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Saturday, September 21, 2019
CEBU

Briones: Starting anew

On The Go

TODAY marks the start of another year. Just like that. And to tell you the truth, I’m glad it is.

I’m more than happy to leave 2018 behind. With fingers crossed, I am hoping that 2019 will be a much better year.

You see, later this month will mark the first death anniversary of a colleague I worked with for 20 years.

I remember the night before she had a stroke. I texted her because she had forgotten to write down the photographer she had assigned to my page. I was pretty miffed because no one in the office knew who it was. And she didn’t reply.

Of course, I finally found out who the photo belonged to, but it took several minutes. And to those who know me in the office, I don’t like wasting time. Especially when there’s a deadline to talk about. So I was in a foul mood the rest of the night.

The next day, after my daily jog at the oval in Abellana, I arrived in the office to be greeted by a forlorn-looking senior reporter in the parking lot. That should have raised the red flag because the reporter was usually very jolly.

I asked him if he was leaving already, gently chiding him for being so lucky to be heading home while I was just starting my shift.

He told me he was feeling bad because our colleague was in the hospital. That she was in a coma after suffering from a stroke that morning.

Mind you, this colleague was two or three years younger than I am. And she was the picture of perfect health. So the news came as a shock.

In November of 2017, she started posting old photos of friends and colleagues in the newsroom throughout the years. I don’t know why she did it. But I was glad. Some of them I had not seen for quite some time. I guess when you work with someone six times a week for several years, it’s hard not to miss them when they go. So it was nice to reminisce through the photos. To remember how things used to be.

I always wondered if she knew what was going to happen. After all, during our Christmas party in the newsroom that year, she didn’t go home early like she used to. She stayed behind and participated in the silly games and sang her signature Carpenter songs. She ate and she had fun.

A week before her stroke, she had been complaining of a bad headache.

I had noticed because she sat behind me. In fact, I had told her several times to take a nap. I thought she just lacked sleep.

Anyway, she’s gone now. In a way, I am glad we moved to a new newsroom. It’s harder to imagine her barking orders at reporters or pulling her short hair in frustration over our chief photographer because everything has changed.

Everything.


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