April 14, 2024

(Editors’ note: The Midland Courier is reprinting the columns of the late Atty. Benedicto T. Carantes as a tribute to one of its long-time columnists. This piece was published on Jan. 15, 2006.)

One more year gone, another year to go through.
How much of the past, as well as relatives and friends, did we get to bury last year?
And how many more this year, if we don’t get buried first?
We used to live from year to year, now it’s from day to day.

Forty was considered old when I was 20, and 50 was really old. Sixty and over, and you wonder why these ancients were still roaming the face of the earth and not six feet beneath it.
Today, I roam the face of the earth, but not feeling old at all.
Former playmates and schoolmates say I do not look my age, but the fact is, I am my age. If I were a Chinese vase, I would be an antique, albeit worthless, not priceless.

In my younger years, I had a hard time getting up from bed. I still suffer from the same crisis – getting it up.
If you are the kind that watches the sunset and thinking in terms of the past and wishing life should have been otherwise, that means life, insofar as you think, has not been good to you.
The wonderful thing about youth is that dreams can still come true, but if only they do something about it, and not watch time pass them by.

College is a prelude to that dream. You skip college and the dream can vanish into thin air, unless you get exceptionally lucky, like fate smiling down on you.
But there will always be something missing in your life, that which can not be retrieved by power or wealth, or whatever success.

Remember that the Almighty – no matter what they say that we are all born equal before His eyes – like any father, plays favorites. So, be sure to remind Him that you are one of His children through constant prayer, lest He forgets.

I do not know how old my father was when he died. Some say he was 63, others say he was older, maybe 67.
Well, I am a year older than 63, pretty much nearing 67.
But two things I would like to see before I go – and hopefully a decade later than my dearly departed old man – my two boys leading fruitful and stable lives so they can take care of their mother in her old age, and provide food, shelter, clothing, and a good education to my grandchildren, and God willing, still be around to spoil them.

Please, try not to read between the lines – swan songs are not my kind of music, nor blaring trumpets from the skies.
Hell, like I always say, it will be a cold day in hell if we don’t see each other there, but hey, maybe St. Peter will let us sneak in through the back door of paradise, with the Blessed Mother clamping a hand over the eyes of the Creator while we do so.
Fact is however, there is not any hell, it’s just a church invention to scare sinners like you and I – unless it’s here.
Hopefully, I will still be writing this column 10 years hence – and for sure, still going to the cockfights, albeit betting peanuts and nothing more.
Today is my dad’s birthday, and I remember him with love and fondness in my heart.
Happy birthday, Pop.