Friend for keeps

Do you remember fetching me from our house with a tricycle, very early in the morning? It was raining so hard. You got all wet, including your luggage. Ringing all the door bells in our building, waking everyone up. While I was fast asleep and was last to get up. We were going to the meeting place to take the bus to attend this college conference. Because we were late, we had to stand the whole trip to Laguna till our clothes were dry.

Do you remember I invited you to watch movies week after week? You always let me choose what I want to watch. ‘Twas my way seeking for a diversion, to be away at least for a while, from all troubles at home. You just went and accompanied me each time.

When you learned what I was going through at home, you confronted me. I knew no words to express my anguish and pain, and carelessly lashed out on you. Yet you didn’t take it against me.

You know, whenever I feel bad these days, I missed having a friend like you to watch movies with.

Do you remember accompanying me several times, late night for work, driving for me, fetching supposed guests from the airport. Even when they didn’t show up. And you just entertained me with your amusing self-talks, making me chuckle and forget the concern at hand.

I learned from a common friend later that you had difficulty driving in the evening because you can only see with one eye, and I didn’t know, because you never said no.

Do you remember I asked you to cook spaghetti for a friend celebrating his birthday. And I didn’t even know that the same day was also your birthday? I felt so guilty after that.

In various ways, you watched and helped me grow.

You can sense when am hurt, when am low and you readily offer me time, comfort and assurance.

These and more.

You went to lengths in your friendship with me. And I think I haven’t even said thank you, nor sorry, and you never expected or asked for it.

In case you still don’t know, I’m talking about you Howard!

I know am not anybody special, because you treat all your friends the same way. You would go through lengths, through height, through depth. Because that’s you. We, your friends had been blessed.

And one popular phrase you always tell me, “no pain no gain”. Yes I remember.

Howard, thank you for being a brother I never had, and a friend, even when I hardly recognized.

You knew me then and now. And I know you accept me for everything. Your friendship serve as my shelter. You believed in me all the time.

I often look back these years. Thinking how fortunate I was to experience genuine friendship in you.

And sometimes, it makes me wonder, what can one do for somebody like Howard?