Tuesday’s bombs

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Sunday, March 29, 2015


LAST Tuesday dropped heavy bombs.

Hubby and I visited one of our favorite priests, Rev. Fr. Bill Skeehan, C.Ss.R, only to find out he had had a stroke, was once comatose, but is now recuperating in his room at the Redemptorist Community.

Half of his body is paralyzed and though he cannot talk, he can still hear, according to his caregiver.

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Fr. Skeehan, one of the few Irish priests remaining here, has been our family priest for years now. He celebrated Holy Mass in our parental home for special occasions --- birth and death anniversaries, and Christmas.

Seeing him with his NGT tube was saddening. And so we continue to pray so that hopefully soon, we can see him up and about again.

On Tuesday, too, Germanwings’ co-pilot for Flight 9525, Andreas Lubitz, made a missile of its Airbus320 and crashed it into the French Alps, killing all 150 passengers on board.

While plane crashes and people dying are terrible news, deliberately snuffing out the lives of others is nothing less than heinous.
Stories continue to unfold about Lubitz’s challenges -- physiological, psychological and professional. But they don’t quiet our sadness and yes, fury over his senseless decision to kill others.

They were students excited about their exchange program. They were parents and children either fresh from graduation, or excited about landing their first job. They were internationally renowned opera singers whose gifts made various audiences happy.

They were a mother returning home with her barely one-year-old after attending a funeral. They were many others who were loved, many still young with bright futures.

Just how does their inexplicable and grotesquely heinous end make sense to anyone?

In the same vein, how can anyone’s sudden death ever make sense to family and friends? Especially for one so bubbly and so much a picture of life that just being around her makes your day, any day, sunny?

On Tuesday, too, I was told that Cherry (Socorro) Muntuerto had passed away in Las Vegas, U.S.A., the night before. She was in the U.S. attending a reunion with her high school classmates at St. Theresa’s College (STC) here.

Wife to entrepreneur and civic leader Anastacio “Jun” Muntuerto, Cherry was a doting mother as well to her children. Spending her whole career as HR practitioner and eventually as VP-HR at the erstwhile Philippine Commercial and Industrial Bank (PCIB), she looked forward to retirement years.

Make that semi-retirement, because she eventually helped Jun with their many businesses. But she always found time for her gym and
stayed slim, and took violin lessons.

Four years ago, during one of our quarterly night-outs with SM City’s Marissa Fernan, Cherry said she had gone to visit a former colleague of mine at STC, Lourdes Esmero, who was battling cancer.

She had visited a former dean and others as well -- the ailing, the grieving and the sad. To them she’d sometimes play her violin to soothe them.

Musingly, she said, “I’m into this now. Sometimes, I wonder if this means my end is near.” To which I said, “Simbako intawn! (God forbid!)” Then, in characteristic fashion, she’d laugh.

Her death leaves a gaping hole in our hearts. I could certainly use some of her violin music now.(lelani.echaves@gmail.com) Lelani P. Echaves

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 30, 2015.

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