A Tribute to a Friend

As I recited prayers in chorus with a few others in a wake last night, I couldn't help myself but feel a terrible sense of loss. A colleague and friend has passed away. It's not an easy thing to accept. Death has a way of reminding us how fragile life is and how everyone has limited time. But more than that, it's a reminder that people you care about can be there one instant and gone the next without any warning, leaving you in a state of shock and sadness.

I met Randy a little over two years ago. I came from a different province (Cavite) where I used to work and live in. But the economy was bad that I lost my job there. I found a new job in Pampanga. At that time, I could never have predicted the type of people I will be working with. I couldn't care less about it because I was desperately in need of a source of income. Little did I expect that the group I will be with was composed of people I could really trust and depend on. Among them, I have had the opportunity to meet and work with Randy.

He was a cool guy. I noticed immediately that I felt good about him. He was very easy to be with. Everything about him was simple and admirable. I can almost sense that I would learn quite a few things from him for just the way he was.

I learned from him how humility was not overrated. He exudes a content and happy life without the usual insecurities of most people. He must have believed and placed more weight on relationships than the temporary and sometimes mundane work we were all tasked to accomplish.

His cool demeanor matched perfectly with his love for music. He sang really well and played musical instruments with a skill that I admire. It’s no wonder we had a couple of discussions about bass guitars. He owned a couple of bass guitars that he told me about. He oftentimes kidded about asking colleagues going overseas to buy him a bass guitar. It would have been a really difficult task if someone seriously accepted but it nevertheless gave us one more reason to laugh and just be happy about.

I worked with him on several equipment installations. The most recent tool that our company delivered to our customer was his last project. He worked on it as diligently as he could. My part came a little later to make sure the machine is running well and can perform its intended purpose.

As we were going along, we stumbled into a problem which challenged our resolve. But he has been there consistently doing what needs to be done to help me do my part. His efforts contributed greatly in completing my task and for this project to be a success.

I remember a time when one of the bosses was due to arrive. The team was not particularly excited about the prospect. We knew it would mean discomfort with the boss around. Superiors can be demanding and annoying at the same time especially when they won’t stop bugging you to do your job or finding faults with your work.

Randy’s opinion was the only dissenting voice that I heard that day. But it was one that resonated with me for quite a long time. He said it may be discomforting to have someone shake up your environment but that is a necessary evil that we have to learn to live with. The boss will cause us to constantly be on our toes which will result to us being more alert and productive. He said that sometimes, a group needs someone to give them a little discomfort to help them get better.

I didn’t really feel agreeing with him that day but I understood the way he thought and the wisdom of his words. I believe it was the right frame of mind to carry and I was grateful he shared it.

These are only snippets of the times Randy shared with me and with us as a team player, a colleague and a friend. I believe people who love him will remember how great a person he was and how he enriched their lives one way or another.

Randy was a really good friend...

And we will miss him.

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