May 12, 2021
In the early years, I would say I had a blog only my mother could love. The joke was more than half-meant. Mom was the first reader of every entry I posted and, for the most part, the only one. Sometimes she would read the articles to Dad who was not as social media savvy. My stats stalled after that first hit. When she passed on in 2015, the blog lost almost its entire audience.
I say almost because there were two other people who unwaveringly read me. One was my sister’s foster mom when she was an exchange student in the U.S. Ann was usually the first to like my shared posts on Facebook. They were not token likes either. She was of the generation that would actually read the articles before smashing the like button. She rewarded my efforts with insightful or appreciative comments too.
The other was a long-lost friend whom I got reconnected with through Facebook. Jovit was a colleague in the late 90s. We both quit the job after a few months and that was the last time we met. It would take more than a decade for us to find each other in social media. Around that time, I went on a reunion trip to Taiwan with two of our former colleagues. Jovit was stoked to join us next time.
Alas, there would be no next time. Both Ann and Jovit passed away within weeks of each other in June 2020. It was a time when sobering news of death marked the start of the pandemic. Both did not die of Covid-19, but their death was as sudden and untimely. In a word, shocking.
Ann passed after a week or so at the ICU. I had enjoined my church in praying for her healing and restoration. I came to know about Jovit’s death almost two weeks after the fact. I noticed he had not left any comment on my posts. Curiosity led me to his account profile and only then did it hit me like a ton of bricks.
Coincidentally, that June, I discovered an old Donna De Lory song called In the Sun. I intoned the repeated line of the chorus as a prayer: “May God’s love be with you…always.” I sang it for Ann and Jovit. I wish I had sung the prayer when I stood by my parents’ deathbed.
As for the blog, it has outlived much of its audience before its twelfth year. I lost, not just readers, but family and friends – fellow wayfarers in the road of life.
This anniversary post is written in memory of Ann Cheney and Jovit De Guzman. Godspeed. May God’s love be with you both. Always.