I wish I had More Time

I wish I had More Time

Dearest Bing,

I wish I had more time to visit you every time I came down from the Arctic. More time to drop by, more time to say hello, sip tea or coffee together with you regardless of time and place. “Maybe next time”, is all I can say every time your name is impressed in my mind, since I am preoccupied too with chores concerning my Mom who moved to the personal care home. But one auspicious day, on the last day of August, I felt a gentle tug in my breast. My heart seems to tell me that some errands can wait; but, not a friend. So to your door I knocked. Renee your better half apprised me of your condition, which all the more I felt and sense the urge to see you.

When I visited you at Riverview Hospital, I observed, you were so relaxed sitting calmly and reading a newspaper. I felt the joy after we hugged. In so short a time, I attempted to fill your time in sharing my adventures and experiences of my life in the Arctic. It is a joy to see you smile—but a joy alloyed with mixed feelings. I was afraid that our meeting might be the last.

I wish I had more time…
We talked about our kids, recollecting the first days we became neighbours at Cardero Place. You told me you were glad your kids Jesse and Charlie will now have friends of their age. We talked about our children’s children and how they bring joy to us, grandparents.

I wish we had more time…
I forgot to tell you how you made me smile when I see you attempting to do home exterior maintenance. Silently I wish I were daring enough to climb up the ladder to paint the walls, prune the branches of the trees, turn the soil of your garden with a hoe.

I wish I had more time…
Alas, it was time for me to leave you. Quietly I wish I had my Bible with me so I could have read the Creator’s promises to you.

I wish I had more time…
We clasped our hands and prayed together. After uttered the last word, I heard you prayed for me. Bing, I wish I had more time, so let me share this Scripture found in the Gospel of John where Jesus said: “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die like everyone else, will live again”. In another chapter of the same book, we also read the promise found in John 3:16 where it says: “For God so loved the world that He sent His only Son, Jesus, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”

I wish I had more time…

My best,

Judy Grace D. Regalado-Gabuna

Author’s Note: The Author is yielding his space to accommodate the Open Letter of his spouse addressed to Bing Santos, who was overtaken with cancer. Bing welcomed us and had been a good neighbour when we moved to a Cul de Sac in Egesz Street. She generously shared her Filipino delicacies and even her flower gardens, which we planted in our front yard. Judy Grace is the current Manager for Financial Budgets for Health and Services of the Territory of the Government of Nunavut, since 2005. This tribute was read by our younger Son during the wake of Bing Santos.