Hear the song in my heart… and sing it to me, when my memory fails…
I can’t remember exactly where I got these lines, but I especially dedicated this to my best friend back in high school. But recently these lines have assumed a different meaning to me.
Dom and I have been friends since college, him being one of my cohorts in our school organ. I must say he was one of my avid supporters. He was zealously following me to the point of joining an organization I was in, even if it meant affecting his studies later on. He too, became a campus activist. But activism didn’t obstinately get into my system, thanks to my father, a true-blue radical himself, who gave me sane advices. That is another story, by the way.
At first Dom and I had a mentor-student kind of relationship. He was hungry for knowledge; I was passionate in sharing what I knew. Until I graduated from college and heard nothing from him. One day, I got a short, precarious missive from him. It didn’t have his signature, but I knew it was his. I knew his handwriting by heart. He was asking for prayers, saying his life was in danger. That shook me to the core. The last time I saw him, he was in the streets holding up a megaphone, red scarf around his head, under the heat of the sun. He was a different person already. I didn’t expect he would remember to let me know where his principles had led him, though I was constantly half-hoping he would.
Several years passed. Every thought of him became a prayer. Needless to say I was guilt-ridden. I prayed and prayed and prayed. And believed. He’s safe. He’s finished school. His life was normal. These prayers were heard.
We’ve been seeing each other in Manila recently. He’s been such a darling for picking me up at the airport and letting me stay in his house, treating me to places I never thought I would go. I treasure the long talks that lasted till the wee hours. He’s more or less the same person, but different in a way that only I, and maybe a few of his friends, would know and understand.
Yes, the mentor-student relationship has gone past its stage. Dom became my friend when he told me all about the brightness and darkness of his life, all about its sweet and pungent odor. All about its seasons, its colors, its songs. And I sang along with him, not fully understanding what his heart was saying, but at least knowing the sadness it felt, the fears that went along with it.
From outside, he is a jolly person. Very positive, talented, promising. Some people and so-called friends can only scowl at his propensities. But I can only cry seeing through his ready smile. Because there lies a friend, so misunderstood, yet so endearingly beautiful.
Dom, I may not be around for you always, but thank you for trusting in me. I am eternally amazed by how you take life and its challenges. You are such a brave young man, forever believing in great possibilities. You will be heard. You will be well. You will be triumphant. In the end, what will matter is how you lived your life. And I am blessed I have been part of it. Thank you for letting me hear the song of your heart.