Do you believe in destiny?
Or do you agree that things happen for reasons?
Now and then
This is a story about a man,age almost 60 years old. A US navy retiree originated from the philliphines who left his country at age 18 and spent half of his life in the US.
I was supposed to sit at different seat but asked to exchange my original seat by a man who wanted to stay close with his group. And I didn't mind to do so.
That is how I met him. I didn't even ask his name.. I was more interested in listening to his story of life. I guess.
He was reading a book when I was about to sit. And we exchanged polite smile and asked formally where our destinations were. He said he headed to Manila.. For good, he added.
My wife died 24 days after her 61st birthday last august. It was a heart attack that took her from me. Even though I was the one who had by pass for my heart problem. She was the stronger and healthier. But she left me first. Alone. As we never have children. It's my fault he said.
We were about to take off at San fransisco airport when he said 'this is it' I am leaving for good to overcome my memories of my wife in this city. She left too many finger prints here and I can't stop thinking of her.
I was so sure he had tears when we took off. He hid it from me but I felt his sadness as the plane's flying higher.
He said he had no regret at all. He met his wife in San fransisco and lived together happily with her until she passed away. I just don't want to die here alone. You know, he said. I don't have any reason to stay here. No one will take care for me.
I sold my house and its furnitures. Don't need them, he said everthing in my home just reminded me of Evelyn, his wife. It's too painful. So he sold everything to his neighbour. And packed his new life in Manila. Where he has brothers to stay in touch.
How did she die? I asked after a while. I hope it wasn't too personal.
We were having weekend as usual and she asked me to join her for shopping. Why don't we go out together on this beautiful day, she said? And he was getting ready for his wife.They got into the car, when she said she couldn't breathe. He kept asking what happen until she didn't move again. Forever. He didn't even have the chance to start the engine for her. 911 came when it's too late. It's my fault he said. If only I knew how to help people when heart attack came, she could have been alive today.
Well, it's wonderful you were with her when she died. She must be really feeling loved and safe. Because most of people who have lost their beloved may not even see until the funeral. So you are lucky, I said.. I really meant it.
We both were thinking.. About life. WhAt is left behind and what to pursue. He continued reading a book by my favorite author. And I was reading a book who was written by Albom, the author that wrote the book he was reading. I don't think it's just coincidence.
He taught me something last night. Love and beloved.
San fransisco, November 6 '09