Footprints of a Friend….
(Tribute to Ruel Lucentales)
By: Apolinario B Villalobos
When we were young
He said, “I will be great someday”
I said, “I have the same dream.”
He was diligent in his studies
And even excelled in other fields
Despite odds that limited our quest
That we hurdled to satisfy our needs.
After graduation in college
He said, “I want to raise a family”
I said, “Go ahead, get a wife oozing with beauty and sanity.”
He got a beauty and both raised two children
Who grew to be caring and responsible
Making them both happy and they did not ask for more.
When we met again
He said, “Somehow, I will try my best to help others”.
I said, “That, I hope to see”.
He was braving the danger along the way
As he visited settlements of evacuees.
With him was a jolly entourage clad in blue chalico –
Brave men and women, pride of then Region XI’s DSW.
When he was to be promoted
He said, “Friend, I will be transferred to Manila, what do you say?”
I said, “Go ahead, consider it as part of your destiny”.
Then I saw him on TV braving the thick ashfall of Mt. Pinatubo.
Skipping meals and being away from his family for days
Became just part of daily routine enjoyed by him –
And all these he did without a single complaint.
When told about our class reunion in August 21, 2010
He said to a classmate, “Ed, I will surely be part of our homecoming in Notre Dame.”
Ed said, “You must, as the rest are expecting you to be there.”
Others were told and were elated that at last, he could make it, come what may.
He was excited, of course, to meet classmates last seen more than twenty years ago.
But, a slight twist of his destiny changed all these
When on a fateful day he breathed his last
The day that bore his final footprint on the sands of life
That bore witness to his greatness –
As a struggling youth with a dream
As a patient brother to his siblings
As a loving husband to a beautiful wife
As a doting father to two caring children
As a worker who cares for his colleagues and those in need
As a man who did not fail to look back
To his footprints while on his way to greatness
To fulfill his destiny…
To you Ruel, our friend, our brod, we say:
YOU ARE, INDEED, GREAT!