Sunday, September 7, 2008

You'll Be Fine

I was cleaning up my word files the other night while waiting for my sundo to come. Came across this poem written years ago when my boss Leon Chico, former director of UP ISSI (my organization) died. He died in California sometime during 9/11.

I was among those who spoke at the memorial service for him. This is what I delivered.

Thought I'd share it with you.

Was it ages ago? My first day at ISSI?
You were my one-man welcoming committee.
Who flashed the first smile
Held out the first hand.
Assured: "You'll do well. You'll be fine."
That chased away first day jitters.
Made the day soar like a song.

Was it ages ago? My first years at ISSI?
I got wed, had my firstborn
Lost my second.
Lived life, got hurt, lost and found self.
Grew a small faltering step at a time.
You were a constant – friend/boss/teacher
Who teased, cajoled, soothed, inspired
Assured in many different ways I'd be fine.

Was it ages ago? The day you left ISSI?
Did you outgrow us?
Were you destined to be an ex-patriot?
You missed people power 1 and 2
Erap's impeachment trial too
You'd have spilled your guts like us
Felt proud of your countrymen.

But you stayed away, flitting about and
Around somewhere
In the rain forests of Micronesia
The steel jungles of California
The predictable non-traffic of Singapore.
Wherever, you always did well
For the people you served
You were fine.

Was it just three Sundays ago?
When the phone rang '
Through dreamless sleep.
"LC is gone" the message said.
Say one for him, it prodded.
I mumbled rote words
But the tears didn't come
It is safe to die, I know
It is safe to fly.
You've never been as fine.

But wait, it was I that wasn't safe
Not from the memories
Of my first day at ISSI
Of my one-man welcoming committee
Of my first season of growing older
Of the one constant boss/friend/teacher.
I choked from all the remembering
Till I heard the wind whisper
"You'll be fine."


myepinoy said...

Great poem.

With the printer "dddy, dd" and the whisper "you'll be fine", I guess you'll be okay wherever you go.

Sexy Mom said...

Till I heard the wind whisper
"You'll be fine."

very comforting...sometimes it takes only a person to say so, and "You'll be fine"...sometimes it takes the memories of the person who said so, and "You'll be fine".

a beautiful poem, Annamanila!

Rudy said...

I'm sure your former boss was smiling as you read this very touching tribute to him... :-)

PJ said...

I like your header "The Best is yet to be!" I'm with you!

Anonymous said...

That's a very nice poem. Spoken true from the heart :)

Major Tom said...

Very lighearted and clever, gives some sort of glee in the heart. Wherever he is, LC should be in good hands for he must have been one very good boss not only to you but also to many others.

Major Tom said...

Very lighearted and clever, gives some sort of glee in the heart. Wherever he is, LC should be in good hands for he must have been one very good boss not only to you but also to many others.

Anna said...

Beautiful, beautiful! tells of a life well lived, a life who touched another. bow ako, miss anna!

niceheart said...

That's a very heartwarming tribute.

I also tend to remember fondly the people who I first make friends with at a new place, whether it be at school, work, or place of residence.

Nyl said...

nice one..very moving.

thanks for sharing.:)

lei said...

very nice words ms. annamanila, touching..

julie said...

This is beautiful. I wish there was someone who told me that or that I could one day tell those words too :)

lady cess said...

goosebumps!! this is so beautiful!

imom said...

Aw, lovely. I'd be very happy and smiling from my grave if someone would give me a eulogy half as good. :) But I guess it will also depend on how I was while alive eh? LC must have been one fine boss/friend.

TK said...

Greetings! got here from snglguy's blog.

He passed away during 9/11? Maybe God granted him the gift of not witnessing on CNN the horror and inhumanity of that infamous day.

ysrael said...

Thaw was really really nice tribute poem.

kathy said...

Wonderful tribute, anna! Come to think of it, 9/11 happened seven years ago...has it been that long already? Ang bilis ng panahon.

Belle said...

if your boss could just hear your poem, he surely would be smiling the whole time you were delivering the eulogy. it is very soothing especially the last line.

slim whale said...

for me, that's all it takes to get remembered for ages. One simple line of re-assurance on one's first day at the office.

pining said...

love it...very well written indeed!

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