One morning, I received a news: that my friend and classmate was already dead. I was stunned, literally unable to think of anything in the moment.
She was my closest friend in UP Open University. I didn’t know her much. I didn’t know her personal life either. All I knew was that she was always there for me…as a classmate and friend. She always reminded me about our assignments, the topics, the deadlines, and other activities…and sometimes, the name of our professor. She never ceased to update me in every part of our every subject. She was always offering to give me a hand whenever I expressed my difficulties in my studies. We supported each other in our fora. She was quick to appreciate my every posted comment and my long article-like answers. She was a happy friend.
She was always there…and never did she fail to be a nice friend to me. I still remember when she arranged everything for me in our educational visit to GMA Networks. She did the same thing when we visited the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI), arranging for my schedule, setting the time and place of meeting, forwarding me some cell phone numbers of our contact persons, introducing me to other classmates in the trip, and discussing with me the itenerary of our visit.
She was quick to forgive as well. After our field trip to PDI, she lost her notes. She came to me for rescue. But due to my too busy life@work I somehow forgot her request. When I followed up, she was already through. She borrowed from someone else. When I said “I’m sorry!” she just threw me her usual answer, “noh ka ba, wala yun!”
Noralyn was her name. I met her in the day of orientation for new students in UP Open University last year. Since then we became good pals and classmates. Everything we talked about was our course topics, assignments, plans after the schooling, and some current challenges at work. With too much subject matters at hand, we forgot to talk about our personal lives. I didn’t know her birthday, favorite foods, likes and dislikes. I just knew that she has a family and they are happy, and I was happy for her and her family. I didn’t really know her much…all I knew is that she was my friend…a very good friend.
Just before she died she was bombarding me with messages to finish my assignments, arguing that I was already too late in submission…and that I should be concerned with my grades as well. Just before she died, she exchanged some thoughts with me about her difficulties in last assignment. Just before she died she showed me that she’s a real friend who doesn’t expect for anything in return.
I just lost a precious friend! Now she’s gone. God took her without warning. But I am so grateful to have met her. I’m so thankful to God that at least, He has given me chance to express my gratitude to her just few days before she rested—thanking her for everything, and promising her to return all the grace I have received from her—not realizing that that was my last “thanks ‘tol!” to her. Now that last part is no longer given to me. How can I return the favor I abundantly received from her…now that she’s gone?
I need to pay it forward to other people who need that grace. I have to share it to others…