THE DAY I SAW MY DEAD AND LIVING FRIENDS IN MY DREAM
I had a full day traveling a day ago and reaching my destination; I got off my vehicle, dragged my exhausted body, and slumped on a good corner to relax. While resting, daylight faded out and I instantly sunk in deep slumber.
But notwithstanding my unconscious status, my mind was still very active as if I was still awake. I don’t know anymore if it was a dream or I was just trying to find my sleep. There was my friend Romy, my ever loyal Man Friday egging me to stand up and check the vehicle. He knew that I am particular about vehicles that I am using, that he probably noticed something that I must attend to. Still half-asleep and dizzy because of the tiresome driving, I got off from the sofa bed.
It was then that I realized that Romy has departed a few years already. It’s impossible, my dear friend had crossed over already. But wait, there were other fellows ogling at the tires of my vehicle, Jun Geronimo and Lito Pragides. Now, these two guys are still very much alive. They were arguing over something. They were always arguing in the first place that is why they never got along very well at the end of the day. But what was this duo doing in front of my car?
As I moved closer, Sonny (Miranda) my bosom friend since elementary accosted me and whispered that my radiator was probably leaking. If it was so, then I would have a problem of using the vehicle because it might later stall for overheat. I was grateful for the information. Jun and Lito may have the same observation too except that they could not agree on what to relay to me. But Sonny has gone to heaven a number of years past on that year when my sister went up in Heaven.
As if on cue, in the same living room where I stretched out, there was Uncle Ben and Uncle Greg having an animated banter. I knew that it would not last long because Uncle Greg wanted to talk more about basketball and Uncle Ben was more on music. But it’s awkward because my favorite uncles, maternal and paternal, left on the year my wife was escorted by the angels.
There was Tony Florido and Romy de la Cuesta, both healthy and alive discussing something a few paces from my vehicle. They were all my favorite pilots in my out of town travels. There were Ongski, Yetbo and Mel too—all of them in their pink of health, although for a time they were having some health problems. They sustained my strength in every conceivable mission I would devote myself. The trio seemed like they were poking fun, teasing Gener and Boy Calica. There was of course Je Roxas extending some kind of a wallet to Ka Sosing, who in turn was frowning. All of them were there and they are all alive.
I have as yet to move closer to my car when a tricycle got closer and Msgr. Espiridion alighted. The good chaplain was still young compared to his present emaciated look. He was excited to tell me that he just got a word from my parents. I knew he was kidding because he celebrated Mass during my parent’s wake. Nonetheless, he pressed on and reminded me to buy a new car because my fledging 1978 Toyota Corona was no longer road worthy.
Good grief! I was dreaming and yet I felt like I was awake all the time. Everyone was there and MORE. As I was about to board my car and start the engine, all of them surrounded me. It was more like a sea of humanity was growing around my garage. I personally could identify a lot of them—they were my classmates in my kindergarten days, my playmates in elementary, my buddies in high school, my chums in college, all of them. A lot of those in uniform were also around, coming in from different directions, all of them from Bucor, the agency where I spent a great deal of my youthful exuberance.
I could see the expression on all their faces, as if anticipating whether I would invite them all for a ride. But I could not decide whom to call. I cannot squeeze them all.
All of them tried to peer into my car as if expecting a signal. I know I was dreaming but I don’t know how to wake up already.
Until I realized that prayers can smooth emotions. I loved all of them. But as soon as I uttered the first word of “Our Father…” I awoke.
Had I stayed the course, I could have been lynched by my friends!