AT THE WAKE OF A FALLEN FRIEND
April 19, 2017. As soon as I arrived in Mindanao, I immediately traveled northward from Davao City to Davao Penal colony, a 56 kilometer stretch cruising on good roads by land for less of an hour. I intended to attend the wake of a fallen former colleague, the organization finance officer, accountant James Davide..
I was taken aback hearing that he was gunned down in broad daylight while on the way for a family outing at a very spiritual period Easter Sunday at that. At a glorious time celebrated by the faithful on the risen Christ, here was an instance where a non-violent person also, but on the contrary, would go down through a treacherous attack. While innocence was shattered and faith was equally challenged, there was of course no comparison except for the coincidence of the day. The Lord died in the hands of Romans; James at the hands of non-entities. The Lord through Jewish tradition; James through treachery.
From our vantage point as friends, we do not see any threats at all for James since he has been a civilian worker for decades after entering the prison service as guard years ago. He is at present the Chief Accountant of an institution, purely a swivel chair occupant in a non-controversial, non-confrontational work atmosphere. If there is any argument he would have gotten into, it was more on who deserves to be the Champion in the NBA games!
He has business concerns but the most that he would merit if at all he gets into trouble would be a case in court, perhaps a day in the hospital for a broken nose, a jittery week in the police investigation for a burned farm. There is no scenario that would endanger his health or life at all. If he would fall as what his fate would declare, it would be more on sickness or accident.
James was already medicating for high blood pressure. There were times when he could no longer drive for long distance. A few months ago, he was hospitalized when capillaries in his eyes burst as a consequence of high blood, it could lead to trauma and stroke. He was lucky to have evaded the effects of his ailment.
Nonetheless, he wanted to retire already because of the stress of work and enterprise. But he dawdled. In two years he would have reached the compulsory age of retirement, the waiting would not be that difficult considering that time moves fast because of technology. He could just coast along.
It was during this lull that the sword of fate would lower down on him. And it is fearful for those around him especially his friends. If it could happen to a non-violent, non-warrior, non-controversial, non-aggressive figure like James, it could virtually happen on anyone.
James is a good husband, an upright neighbor, a respectable worker, a decent entrepreneur, a thoughtful friend, an assiduous subordinate, a diligent supervisor, a generous relative and a fair customer. I have never heard anything adverse about him. He was just a very, very ordinary man.
For James to fall from a hail of bullets, all directed at him, was just too terrifying to note. On that fateful day, I do not see reality; I could not grasp sanity at all. Something was very wrong!
That day at the wake, I was a picture of confusion.