Sunday, November 2, 2008

Why do we have to wait till someone passes on ...

Today is November 2. My sister SMS-ed me to remind me it is All Souls Day - quite a big deal in the Catholic calendar if I remember correctly (yes it has been a while). It's the day we remember those that have gone before us especially those that have passed on within the past year.

For me that means two people. One was a relative that fought his cancer bravely for two long and obviously painful years. The last time I saw him in January, he was in a hospice. He knew his time was just about up. Still he smiled, we made small talk and pretended that all was well. He didn't bring up the subject of his condition, so neither did I. We shook hands warmly, said I'll visit him soon. He died the next week.

Then there was J, a few years younger than me. We were both senior editors in a publishing company. Hell we were smoking buddies and we never let work get in the way of our sacred retreat no matter how hectic times got. We lost touch for a few years - each going our own way. He gave up smoking a few months before he found that he had cancer. The gang - all ex-staff from that same company - found out about his condition when someone stumbled across his Facebook account in which he gave faithful updates to friends and family.

I saw him in SGH. He looked the same just that he had lost all his hair cos of the chemo. He spoke so candidly about his condition. Said it was fate. He said he didn't think it had anything to do with smoking. I didn't argue the point - it was moot anyway and would be striking to close to home. Told him we'll visit him soon, exchanged handfone numbers, I gave him a pat on the back and said we'll talk again soon - be strong and all the usual macho horseshit guys indulge in at awkward times. Well we never spoke again. He died a few weeks later. I never found out the details. Guess I really didn't want to know.

So I remember them in my thoughts today. More importantly I like to think about those people still around, still around me who have made a difference. If women wear their hearts on their sleeve.. well guys wear a mask of aloofness and soon the heart grows to fit it ... and that's sad.

Think I really should appreciate people more - family, friends, the people at work, the faithful dustbin at my smoking point, my smoking kaki from whom I bum the occasional ciggie, the people in my team, the security guard who keeps giving me the thumbs up for no apparent reason and lots of others. Life would be different without each one and that makes them well ... precious. Will I be any nicer to them tomorrow? - probably not. Well maybe my grunt as I walk by will sound more friendly. Maybe they'll notice ... probably not.

But since this is a blog post I should say a big thank you to my TWO loyal readers - strawberry (what happened to our Halloween date??) and blogolicious (last time I saw u, you were standing with a naked Italian) - I probably spelt both names wrong but you know who you are! Thanks for visiting this blog - don't know why you do - the last time I updated it a couple of months back- I was exceptionally pissed with someone and wanted to make a point - my way.

But all the same - thanks for the faithful visits... GRUNT :-)


dotsg said...

Anonymous said...

Hey ghostwriter...

You finally updated! Yeap...did my rounds of visiting since Friday. Makes one realise how much we miss those who have gone ahead. Been dreaming heaps of my dear dad too...remember what my mom used to say about dreaming of our loved ones who have passed.

Hope you aren't pissed anymore!

November 3, 2008 9:30 PM

dotsg said...

Eek&Meek said...

Keeper of the flame!

Don't be so hard on the security guard! Smile more, grunt less coz you'll be shocked to know the rokok kaki has been smokeless for two days! Surprised? Blame it on the stomach flu, have been throwing up so much my tummy hurts when I cough.

(By the way, really enjoyed this post!)

November 12, 2008 7:46 PM

dotsg said...

Keeper of the Flame said...

Dear Eek and Meek,

We note with a heavy heart, your recent bout of flu has kept you away from the ever faithful Darryl the dustbin.

I did try to smile more in your absence ... the gurad thot I was in pain .... sigh. So much for positive thinking.

Hope the tummy's better.

You have been missed (cos I had to buy my own ciggies for two days)

Yours in Smoke,

Keeper of the Flame

November 13, 2008 5:18 PM