Last Saturday, June 5, 2010, six of my highschool batch mates got involved in a car accident. I will not go into the details save the fact that the vehicle they were riding, owned by one of them, turned over at least four times. It was a miracle they all survived the incident without major injuries, save minor cuts and bruises and a broken collar bone on one of them.
When I first learned of the accident, I dismissed it, thinking it wasn't that serious - most likely a minor motorcycle mishap - but when another batchmate, one who I asked to organize a meet-up so we can visit the one with the broken collar bone in the hospital, called me and asked me not to spread word about what happened. Of course, I didn't agree at once. I demanded that she tell me what exactly happened before I agree to anything.
Imagine my shock when I heard that five other batchmates were involved in the incident, three of which have parents who used to be uptight and strict when it comes to batch gatherings - little or otherwise - but have come around to accepting our little pseudo-reunions and even inviting to their homes for fiestas. I immediately asked how the others were, especially the driver and the front row seater, and found out they only sustained the minor cuts and bruises mentioned above.
They were alive. Thank goodness.
I visited my friend who was in the hospital later that day. I learned from her the details of the accident. I also learned that the driver was in trouble with her parents; they even told her things you won't expect parents to say especially at a time like this. Of the six who went there, only three informed their parents what happened, this, I think, while not the best, is the course of action with least implications when it comes to their personal circumstances and to the batch's well-being and reputation as a whole.
I can only imagine what it must be like for them to have experience something life-threatening as that. The shock; the wonder; the confusion; the thankfulness; I can only list emotions I read of or learned somewhere. I can try to empathize, but I can never fully take away what intangible scars the incident left.
I can't help but marvel at how things unfolded. The road they were on that day was rarely traveled, but a group of people, with medical knowledge at that, passed by and helped them. The car had all its windows save the rear one broken; a door got unhinged; it rolled over at least four times; they were going at 200kph but they all got out relatively fine. Even my friend who was driving didn't get her glasses broken. Was it Fate that made their paths cross? Was this meant to be an experience to be learned from? Was this something some higher power decreed to occur? We may not get the answer. Maybe in time, we'll all figure it out. One thing is certain, though, and that is this has left us something to ponder on.
I did ponder on things and ended up writing a note not just for the six of them, but for every member of the batch Kawaten as well. It goes:
Every second is a gift. Every day is a treasure. Every friend and kin is a soul mate. Every part of our life is a reason to be happy and thankful. Through trying times we shall prevail, through every experience we will learn, through every eye-opening event, we will begin to understand. There is a purpose to our lives we may still have to find out - whether it be our role in forging our own roads or helping shape the life of others whose lives are intertwined within our own. There is no room for doubt. There is no room for giving up. There is only room for eternal improvement and enrichment. Take care as you tread the path of life each day - there are people whose lives you help make complete.
Since they asked us all not to talk about the incident in public, I've tried as much as I can to write words of comfort between and in the lines. I hope they communicate all of my unspoken feelings for the people involved, too.
I just hope we all learn from this experience and keep in mind that each new day is a second and a new beginning.