We left at a friends’ wedding half past 7PM, He used to drive his car even if he’s dizzy but not this time. Win and I had been on the road for about fifteen minutes, flabbergasted that I had to drive faster (as fast as I can) than usual. Win felt a strange tingling in his arm, flexing his fingers. Then, suddenly, he felt as if he couldn’t get a deep breath. He opened his jacket and even opened the car window to get some air. The air didn’t help. He felt a hot wave of dizziness and then a piercing pain in his head, like something popping inside. The sight in one eye went black. He blinked but couldn’t bring it back. I hit the emergency warning flashers and struggled to slow down the car and steer it over to the shoulder of the road, straight ahead to the hospital.
When I reached the hospital, we went straight to the emergency room. I knew every wing of the hospital from many times I had gone there. I walked up to the nursing station just outside the emergency area to get some more help. Suddenly I found myself behind the curtained area. I took a deep breath, trying hard to control the emotions welling up inside me. It was frightening for a while. (pakiramdam ko nakalutang ako sa hangin sa sobrang takot). I’ve waited for several hours when I was brought together with the attending physician to where Win is confined. They quickly explained Win’s condition. He had a stroke. The doctors said he’s lucky enough. He must have felt the stroke coming on and was able to tell me what’s going on with him.
The elevator doors slid open, I went straight to where I am heading. Win was lying in a hospital bed, attached to an array of frightening-looking tubes and machines. (nag flashback sa akin yung mga times na nasa ospital ang tatay ko) I walked toward him, feeling as if I were in a dream. His face looked strangely peaceful. I sighed and took his hand and leaned over. ”You have to fight now, this is the fight of your life, we’re all waiting for you” I whispered. A silent cry to heaven rose up within me. I felt as if the room were spinning in circles. I couldn’t think, couldn’t see straight. I wasn’t sure if I sat there for minutes or hours. When I picked my head up, my neck felt stiff. I came to my feet trying to orient myself. He’s father must be told how serious the situation has become.
This was going to be hard, seeing a dear friend suffered so much. I felt immensely sad. Do you know what the worst thing in the world is? It’s to not be wanted. That’s what I’ve felt like most of my life. I’ve dedicated all my time and life to friends I thought was real. With everything that’s gone wrong with my life, that’s exactly what it feels like. But Win changed that thought. He gave in to the friendship much of what I have expected. For him, it doesn’t matter how short or long the friendship is, as long as it’s true. I began to fantasize about how much better my life could have been if I met him early on in my life. He’s very creative in helping others find solution to problems. Win struck most people as distant, a loner type. But there was a side of him that was keenly aware of people in need and the ways he could help them. He was just quiet about it.
Finally, at nearly 2 A.M., the doctor reported that Win’s condition had stabilized. Though he was still in danger, he encouraged us to go home and get some rest. I am too exhausted to speak. I wish there was something I could do. I reached the path to the front door, feeling frozen to the bone, felt heavy and numb. I realized that each day is a precious, sacred gift, my friends. We walk this earth for a blink of an eye. Some friends will treat you nice and make you feel important according to your bank account, the car you’re driving etc. When you’re down and out you’re nothing, not realizing how we might be hurting others, not realizing that the golden tomorrow when we planned to say ‘I love you’ and ‘I am sorry’ may never come…
Thanks Win for this wonderful friendship you’ve shared. With you I feel important, I feel wanted and loved. I’ll pray for your fast recovery.
I also pray for good health for my sisters Ferie and Mench, for I can’t live without their friendships. I love them both with all my heart.