At the finest level of my being,
you’re still with me.
We still look at each other;
at that level beyond sight.
We talk and laugh with each other;
in a place beyond words.
We still touch each other,
on a level beyond touch.
We share time together in a place,
where time stands still.
We are still together,
on a level called Love.
But I cry alone for you,
in a place called reality.
A poem by Richard Lepinsky
“At night when the stars light up my room, I sit by myself, talking to the Moon. Trying to get to you, in hopes you’re on the other side, talking to me too. Or am I a fool who sits alone, talking to the Moon?”
These very lyrics rings in my head on most occasions where the nights would find me kneeling on the floor, laying my head back down, and lifting my hands to pray.
I’d close my eyes, shut the World down and feel your presence surrounding me on all sides. It’s almost ethereal and at the end, I found myself grasping to keep the feeling alive. For sometimes I wonder, if this is all I have?
It’s been more than a month, and it feels like yesterday when you were taken away from me, from us. I went back to Kuching to visit you last two weeks. During the flight back home, the plane went through some turbulence, and I remember hoping that the plane would just crash. And when it didn’t, the bitter lump in my throat was penetratingly unmistakable.
I was simply crushed and rattled. It isn’t as if I’m suicidal, no. In my mind, if being dead is the only way to see you again, I would jump on the bandwagon in a heart beat.
How do we deal with such life altering events? How do we cope with the heartache that comes along with losing a love one? How does one go on? How do we rise beyond this? And how do we see the beauty of the World again? And most importantly, how would we ever see the significance of this Life they call a gift?
I remember. We remember.
We remember conversations from the past and we reminisce them, relishing the moments that are so precious and dear to all of us. We hear your laughter echoing in our hearts, we feel your touch on our bare skin and we hold on to these memories. We see your face lighting up with your cheeky smile and we gaze up at the sky above searching for the twinkling eyes. We start saying things like, "If Dennis was here, he'd shake his head and rub his nose north." And we'd sink back into our seats, all lost in our own threads of thoughts, as we remember you, holding on to whatever we have.
We build upon us, all these angels you left behind for me, an undivided, exceptional support network that to me, is just incredible. So profound is this support group, that during dinner one night, Hon exclaimed, "I'm Hon. And I'm a Dennis-holic!" And the rest as you would have known, went down in history. The feeling of the support, the encouragement and the loyalty in the friendship? Priceless.
The first night, I was in Manila, you arranged for a wild crazy night of non-stop partying. I remember standing in your vast room, chugging down San Miguel with Ryan, when you walked in and embraced me with a hug so tight, I wish for the love of God now, that we never let go. I can still feel the warmth emanating from the lounge, where everyone gathered to meet me for the first time. I can still taste the Mozu’s special, the flames of the Sambuca tingling in my throat, as you sat next to Rita laughing your asses off. But if someone were to ask me, what do you remember most about your first night in Manila, I’d say, “Dancing with my brother.”
I remember dancing with you. I remember you grabbing me, and twirling me around. I see your laughing face as you showed me the Papa Jesus dance. I watched in sheer delight as you shuffled with Ryan. I have always been a bad dancer, for I inherited from Mummy, two left feet. But you have always have the moves, a groovy birthright, a legacy passed on from Daddy to you. I hated dancing as you would have known. But for that night? I revelled in dancing with my brother.
I’ve always love this song, “Dance With My Father” by Luther Vandross. Last time, I had an obnoxiously desirable dream of having you or Daddy walk me down the aisle to this song. Now, if you’d kindly let me have your hand, my baby, would you dance with me every night?
Dance With My Father – Luther Vandross
Back when I was a child
Before life removed all the innocence
My Father would lift me high
And dance with my mother and me and then spin me around till I fell asleep
Then up the stairs he would carry me
And I knew for sure
I was loved
If I could get another chance
Another walk, another dance with him
I'd play a song that would never, ever end
How I'd love, love, love to dance with my father again
When I and my mother would disagree
To get my way I would run from her to him
He'd make me laugh just to comfort me, yeah, yeah
Then finally make me do just what my Mama said
Later that night when I was asleep
He'd left a dollar under my sheet
Never dreamed that he would be gone from me
If I could steal one final glance
One final step, one final dance with him
I'd play a song that would never ever end
Cause I'd love, love, love to dance with my father again
Sometimes I'd listen outside her door
And I'd hear how my Momma cried for him
I pray for her even more than me
I pray for her even more than me
I know I'm praying for much too much
But could You send back the only man she loved
I know You don't do this usually
But Dear Lord, she's dying to dance with my father again
Every night I fall asleep
This is all I ever dream
*This picture was taken @ Bali by our MNL Family, as they toast you with your favourite Sambuca shots.
“Your brother is there. With all of us. That’s just who he was...forever keeping check on those he cared about. The other night as we drank and his songs came on, I felt him watching us. I knew he was there...with a big grin on his face as we all, with everything we had in us, danced to those songs he introduced to us and made his.” – Rita
Dancing with you tonight,