Our sense of mortality can grip us in many ways. When it does, we find that what we once perceive to be permanent can seem so temporary, transitory.
My earliest memory of you was caught in photographs. When we were little, you visited us. We were playing in the basement of the house– you, me, and Camille, on that inflatable boat. You were always fun, I thought.
I have so little memories with you: that day in San Francisco sharing a scarf, or you on that arcade in LA showing off your crazy Dance Dance Revolution skills. That time you visited us, shopping around for colleges, I brought you to a friend’s party and you escaped that imposing shot of tequila. When we last visited and the family went to Las Vegas, I remember riding that roller coaster with you six times, a few times in the morning and once at night over the glittering lights of the city. I remember you telling us your Filipino name was Dugan and the hilarity that ensued when we called everyone that. You always made me laugh, Dugan.
I strain to remember the details, a saddening fact as there are too few memories to begin with. I just thought you’d always be there. I should’ve kept more in touch.
Who was that philosopher who said that we are all just a bag of bones?
I refuse to believe that. I know you are somewhere shining that smile of yours.
To loved ones and the capability of each person to touch other lives, as you have touched ours;
and to you, Kuya Alex.
You will be missed.