Sunday, July 11, 2004
After a nice feast, I apologized that we had to leave early. His wife was a gracious hostess and I told my friend Edgar that we have to get together one time and catch up on a lot of things. Then we went straight to the funeral parlor at the Manila Memorial Park. It was my first time to get inside and I must it's a really beautiful place and I should plan a visit one day to take pictures. Once inside the funeral parlor we were met by Marj's older brother A.D. who is Abi's officemate and co-scriptwriter. We gave our condolences to the grieving mother before taking a peek inside the casket. Then we sat down and got the whole story about what happened from A.D. It turns out that what started out as a diagnosis for dengue turned to anemia in one hospital turned out to be pneumonia complicated by leukemia when they got another opinion in another (better) hospital. It all happened so quickly they never expected things to turn out for the worse, even Marj herself expected herself to recover. Some thirty minutes later, Rey, another PExer and friend came to visit. I had been in communication with him the night before, exchanging text messages about what happened. He was in Baguio at the time and he cut his trip short to be able to attend the wake with us. We left the place an hour and a half later so Abi could still catch the 5 p.m. Sunday service in Galleria. On the way there Abi told me that what she initially thought (an impression given her by other people who know him) that A.D. was an atheist turned out to be false. He's still a Christian although he doesn't like attending church services after everything he went through. What happened was, he had a lot of questions about his faith and what he believed in but everytime he would ask them from his discipleship leader he would be rebuffed and his questions would be ignored. He got a lot of indifferent reactions from other leaders in different churches which he thought would help him. He dropped off the church circuit after that. That's when I brought up the idea for putting up a discipleship group exclusively for artists since we have different needs and wave length from other people. I heard one of his questions and I didn't think it was absurd. This guy was hungry for deeper things and had had enough of the "surface faith." While I guess those leaders he asked before had their reasons for doing what they did, the best thing they should have done was to refer him to someone who knows how to answer his questions instead of leaving him in the dark. Abi promised me to help establish another get-together sometime after the wake on Thursday.