Requiescat in pace, Bert…

black ribbonMy friend Bert died today.  He had been battling cancer of the colon for about five years, but it all finally caught up with him.

When I began withdrawing from a previously-active social life because of my own deteriorating health, Bert was the only one who called to see what was up, what he could do, how he could help.  He already had cancer then.

Unlike Bert, I still can’t be active and up-and-about.  He was, last I heard, jogging and exercising.

He always had something to laugh about.  An active mind that often contained more mischief than anything else.  He could be irritating sometimes, as most people with deep pockets usually are.  But he didn’t have one mean streak in his body.

Another classmate of ours, Louie Martinez, was his oncologist.  I’m sure Louie did everything possible for Bert — I’m sure he even made everything comfortable for Bert in the last days.

It must be a coincidence of sorts that I started my own blog about my own journey home just a few days ago…only to hear the Bert got there today.  My mortality stares me in the face, and begs answers to questions I still am not ready to give.

I began this blog to find my own answers to the questions surrounding mortality and immortality, and I only recently began my quest…my journey home.  Did I start too late?

We stand on a hill between the earth and sky
Now all is still where Loyola’s colors fly

Our course is run and the setting sun ends Ateneo’s day
Eyes are dry at the last goodbye
This is the Ateneo way…

Bert, we came down from the hill together, and we hit the ground running.  Fate had different paths for us, but we each trod over hills and through valleys of light and darkness until we came to this, our last hill to climb.

You got to the top first. With my weak legs, it’ll take me a little while more.  But I’ll be there soon.  So rest a bit until I get there.  But until that time…

Eyes are dry at the last goodbye
This is the Ateneo way…

We will meet again, Bert.  But there’ll be no more hills to climb…

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