Archive for racing pal

Remembering a racing pal

Posted in racing pal with tags on December 27, 2007 by vastine

The holidays do bring a lot of memories, one of them of a dear, good friend who has moved on.

Have a friend named Theresa. Operative word is have, because I still consider her as someone who is still with us. It’s her birthday today, but she passed away 19 months ago. I felt obligated to let the world know her as a good person and a good friend.

Silent type
Met her in freshmen year in college. We were seatmates in a couple of subjects and she was really shy and quiet. Women of the fewest words, literally. She rarely laughed but had a gentle smile. Never imagined she had an inkling towards car racing. I only heard her heartiest laughs when we were all in the finish line together with other racers. She would laugh whenever she finished last or when she thought she would win first.

We became racing pals and even exchanged a few notes in class. Thought she was a normal girl who enjoys a risky sport rather than indulge in make up or the latest trends like my sister. Didn’t know that she was living life to the fullest and was leaving at the soonest time.

Unexpected yet expected departure
It was summer two years after we graduated that I got a call from Theresa’s sister and asked me if I can visit her sister at the hospital. The next day I went and brought pastries. Then I saw her, lying in bed and unable to move any part of her body except her eyeballs. The doctor said she had a brain disease which paralyzed her whole body.

I almost cried at the site of her and 3 of my racing pals came in. We wondered why we were called and her sister said that our numbers were the only ones that were saved in Theresa’s phone book. We told her ‘bout the clandestine races that we’ve done over the last 6 months and I could tell that she wanted to laugh but it was her eyeballs that can only smile. The doctor said she only had days to live. Painfully, we said our final goodbyes at after 4 hours of talking to her at the hospital.

Got another call the next day that said that she had passed away.

Last glimpse
My friends and I rushed to the hospital as soon as we received that fateful call and waited for 12 hours outside the morgue to see her body. It was my first time to see a corpse of an actual person I know. I have seen and opened up dead bodies in college but seeing someone who I actually saw alive almost 48 hours before gave me a sense of foreboding and numbness in my body. She looked like she was just sleeping. It was the first time I saw how fragile she looked all those years. We waited 12 hours to see her in 10 minutes.

She lived for 22 years. Knew her for 6 years. I was lucky to see her laugh at a sport no one thought she would enjoy doing. I know she’s winning the race up there.