Plane crash in Masbate, Philippines. Shoot-out at the Empire State Building in New York. So many sad things have happened in a span of two weeks. I am almost compelled to just stay home, away from the craziness of the “outside world”. But even as I read a good book in the confines of my purple room, I realize that I am still not safe from what freak accident may happen.
There was a time when I was doing exactly that, reading a book in my room, when the light bulb burst and caught up fire! No kidding. Good thing I had the presence of mind to run downstairs and turn-off the general switch. I almost got toasted.
And then one time, I was trying to microwave popcorn and left it for a few seconds to change the TV channel when I was startled by a loud boom. The microwave went up in flames! I immediately pulled out the plug and luckily, the fire dissipated.
What’s my point? When it’s your time, it’s your time. Don’t let the idea of death keep you from living. Try to be cautious but not to the extent of hindering yourself from trying out new things and experiencing life! Even when you think you are safe, something crazy might still happen. So just keep the faith and go on. Keep moving forward.
Ironic that one of the most exhilarating things that I’ve ever done in my life was to ride a Cessna plane in New York. I’ve never felt more alive after that flight atop the Statue of Liberty and that fast dip just above the frigid waters of Coney Island.
My cousin Jeff is a certified flight instructor and commercial pilot. He took me flying when I visited him in New York last 2004 together with his mom, my godmother, Ninang Eileen.
Ninang Eileen passed away last year. She was my childhood hero. Growing up, I would spend hours on the phone with her just talking about my teenage angst and crushes. She taught me a lot about coping and being my own “heart healer”. She was tough with her words but gentle in her ways. They say I’m a lot like her–independent, liberated, and just downright stubborn. 🙂
Whenever I think of her, I remember the grand time we had inside that Cessna plane. She was praying, cursing, and laughing all at the same time! Jeff and I had a ball just listening to her.
It was a fine day in New York when Jeff decided to go to Republic Airport in Farmingdale to take me flying. For 90 bucks at that time, you can already rent a Cessna. How time flies! Now Jeff has his own private plane! [Your mom could never be prouder, Jepepoy! 😉 ]
I remember how Ninang Eileen would talk about her genius of a son. She would complain about the long hours Jeff would spend on his computer, operating his own flight simulator. But whenever she would send us a greeting card, it always came with a cute photo of Jeff inside a cockpit or beside a plane! 🙂
I guess writing about this experience is my way of thanking Ninang Eileen for what she did to hone my personality. I want her to know that her legacy lives on through me and through all of those other people whose lives she touched.
I guess that’s the way life really is. You live on through everyone whose lives you gave more meaning to. Take for instance Secretary Jesse Robredo whose life was taken abruptly in that plane that crashed in Masbate: his legacy would live on through those who would continue his fight for good governance and ethical leadership. It will live through his spouse and children whom he loved. His name and spirit will live through you and me…those he had inspired just by living the way he did–in humble service to his fellowmen and country.
This poster was spot on–
Fly high and be free,
Statue of Liberty, taken aboard Cessna 172N Skyhawk