Friday, February 03, 2012

Project 52 (5/52): On Not Having Said Enough (Before It Was Too Late)

.:Project 52 (5/52): On Not Having Said Enough (Before It Was Too Late):.

There are some awesome people in our lives that we couldn't help but take for granted, regardless. Maybe they're always there. Maybe they're just that reliable. Maybe you think they'd last forever, or at least pretty damned close to it.

And then you realize there's no predicting these things, and you're forced to rethink how you deal with other people.

Guilt? Perhaps. But beyond that, we realize that while much has been said, it still is far from enough. I should know. I will live the rest of my life with that regret, despite all my efforts at living in a way that would avoid that.

Two years ago, when my grandfather passed, I realized how grateful I was that I go to tell him how much I loved him and how much he meant to him well before his time came. A year ago, when a very good blogger friend of ours passed, I was happy that at least, we spent enough time with each other to show him how appreciated he always was and will be.

This time, I didn't get that chance, and I couldn't help but feel bad about it.

If I wrote this as a letter to her, it would no doubt be part of the Unsent series simply because there's no way I could send it to her now. She was always so full of life, and I don't mean that as a generic thing to say about her: this was really how she was. Everything she did was filled with a zest for life, and the way she just went nuts over magic in general, or over this song she liked, you knew she opened her eyes to wonder because she never let this cynical world get to her.

It was great, and even if we were closer in 2008 than we were in years since then, that didn't matter because I took it for granted that she would always be there, because she was blazing her own trail like no other, and who was I to slow her down? Though we grew apart, I always held her in high regard because I recognized full well that not everyone could always just stay ever so close for no apparent reason.

But I was wrong. As I ended up hearing the chilling news of her passing, I was simply filled with disbelief. I may not have spent all the time in the world with her, but I had vivid memories of her, including that infamous night where we hosted and got stiffed by our “boss” for our efforts, braving traffic and distance just to do our thing in Alabang. Needless to say, I think after that, we had a newfound respect for each other. The time I levitated at the MRT station, I also remember how she went nuts and moved heaven and earth just to find out how I did it.

That's how she was: she was inquisitive, she was funny, she was bubbly, she was smart. She had everything, and I mean everything, going for her. But she had to go. And she went far, far too soon. If God is a DJ, I guess He wanted more people to jam with.

This post is for her, though it's too late for me to remind her how great a friend she was, and how I admired her tenacity in achieving everything she wanted. She was already a success at twenty-five years of age, and there was no doubt she was well on her way to more.

I just regret never having been able to say “thank you.” I regret it, and now, I look at every person I feel I ought to thank a bit more warily, because I don't want to have this kind of regret again. A breakup? Fine. A fight with a friend? Fine. But something this final, this permanent? It's something else, and I don't want anyone who has ever meant anything to me to ever go on without knowing how much I appreciate them.

My time with her may have been short, but the memories will last me a lifetime. Thank you, Maan. You were a wonderful human being, and we will miss you.

Maan Panganiban: 1986-2012

Thank you for the music in our hearts.

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