Friday, July 6, 2007

Carla Grace

Friday, July 6, 2007
I met her in grade school. Little did I know that our friendship would last for 21 years and still counting. Through each heartache and break-up, disappointment and triumph, the ‘ups’ and the ‘downs’, in both small and big moments, she is there – a constant in this ever-changing world. Blessed with a certain balance of simplicity, tact and candor, she is the person that always keeps me grounded and pulls me back to reality. Life has been more bearable with her around.

I can still remember when we were in Grade 5, in our Industrial Arts class when, trying to reach for a ruler that fell, her chair overturned and tumbled down – with her still on it – the stairs. We were like “oh my gosh”. But surprisingly, she stood up, unhurt, with a grin on her face. Then everybody, feeling relieved, had a good laugh about what just happened. That’s how she is. Such is the strength of her character. She has this inspiring ability to get up from a fall, pull herself together and ready to go on. She doesn’t know it but I admire how effortless she makes everything look – from being a good friend, a devoted mother and wife, a sensible daughter and a responsible sister. She has reached the place I always dreamed I would be.

With her, I can be myself – devoid of any pretensions and unafraid of being judged. During one of the lowest points in my life, she told me, “mabuti kang tao. Hindi mo dapat dinaranas ‘yan.” Her simple words went straight to my heart and comforted me more than others’ gestures of sympathy. Worn out from pain, I continually gain strength from her – her unwavering reassurance that eventually, everything would fall into place; her patience in listening to all my sob stories, her untiring goal to whack me awake from the “evil spell cast upon me”; and her willingness to do battle for me whenever I am being attacked. Everytime I am being stupid (and that happens quite a lot), she tells me so – straight to my face – hurting me to spare me from further pain.

Twenty-one years of friendship. I look forward to twenty-one years more.

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