The other day, someone posted an old picture from Xavier School on Facebook. It elicited a lot of comments and exchanges from former students and colleagues from the past. Some of the people I could easily recall for I have kept contact with them through the years. Others I vaguely remembered when I saw their faces again. And still others I have totally forgotten. I am sure it was the same for them as well. Some would still know me; for others I would be but a vague memory; and for a few I would have been just a passing ship now long forgotten. I thought then, when I was teaching, I was making a impact on their young lives as I shared my knowledge and faith with them. I realize now that, important and fulfilling though my work in Xavier was, it was just a stop in my life journey to pick up an important package, the love of my life.
Yesterday, I got news of Jack Garcia passing away. He was one of the closest and dearest persons for me when I was with Boehringer Ingelheim. We were comrades in many projects and adventures. We shared many year together, much joy and many victories as well as moments of sadness and defeat. We were partners in crimes but also colleagues for goodness. I am sad that he is gone but happy for him that he has moved on to the next level. Boehringer Ingelheim was a happy place to work in and the people I met were among the best I have known. It was the most benign and empowering environment I had worked in.
I am thinking now how these people have enriched my life without me fully realizing it. If I had a new car today, would that make me happier? I would be excited probably for a few days but that soon wears off and after a while it really makes no difference to my happiness index if I were driving a new car or an old one. But every person I meet somehow leaves an indelible mark on me which I carry the rest of my life. I am who I am because of all the people I have met. Some have stayed; others were just passing through. Some were a season; others were a reason. Some came to help; others were there to be helped. Some were there to give; others came to receive. We shared lives and our stories. We shared activities and events. We shared words of encouragement and endearment. And most importantly, we shared ourselves with one another.
Some of these people I sought out to meet. Many just came into my life. And looking back, I am amazed how I even came to meet all the people I have known. And how truly they have enriched my life. It may have all been serendipity. A deeper appreciation is the realization that there is Someone who wills for us nothing but the good and the best. I thank God for the gifts of people in my life and I pray for all of them in gratitude.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.”