Yuletide pains and Atty. Rene J. Katigbak
In a span of six years, ‘yuletide tragedy’ has wrecked my system, nay my being, thrice – the latest only the other day.
Like a recurring nightmare, this misfortune, for me, has completely stripped the Yuletide Season of the traditional gleeful, wishful and feeling-good significance it has always been associated with.
I recall that when I was little and enjoying with fellow kids (children of school teachers like me) being part of a hastily-formed caroling group in our rather sleepy poblacion, an older man who played our guitarist for “some commission” muttered that Christmases and the Yule are only really for the children–and all those pretending to be or to feel so. Agonies misfortunes in their lives.
As one really grows older and begins to experience in life tragedies/misfortunes in dimensions he may have never ever imagined, the significance for him of traditionally heart-buoying or feeling-good occasions (like yuletide) also begins to depreciate or to be diluted.
My own yuletide pains actually began rather late.
It came in the whole month of December in 2004 when my cancer-stricken mother’s health began to rapidly and irreversibly deteriorate, compelling my entire family (one brother and one sister) to spend that Christmas in unequalled agony in a Cebu private hospital.
Pain beyond description that, indeed, was!
Seeing my mother – who cut an indestructible figure in me throughout my entire growing-up –slowly and PAINFULLY yielding to the ultimate human weakness, until she died on January 3 of the following year.
That wicked nightmare was a déjà vu in the entire December of 2010 when we again had to spend the yuletide in a Manila private hospital, this time to watch our also cancer-stricken papa painfully suffer in flesh, until he gave up the ghost on January 1, 2011. With all those comparatively recent yuletide pains still ceaselessly haunting my heart and mind, can I be blamed for dissociating the coming yule week from anything rosy, heart-soothing and promising?
And then the other day, my best friend in law school – ATTY. RENE J. KATIGBAK – quietly passed away. Oh, I will have a lot to write about this great human intellectual, with the gift of the pen, too, who brought so much friendship, kindness and inspiration to me as we waded through the difficult years in securing our law degree from that famous Mendiola law school.
But for now, farewell Rene! If heaven were true, then I am sure you finally found your spot there now. I will forever miss our earthly friendship!
Well, let Rapidfire still greet one and all a very merry Christmas and prosperous New Year!