“ALLl the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time, plays many parts…”
(from As You Like It, by William Shakespeare)
There are some people whom we think will be with us forever. It doesn’t even matter if we see them as either bit-parts or major performers in this stage drama called life. We expect them to always be near us, even if offstage. Believing that, we often take them as part of the permanent fixtures which dot our personal stage, while we become mindful only of the roles we are playing.
It is in this analogy of theater and life that I see our Kuya Bong. He had played his part as eldest son, brother, husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather to the members of our clan. I am definitely certain that in the much-bigger main stage, he had also played the role of friend, workmate, confidant or even foe to others who knew him.
However, all these do not matter now, for his days of multi-roles are over for him. While many of us may have laughed, cried, cheered or jeered at the brilliance of each of his many portrayals, only one thing is certain: our fullest appreciation of each single performance is only when they have all become segments of memories. Without a doubt, we all have plenty of those now.
As each family member, friend, or even acquaintances express their final goodbyes, what begins next is a lifetime celebration of his life through these memories. Eventually, he will have joined the ranks of those whom we love who had also gone before us, not forgetting to thank our Creator, not only for the happy days we have spent with him, but also for each day of struggle and discomfort.
Through all these and in genuine theater fashion, the marquee that boldly reads, “The show must go on!”, shines brighter as before. We all move on, with each of our own life-series, while younger players prep up for newer roles in the ones they are still presently staging. Perhaps it is this motivation to continue where we find the grit and the strength, despite whatever deep sadness or heavy loss hangs over our heads, like a dark cloud. Even then, for all that it is worth in this stage of stages, everyone must be defiant enough to ask, what is physical death anyway? Is it defined by when our heart stops beating, or is it when there’s nothing left of us in people’s memories?
Truly, the mark you leave in the world wins hands down over death anytime. The mark one has left in all you have touched, is its own brand of immortality. That is enough.
HONORING MY MOTHER
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