Today I have a schedule to cover the Tampa, Florida shift to manage the crucial month end data being submitted to my assigned data warehouse. The colleague who is supposed to be covering this time zone will be out for two days. This just means that I'll be on graveyard shift for Thursday and Friday, Friday being a Philippine holiday to boot. This is obviously not included in the protocol, but I could not have the heart to decline this colleague's special request due to personal reasons. If I will not decide to cover, I would run the risk of coming to work with a messed up data warehouse or I could have her work remotely making life harder for her, but I was in a good mood that day, and the fact being that I am in no super human position to decline.
So for Thursday and Friday I will sacrifice, but that doesn't mean the end of the world. I have no upcoming plans to cancel anyways and going on graveyard shift at work would be fun. No people. No interruptions and no heavy traffic. I just need to bring Harriet with me, go to a 24 hours coffee shop and I'm all good.
Last Tuesday night, my good friend Vanessa So sent me a message that she is having a girl. Apparently she reminded me that she was in fact really having a baby. The first time the news reached me, I was stunned. Vanessa was my buddy in college. We are not your typical ladies who are expected to act ladylike. In the broad end of the spectrum, we have qualities that keep us so so undesirable for men. Although I must admit, she has more heart when it comes to children and she has a very understanding boyfriend at that time. The two of them end up getting married and I attended their simple and frisk-less wedding. I was afraid that Vanessa would ultimately transform and become domesticated, but whenever I visit their house, it seems like nothing has changed. They might be living together legally, but she hadn't caught up the wife-domesticity bug. So, you could just imagine how stunned I was to know that after two years of marriage that Vanessa is having a baby. I know she mentioned it to me that they were planning to have one to probably ease the reality into my head. But when the news hit, it still took me a few days to recover. Now that she's having a girl and I'm assuming her tummy is this big, I have no choice but to accept.
So since I was in a happy mood for everyone this week, I invited her for a breakfast date on Thursday (which is today). I told her that I'll treat her to a good dessert as my welcoming gift to her future daughter. The date was set and I already checked the restaurants on line. Yesterday in the office, I confirmed to her about the details of our brunch when she sent me a message that she couldn't make it. Apparently, her Tita Persy So, the revered tita that I've been hearing since college, was killed in a suicide bomb that exploded in a Peshawar Hotel in Pakistan. Just like Vanessa's other news, this completely took me by surprise.
In that morning, I happened to read a news online about the bombing. As I recalled it mentioned UN workers, a russian and a Philippine woman. I never ever would have expected it to be her Tita Persy So. Vanessa even mentioned that UN representatives met her to confirm the unfortunate news. The body is to be sent back to the Philippines by Saturday. (FULL STORY)
I was lost for words. I didn't know what to say. Of all the other positive things that should happen in this world, this had to happen. And of all the people, it was her tita who visited her two weeks ago. It's heartbreaking for people who died and who were injured. I feel sadness and hate to the suicide bomber who killed innocent people, and I was especially moved to the fact that it was Vanessa's own aunt whose life was put on the line. Her aunt was not anymore a form of news or statistic for me, it's reality at its finest.
Naturally we canceled our Thursday morning date and I just offered her my condolences. I would love to be with her today, but I don't know if it's proper or I would be meddling with her affairs this early. Knowing Vanessa, she is one tough chick. I have never seen her cry. But I know it's different when an aunt died while fighting for peace and doing her job in a world scarred by suicide bombs, which are spurred by hate. Also, I don't know much about babies, but I do know pregnant women have unstable hormones that I may not be prepared on the possible effects that it might have on my friend.
This supposed Thursday was a reflection of sorts. A week of sacrifice and doing what's right just hit me in the closest and most effective way.