last friday, i attended a book launch organized by omflit. it's for gifts of grace book 3. the book is all about people who have touched the author's life and how these people have become 'gifts' to her. at the end of the launch, the guests were asked 'have you thought of people as grace from God?' 'who are these people who have become gifts to your life?'.
starting today, i pay homage to these people who are all grace from the Lord. They are my gifts, my treasures. I am writing a series of stories, snippets about them. this will be in 'installment basis' and hope, somehow, you will be inspired to do the same.
as a preview, i will give you a rundown of these people who have touched and changed my life, one way or another. here goes:
my friend chu. 'how well do you know chu?' i was asked. that questioned floored me and left me speechless. i didn't know that question came as an intrigue. then I learned that Chu at that time was subject of an ugly rumor. and that question was sort of a loyalty check. whose side i was, was the better question. but still i answered that with this: not that well but more than enough. i may not know her sss number, where she graduated, how many boyfriends she had, what's her favorite color... all i know was, she was a friend. and thank God, until now, we are still friends.
my shock-absorber melvic. i must be an intrigue-magnet. here's another special friend who became a subject of a very nasty rumor. hers was more high-tech. she was tiraded through the internet. cyber-assasination as they say. believe it or not, this thing again tested our friendship. but at this point, melvic knows where i stand. i stood by her, i defended her. i stubbornly answered all those emails and friendster messages. i challenged that girl who spreaded dirty stories about melvic. i fought for melvic. i will continually fight for melvic.
my cousin jerome. based on our age difference, he can easily pass up as my son. in fact, there were several occasions in his life that i stood there as his foster father. jerome's mother has long been dead while his father has survived several heart attacks but could hardly walk and talk. i was the one who got his report cards in high school, i attended all his pta meetings, i talked to his teachers. but more than this, i have become his armor. his armor against our aunts. i was his defense, his alibi every time he'd come home late. his classmates and other batchmates have become my friends. they don't call me tito or anything. they just call me tonichi, treat each other like normal friends. yes, jerome and I have become the best of friends.
my brother 'claudine.' i am gretchen and he's claudine. we are three gays in a family and i am closest to my third brother, peter allan. people say we are lookalikes, though i must be more sosyal, very gretchen. we share so many common things, our contagious laughter sounded the same. we walk and talk the same. sometimes, we have common taste --- fashion and even boys. We share a lot of things really, passions and favorites. BUt more than those, we share one heart.
my parish priest fr. erik. years ago, while he was attending a personal spiritual retreat in Baguio, he texted me: what's wrong with me. i was thinking, what could be wrong with a priest. But Fr. Erik was not just another priest. He was sent to me by the Lord to be my gender-sensitive priest-friend. It was not easy to have a priest as a friend. But I guess, the difficulty is more on his shoulders. I was like a boulder for a burden. But Fr. Erik carried me throughout. He stood by me --- he defended me to everybody, even to his own mother. So what could be wrong with a friend like that?
full story soon. more gifts to come.