Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Tragedy That Was

Dear Me,

While tending to my sleeping baby, I switched on the boobtube to watch some afternoon show. It was only a few minutes past when a flash report came in.

I was so shocked. I never thought it would even happen. I saw how great the damage was and both casualties and fatalities were rising in numbers. It was supposed to be like any ordinary afternoon at the Glorietta mall. But last Friday was far from being normal. It was horrifying.

Initially, the alleged cause of the explosion was a leak from a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tank. But some authorities claimed that the blast site was so big that it was possible that the cause may be from a bomb.

I hurriedly sent SMSs to my mom, sister and hubby. I told them not to go to Glorietta later that day due to the incident. (I thanked God that they were fine).

For whatever reason or reasons the blast had happened, I still wonder what twisted mind would do such a thing. Do they have to involve innocent people just to make their voice heard?

*Mas maganda siguro kung sarili nyo na lang ang pasabugin nyo. Siguraduhin nyo lang na nakakulong kayo sa isang container na nakalagay sa gitna ng kawalan. Lech!*






I sympathize and mourn for his loss. I could feel his grief and suffering. I found myself in tears while reading what he had written. His words cut through me. What if it happened to me? I couldn't bear the thought of losing them.

Good day everyone,

I wish I were writing under different circumstances.

I would like to inform you that my wife Leslie Cruz was part of the casualties in the Glorietta 2 Mall bombing in Makati City, Philippines. She was supposed to have a minor out patient surgery at Makati Medical Center at 230pm.

I had taken a leave from work to accompany her there. We dropped off our daughter, Amber, at my parents place in QC to babysit at around 10am. We then proceeded to Makati and was there at 1230pm. Since she had been fasting in preparation for her procedure, she wanted to move around and listen to some music while I grabbed a bite to eat. We parked at the basement of Park Square 2, and headed for the Glorietta 2 entrance. We parted at the top of the escalator, she turned right towards Filbar's while I went left towards the restaurants. That was the last time I would see her.

Around 120pm, she had called me so that we can meet at the Glorietta 2 exit just in time to make her appointment. As I made my way there from Glorietta 1 through the connecting hallways, and was about to turn the corner, I heard 2 deep thumps and the shock-wave from the blast hit me. At that moment my heart dropped as I knew that the origin of the blast came from the same place where we were supposed to meet. I tried getting to where my wife was, but the dust was too much and it was as if I was staring at a white wall.

I still tried to convince myself that she was able to make it out, and that after ringing her mobile without a response only meant that she dropped it in the confusion. After 6 hours of searching from Makati Med to Ospital ng Makati, the blast site, and back again to MMC - with the help of all the people I could get hold of, that I was able to get confirmation in what the state of my wife was.

My Dad and Uncle signaled me in from the ER of MMC. My Uncle (who's a doctor) asked me to describe Leslie's appearance to another group of doctors. I saw in the eyes of one that the description made sense. Instead of confirming it to me, they huddled together, then brought me to a small examination room. It was only through a digital camera that I was able to confirm (and deny) that she was indeed gone.

I have so many regrets. I should have met her sooner. I should have ran instead of a brisk walk. I should have not chose to park where I did. I should have braved the dust and went in the blast site. I should have...

Today's the 4th day. It is still terribly difficult to breathe, let alone wake up realizing that your source of strength, your best friend doesn't lie beside you on your bed. That my deepest worry is when Amber starts asking for her Mama.

I am glad that Amber's too young to understand the loss and pain. In time I would like to tell her the details of how her mother died, but more importantly I would like to raise her as how her mother lived - a loving person, strong willed, decisive, caring, and nurturing. She has always cared for her family and friends, and sacrfied her career for being a full time mom and home maker.

As with all couples we had our ups and downs - none of which I regret not going through. The sweet is never as sweet without the sour. For almost 4 years of marriage, we've finally hit our balance in life only to be taken away in an instant. I have no regretsabout our marriage. She has loved me and Amber beyond her capacity. I will always love her.

It is my first time to write to egroup as I've lurked and watched emails being sent to and fro. All I want now is that for each of the couples here is to cherish each moment that we spend with our loved ones. Pretty simple to say, very easy to take for granted.

Thank you all for the prayers. I would still like to ask you to please include Leslie in them until her 40th day so that the path to God's kingdom is well lit and she is no longer in the dark.

Sincerely,
Carlo Cruz

My prayers for those who suffered and lost their loved ones in this very tragic incident.

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