Monday, March 12, 2007


Yesterday while hunting for a parking lot near my church, I witnessed a hit and run.
The victim was a white cat with blue eyes.
I was in time to see the car screeching off, followed by two women running out of their terrace houses to tend to the bloodied remains of the animal.

By the time I got out of my car, everyone was sobbing: the two women, a maid, two children hiding behind their gate, weeping.
The bones of the animal were broken. The car must have been in high speed. It was a residential area.

The owner, a 70-plus woman in a flowery housecoat, couldn’t bear to touch it. So the neighbor and I moved the body to the shade.
As she covered it with a towel, weeping, the lady asked me, “Could it still be alive?”
“No,” I replied. Thank God it didn’t suffer.”

Later, as I sat with the owner, she told me how everyone in the lane loved the cat.
And it had been her constant companion ever since her husband passed away and daughter married off.
“My son, who lives with me, doesn’t talk to me,” she said.

Halfway, she showed me, from an album, pictures of her husband’s young handsome face from long ago, playing the piano; and herself in dancing shoes, looking very pretty.
“I used to go for ballroom dancing every week,” she said.

Then she wept. Bitterly.
For the things she has lost: her husband, her youth, relationship with her son, her cat.

For almost 20 years, I had parked in this upper-middle-income neighborhood near my church almost every Sunday.
I would admire the picket fences and well-tendered gardens.
Sometimes the dogs would come out and look at me, wagging their tails.
Seldom would I see the people living in the houses.

But yesterday, I stepped inside one of those gates and took a peek into someone’s life.
And I was reminded that behind the high walls and well-renovated exteriors are people with memories, heartaches, husbands who left, hearts that could be lonely.

I’ll not walk in this neighborhood the same way again.

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About Me

In the Old Testament in the Bible, there was a man named Jacob who "wrestled with God and man." He wouldn't let God go until God answered his prayers. God admired that and renamed him Israel, "the one who fought or wrestled and prevailed". He fought with man--his inner man--and conquered his own weaknesses. He's my hero. He is what I hope God and man see me to be.