My old black wallet has been in my possession for over ten years. I bought it as a reward to myself when I received my first financial perks working in a banana plantation way back in the early 2000’s. I left that company and went back to appliance industry working as (what else!) sales representative. I started as a salesman in the first place in 1987. That old black wallet served me so many years and like a marital relationship, we both went through difficult and good times, in sickness and in health for richer or for poorer. However, we have to separate our ways like in some relationships.
Last year I contemplated on buying a new one but the cost of a good wallet is really prohibitive at this time considering my finances. So, I used it until July 12, 2016. That was the day when I came home from work and was told that a high school friend of mine went to our house and dropped a tin can. I was already expecting this since another good friend of mine way back in high school and until today texted me that she would give me a token and due to some unexplained circumstances we ended up like lovers torn between time and space and our schedules were not congruent to each other. So, this dear friend of mine decided to ask help of some of our common friends in order I would get her token.
Yes, that’s how I received that gift. I was excited and when I opened the tin box, I discovered a brown wallet. I was taken aback as I was amazed on how this friend knew that I was indeed in need of a new wallet. And, along with the gift, I found a simple card and I read it. I was in tears after reading it because frankly speaking the gift was unexpected and the note explained everything why I deserved such gift. I was staring at my new wallet and with my mind streaming of the memories that this friend and I shared nearly two decades ago.
I was happy to remember that at one point in her life, I was there. I remembered at that time that I was also in one of my lowest moments of my life and there was I selling fund raising tickets for her instead of wallowing in self-pity. She recovered from that dreadful disease and I moved on also and somehow manage to pick up my crown and put it back on my head.
Those moments with her were really precious and I could say that I lived up to the Ateneo slogan of being “A MAN FOR OTHERS.” To you dear friend, thank you for the wallet and thank you God for bringing us together as I learned so many lessons from both of our miseries and predicaments at that time. The greatest lesson I learned can be summarized from a Madonna song “Like A Prayer” that “life is a mystery, everyone must stand alone, I hear you call my name, and it feels like home.” It was indeed a call for me to help others. And that help comes in many forms and mine was spending moments with you listening to your fears, memories, and of course embracing your strength.