RIP Steve Jobs

Though I constantly frustrate my friend by not choosing a macbook for my laptop last year and not really considering an iphone as a cellphone of choice while I was reviewing what new phone I should be getting….thank you Steve Jobs for being someone who looks outside of the box,  and who imagines a future and does something about what he wants or what he envisions.

It takes eyes to see a vision, but what’s beyond ‘just seeing’ to become a visionary. Rest in Peace Steve Jobs.

 Click the image for the source, it’s not mine.

If you don’t see the image clearly, instead of a simple bite of the apple, it’s Steve Jobs silhouette.

Till next time, Sean.

People pass away every day. It’s not such a big deal until it happens to people you know, and it happens to people to whom you expect it least of all to happen to.  It’s sad really how things worked out the way they did. I can’t get over how everything has happened so far. It all seems so unrealistic. Even if you pinch me, I’d still think I was dreaming. It’s really unfair.

I try to tell myself the same thing my mom used to tell me when my cousin passed away at 26, God has a mission for everyone and once that mission is finished, God calls us back. I know it’s just wishful thinking to think that way, a way to try to escape from the fact that someone I know has actually passed away…but to some extent it does make me feel better. And as I’ve realized long ago, God usually takes the good ones away first. The good ones die young, leaving us to wonder why on earth they had to be taken away first. But who are we to choose when our time is over. Our life is in God’s hand, and as He had giveth, only He can taketh away.

Yet as time passes by, I cannot still but wonder WHY.

Things you don’t expect hit you hard the most. They aren’t like those situations where you’ve prepared yourself for days and weeks for the inevitable to happen. They just strike you out of the blue, and you fall….and while on the ground you weep and you cry and you wonder about all the what ifs and then eventually you have to get back on your feet and live the rest of your life with some part of yourself that goes missing. And as the years pass, and you get to meet more people, that missing part grows smaller ad smaller, but it never really goes away.

Anyway, right now I have to stay strong for the sake of my other friends who are tying to deal with this too. I am not alone.

And when you think about it, it’s not really goodbye. It’s just, “Till next time”.
Till the next 50-60years when we’ll see each other again.

Thank you Sean for having been my friend. Though we didn’t talk a lot in the last few years and I didn’t have a chance to visit you during your (unexpected) last few hours, you were with me during the rough patch of our first years of puberty. You defended me, encouraged me, and made me laugh.  I may not have appreciated what you did for me 10 years ago, and it’s probably too late to say thank you now, but if there’s a chance you can hear me, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I hope and pray that God has taken you by His hand and you watch over us all who now grieve over your passing. You were and had always been a great and kind guy. You weren’t quick to judge anyone, and you had an understanding heart and a patient ear. I hope that from wherever you are up there, you have a great view of us all who love you dearly.

This isn’t goodbye Sean. I’ll see you again. Maybe soon, or maybe in the distant future. But till then, please watch over us. Till next time, Sean. I love you.

Also, found this poem on the web and posted this to my Google+ when I first heard the news. It’s a poem by Mary Frye….

Do not stand
at my grave and weep.
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds
that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight
on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awake in the
morning’s hush
I am the soft uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft star that
shines at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry
I am not there.
I did not die.

Remembering Taka

Pets are like family. For the most part, we watch them grow up. We feed them, care for them, and love them. And in return, we are loved by them as well, and they give us comfort and protection. A pet, no matter how big or how small, becomes an important member of the family. Gaining them is like gaining a family member, or a best friend. Also, losing them is like losing a family member, and a best friend.

At times like this, I remember clearly the saying that a dog is man’s best friend. For me, my 8 year old baby Labrador Retriever Taka was my best friend. He passed away last week, July 14, amidst the storm that hit the country.

Taka came to us when he was only around 2 months old. His mother was my uncle’s pet, and my dad finally allowed us to have a big furry dog at home. It was special for me as all my other siblings were still in the province on vacation, so I got to pick a dog from the litter of puppies of Maxine (my uncle’s dog). They were all cute and furry and really excitable. How I picked one from among all of them, I cannot remember. But there was so much excitement in bringing home a dog that was mine. His first night at home was not a very good night. As I was getting ready to go back to bed, I could hear a soft crying sound, it was my new puppy. He was lonely and wanted someone with him. So I stayed until he had fallen asleep and went back to bed. Minutes later, the crying ensued again. It was like that for most of the night till I finally decided to sleep by him on the couch.

Naming him was difficult. As I was a very avid Japan fan at that time, I decided to name him after my favorite character from the anime Fushigi Yuugi, Tamahome. But the vet had told me that it was too long a name for a dog to remember, so I shortened it to Taka, Tamahome’s re-incarnation in the anime. Another thing that I recall about Taka’s childhood was this lump on his forehead which he had since we had gotten him. It had to be surgically removed by the vet.

One thing notable about Taka even until recently, is how much of a strong dog he is. He’s gotten into so many scrapes and messes over the years, that it makes him hard to forget how old he really has become. Once when he was younger, as one of our cars was going out of the driveway, he ran out unto the road and got hit by an incoming car. Luckily, only his leg was hit, but he had to go to the vet for stitches. Another time, I remember coming home from High School and greeting him like I always do. After going up to my room to do normal teenage stuff like surfing the net and whatnot, I remember one of our maids screaming that Taka had been covered in blood. As it turns out, he had a huge gash on his side. We discovered that the license plate on one of our cars had folded outward a little, and the space between that car and our patio was usually the space he would go through when getting to us. He tried to squeeze himself in and accidentally got cut. That I remember, was one hell of a night. I was crying in the car, all the way to the vet as the vet had to drug him and told us to leave him with them for the night.

Taka was also one heck of a runner. When he was much younger, he would run around the yard, in-between cars and across the driveway. We would often play games to see who was fastest when running from the gate to the patio. Sometimes I would get there first, sometimes he would. It makes me wonder if he had slowed down for my sake.  Taka, was also a very smart dog. He was a quick learner and understood people. When he became much bigger and much older, we would have to lock him up in the garage whenever friends and family would come over. It came to a point that even when people weren’t inside our yard yet, as long as you motioned for him to go into the garage, he would automatically bark. Of course, he was also a very jealous dog. One time when we had gotten new dachshunds, he became possessive and without-my-knowledge (as I was standing next to him), he peed on me.

Despite that, his good traits and his flaws, Taka was kind and obedient. He was sweet and caring. He was, really, man’s best friend. Oftentimes when I was in High School, I would come home from school and just sit beside him in the garden. I’d talk to him, pat him, sometimes even use his stomach as a pillow. He always knew where to sit, which was either beside me or by my legs, even without being told to do so.

Throughout my High School and College years, Taka was always beside me. He grew up with me and endured with me, he loved me and cared for me. He was there during the tumultuous times of my teenage life. He was indeed a pet like no other. So last Wednesday, as I had just gotten back to bed after waking up early in the morning just to have breakfast, my maid told me that Taka had passed away. I rushed to the patio and found him there, as if sleeping. I poked him like I always do to check, but he didn’t react. Even when I patted him on the head and rubbed his nose, he lay three lifeless. It’s not something I hadn’t been expecting, but it was still a sad surprise. Taka had not been feeling well for the last few months, and constant visits to the vet still produced the same results, he was still barfing up most of his food and getting thinner. I was actually very worried that I would leave for Beijing and would just find out abroad that Taka had already passed away without me being by his side. Still, seeing him sleeping as I said my last goodbyes was one of the hardest things. The coming of the typhoon could have weakened Taka’s body and he had just died in his sleep. I don’t know. I can only hope that his last few moments  were without pain or suffering. Like the death that I someday wish for myself, I hope that I can just go to bed and have God take my soul away. To die in one’s sleep, I think is one of  the greatest last wishes anyone can hope to receive.

As I end this entry, I want to remember the happy times I spent with Taka. While the pain is still fresh, remembering only brings tears, but it will someday allow me to remember the dog that brought me so much happiness. I will add here to the ending the post I made on my facebook, “I believe dogs go to heaven. To my baby, I miss you and hope you’re in a better place. Thank you for the 8 wonderful years.”

Someday, I’ll see him again. Thank you, and goodbye, Taka. I will love you always.

R.I.P. Taka

March 22, 2002 – July 14, 2010