy our lives and our freedom, and not rush to the prayer meetings, fellowship, ministry meetings, the stuff of community life.
we could just care about our own affairs and not minister to the spiritual needs of other people, who are total strangers to us.
my tired fellow vineyard workers said they get a respite once in a while from community work, but only to be transfered to a bigger assignment. their lives are not theirs anymore.
our lives are not ours anymore. we looked into each other eyes and we fell silent for awhile. when i spoke up, i said that's true, in our case.
i have a choice to back out and return to my old life. but that's not me anymore.
in assignments like these it's God who calls the shots. It's Him who chooses, but then i would say it happens when we choose to be chosen.
it's like the Lord throws a dice and asks who wants points. we raise our hands to say aye! and the dice falls infront of us.