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Arvin

In My Eyes

By Edward B. Antonio

 

 

His name was Arvin.

 

He could have been 18 last February 4.

 

He was a young, good looking, spirited and a brilliant young man.

 

He enrolled in a prestigious school for seamen.

 

He wanted to explore the world and see what’s beyond the globe.

 

He wanted to make a name for himself and his family.

 

But all these dreams ended when the motorcycle he was riding as a passenger was hit by a speeding vegetable Elf truck on that fateful night of January 23 along the national highway in Barangay Bungro, Magsingal, Ilocos Sur. Arvin fell from the backrider seat and was swallowed underneath by the furious truck, dragging him to some 30 meters away and then released him lifeless. The driver sped away but was later apprehended in the traffic queue in Barangay Sta. Monica where a bridge is being constructed.

 

Arvin, my son’s elementary classmate and boyhood friend exuded the radiance every teenager possesses. Tall and good-looking, I could hardly imagine the wails of the grieving parents when they learned of the news, as he was the only son in a brood of 3. His untimely death, as the untimely deaths of young men like him who are in the prime of their youth, sometimes bothers the mind. There are so many evil people who ought to die first than these good, young men who are idealistically bred to become the future leaders of our country.

 

No words were uttered, but only pure tears of sadness and the only silent flight of the balloons concluded Arvin’s funeral 14 days after the tragedy.

 

Goodbye, Arvin.

 

We condole with mother Madelyn and father Amado. You are not alone in this world grieving for the loss of a family member.

 

As I walked down the aisle after the funeral, I chanced upon another wailing mother, crying openly and embracing the grave of her son who died last year. It was a moving scene and I started to think of my own kids. Will death be kinder to us the living who have learned valuable lessons on the death of friends and relatives?

 

I could imagine Arvin now reciting this poem by another unknown author:

 

I am home in Heaven, dear ones;

Oh, so happy and so bright!

There is perfect joy and beauty

In this everlasting light.

 

All the pain and grief is over,

Every restless tossing passed;

I am now at peace forever,

Safely home in Heaven at last.

 

Did you wonder I so calmly

Trod the valley of the shade?

Oh! but Jesus’ arm to lean on,

Could I have one doubt or dread?

 

Then you must not grieve so sorely,

For I love you dearly still;

Try to look beyond earth’s shadows,

Pray to trust our Father’s Will.

 

There is work still waiting for you,

So you must not idly stand;

Do it now, while life remaineth–

You shall rest in Jesus’ land.

 

When that work is all completed,

He will gently call you Home;

Oh, the rapture of that meeting,

Oh, the joy to see you come!

 

Indeed, Langston Hughes says it best:  Life is for the living/ Death is for the dead./ Let life be like music/And death a note unsaid.#