angel with lamb and wolf

We had that conversation only a few weeks ago. Before my heart attack…

I said, “You cannot know the person you call a friend, until you disagree”

So he asked, “What makes you think so?”

I answered, “I’ve known quite a few people through the years. So many friends seemed to be the epitome of sincerity, until one day we disagreed. Mind you each time it was a trivial thing that came by, which suddenly revealed the entrenched feelings hidden behind the mask of congeniality.”

He raised his eye brows saying, “So… what happened then?”

I slowly responded, “Most of the time it meant the end of such bogus relationship. In rare instances, the disagreement could not break the bond founded on true love and devotion, which the dispute helped to bring up to the surface.”

He then challenged me, “Did it ever occur to you that you might be the culprit? May be you were building your relationship with those innocent persons on less than honorable motives.”

I shook my head and said again, “You may have a point, if I did not second-guess myself every time. I always think I must have done something so wrong it might be unforgivable. That is why I always wait. Even in the worst kind of disagreement, I like to blame myself first. But when matters start to escalate, and even spread, I find that I have to face the reality. I do not go around throwing mud at those very persons. Even when they shred me to pieces behind my back, and keep on repeating those lies and betray whatever confidences I trusted to them. I never thought that trying to defend myself would do any good. It might even accentuate their vile hatred and widen the circle of pain.”

He said, “So what do you do? You let them have their way?”

I looked at him for a moment and said with a smile, “I know that God is watching. He promised to defend me. Did he not? He said I should be like a lamb, depending on the shepherd against the wolves.”

He chuckled, “Oh, but lambs are often slaughtered for the enjoyment of those carnivores.”

Wearily I answered, “So be it. Certainly, after the cross….there is a resurrection.”

He gave me a long sarcastic look, and blurted, “So you think you are a saint?” I was shocked for his unexpected remark. Before I could answer, he chuckled and walked away.

Today, I see him now talking to Pat about it. They are both walking slowly towards the cheap wooden box where my body was laid down. He looked at my face with the same sarcastic look while Pat’s face was covered   with silent tears. Oh, here comes Anthony with his famous hat. Everybody likes Anthony, and they all rush to greet him. He savors the moment. Finally, he walks towards the box and makes the sign of the cross over my face. Anthony hated me for a long time. He didn’t even try to conceal it. He waged war against me in a subtle and clever way, so as not to undermine his own popularity. He joined Beth and her group who were talking about my heart attack. Wow, listening to him talk, you’d think we were bosom bodies. The music changed. It must be Paul. He knows I liked that serenade. I always called it “my funerary march”

Ben, oh Ben…I didn’t know how much he really loved me until now. He did not even come to see my face in the box. He sat at the far corner choking over a river of tears. Many of the people around here are total strangers, while many of the people I would expect to be here, are nowhere to be found?  Where is Maria…Gerard…and Amy? Oh, Poor Amy, she must be a total wreck by now. Richard is approaching the podium to speak. He put his hat on the podium and started to read some verses from the Holy Bible. He looked troubled and anxious. He is the only one who knows all the details of the scandal in which he and I were bitter rivals. It all happened behind closed doors a few years back. He does not know to this day that I figured out his role in it. It’s too late now to make amends. He finished fast and sat down on the nearest chair. Elizabeth was impressed. She said to her group, “Look how he really loved him” then she went hastily back to promote her new office. Bill and Gina are arguing where to go for dinner after they leave the funeral home. I see Brody with his group coming in the parking lot. He is telling dirty jokes about me. After laughing heartily, Smith warns, “Hey guys, we have to make-believe that we are grief-stricken. It is a funeral after all and we don’t want to make a scene.” Sam was brooding, he didn’t laugh at Brody’s jokes. He murmured quietly, .“What are you jesters going to say about me when I go?” Brody had a joke for that too.

A bright spot of light is getting closer and bigger. Now I see the beautiful wings. When the luminous body was right next to me, he said cheerfully, “why are you looking back? All this is meaningless now to you. Come, the Shepherd is calling the lamb home.”

Created Oct. 9, 2008


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