Got home from a solo trip to Iloilo late yesterday afternoon. Saw a female visitor outside, but it is not uncommon to have relatives or friends drop by "The Compound." My wife was standing on the front porch with tears streaming down her face.
My first reaction was that her mother, that lives with us, had died. I asked my spouse what was wrong; she was so distraught it broke my heart. Seems our visitor was the wife of her cousin Edgar who lived near her jungle birthplace, and the poor man was lying in a coma at our local hospital in Guimaras after a motorcycle accident near his home this morning. Edgar was on a ventilator, and the doctor said he would not survive very long. Terrible, horrific news!
My wife and her family were close to Cousin Edgar. Many times my asawa had visited their home, and he gave her food and shelter. The female relatives all left with Edgar's wife to return to the hospital. About 90 minutes later, my wife had returned. When the group arrived, he was still on the ventilator, his chest heaving up and down. His poor asawa thought he was still alive. My wife walked over to his body and touched his arm. It was cold. His body was stiff. "He is gone. You just have to accept it." my wife said to the grieving widow. Cousin Edgar had passed away at the age of 48.
He was just at our home yesterday as he had given my father-in-law a ride to pick up some items my father-in-law had left here a few months ago. Edgar was wearing his helmet yesterday. But not today. He suffered extensive head and leg injuries as my wife observed his body in the hospital. She took a picture of him with her camera phone at the request of his wife. Edgar left behind his wife and three children, two that are still in elementary school.
The local police investigated the accident scene four hours after the accident and ruled it as such, though my wife has her doubts. Road conditions were good, and it was not raining. The back end of the motorcycle was smashed in as if someone had bumped the motorcycle from behind. My wife also wonders why Edgar did not suffer any injuries to his arms or hands, but his legs, along with his head, of course, had sustained serious injuries.
A few relatives were recently angry at Edgar since he was caring for my father-in-law's land, and that made them extremely upset. One of the relatives is out on bail for murder as he awaits his trial. But the investigation is closed, and our local police department does not have the facilities available to larger police departments to investigate accidents. Hard as it is for my wife, I advised her to drop it. She does not need to press it and get any relatives angry at her and putting our family in danger.
Here's to Edgar, a good man, a respected man, a hard worker, father and husband, and a true Filipino, always smiling. But the smiles of those he left behind will not return for some time. But they will. That is the Filipino way.