Ateneo De Naga high school 1980

Those who do not remember history are bound to live through it again.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Empty spots of life.

Recently, three employees from the department I work for had to leave us because of an important life decision that they had to make. One was offered a job in London working for the British government. It had been her dream to move to Europe and so she grabbed the opportunity when it came by. She is moving her whole family to Britain. The second one decided to move to the state of Indiana with her husband because she feels more comfortable living at the Midwest state. She also wanted to spend more time with her 5-month old baby whom she adores to high heavens. The third one decided to transfer to another government agency to enable her to pursue her dream of helping foster children in dire need of government assistance.

These three people were special to me because they are not just my colleagues. They were also my very dear friends. We treated each other with tremendous respect and gave genuine concern to one another when life’s trials just became a little burdensome. We counseled each other on a human level and had a high regard for personal confidentiality.

Lunch is such a joyous occasion because we all shared each other’s ethnic food. Our Caucasian/African (Like Obama) friend always brought European food. Our Mexican/Caucasian friend brought spicy food. Our Italian/Thai friend brought pasta and other dishes whose names I cannot pronounce. Yours truly brought Filipino food and sometimes dried seaweeds. It took a lot of persuasion on my part for them to finally try a piece of the seaweeds. We always try each other’s dishes and make faces whenever we try to figure out the strange flavor each dish has. All of them were not brave enough to try balut.

Each of us used our God given talent to help each other out. On a few occasions, I assisted them in figuring out what was wrong with their cars whenever their vehicle starts acting up. Since I am the least skilled cook in the group, they gave me pointers on how to cook a certain dish. The funny one in the group always cracks up everybody because she comes up with out-of-this-world comments to lighten people’s spirits. Daily rough spots are smoothened out a bit whenever they are around. I am greatly saddened that all of us had to move towards a different direction with the chance of meeting up again quite slim.

This morning, I came to work a bit early and found three empty cubicles with each still bearing the names of my former colleagues. I walked into each cubicle and looked at each empty chair and still saw my old friend’s faded image with smiling faces still looking at me asking me how I was doing. Their computers are now silent and their desk empty. Only happy memories lingers in their cubicles. I had to hold back tears as I answered the faded image of my friends telling them that I will be fine.

God gave me the privilege of knowing these three wonderful people who showed me that true friendship is about just simply sharing true concern towards one another without any self interest or personal gain.

I went back to my cubicle and turned on my computer to signify that life has to go on. I have to accept that in life I will have sad moments like this and there will be more empty cubicles that I will encounter as I walk through life.

Walking the silent hallway…..

Joseph Ivan


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