The new way to go

“The moment I wake up, before I put on my make-up, I say a little prayer for you… oh yes I do… ”

************************************

Bye-bye dearest, dearest, dearest Ditas!!!

It was a passing like no other…

Ditas’ friends through the years [ as were her siblings’ ] were all there:  Elvira Araneta, Joe Assad, Bien Benitez, Bonjin Bolinao, Boom Buencamino, Louie Cruz, Didit & Aurora Diaz, Ricky Gallaga, Lory & Eddie Guidotti, Chiqui Mabanta, Tony Martino, Raymond Rebueno, and many, many more…

Famous violinist Coke Bolipata serenaded her one evening.

************************************

06 May 2012, Sunday, 4:30 p.m..

I was doing some work in the study when my dear, dear, dear friend Ditas Gomez uncharacteristically called at 4:30 p.m….  uncharacteristic because she wasn’t usually up before sundown…  After all, we usually chatted from 1:00 – 4:00 a.m….

“Hey, come and visit me ‘cuz I have to tell you something, something important…”  Ditas requested, casually.

“You can tell me now!”

“Hmm… it’s best said in friggin’ movin’ livin’ color… really… ”  she insisted.

“What?  C’mon, tell me now, Ditas!”

“I have cancer.”  she said plainly.

“Oh.  Cancer of the what?  Cancer of the bad hair day?  Cancer of the joints?  Cancer of the CDs?  Cancer of the cats?”  I asked, pretending to be casual about it.

“Cancer of the liver.  It came from the Hepa – C virus.  Y’ know:  sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll in those days [ the late 1960s ]…  I have three months to go…”  she stated plainly.  Stoically.

“Oh God, Ditas.  I hope you’re not in pain…”  I inquired, genuinely concerned, and shocked to the core.

“Not really.  Sometimes.”

“Well, there was this one time I came from the bathroom and I fell before I could reach my bed!  Hahahah!  And I couldn’t get up.  Wow…  That’s what I call getting old!  I was facedown for about an hour…  Wow…  Hahahah!  Finally my bones rearranged themselves, got together or something, and I was able to get up.  Ay, that was something else!  Hahahah!  Que va!”  she recalled, laughing.

“You must have needed a good smoke after that, huh?  Hahahah!”  I joked, knowing it was one of her fave things to do.

“You bet!  I just vegged the day out!”

“I’m taking this alternative medicine…  Reiji mushrooms…  they power up your immunity!!!”

“What was upsetting you all this time???  Cancer is nothing but stress…”

“It must have been all those bad vibes at Ramona…  I told you to get outta there a long time ago…  the bad “feng shui” was all over…  Of course, you finally did…  but looks like the damage has been done… ”  I conjectured.

“Well, ******* and all that… but so much more!!!”

“Does your family know?”  I asked earnestly.

“No.  I haven’t told them.  Well…  Naty and Patty… they’re in the States…”

“Maita?”

“No.  Because Maita is a blabbermouth.  One time I told her I had an infection and she told Baboo and Baboo told everybody.  I mean, I didn’t mind everybody knowing about it, but I did mind everybody being ‘concerned’ about it.  Just not mah style, ya know…  Hahahah!”

“Actually, I didn’t mind what Maita and Baboo did.  I just didn’t like the idea of everybody… ya know…  feeling sorry for me?  I mean, mah sickness is mah own f*ckin’ business!  Que va!”

“Tita Cecing?  She’s your mom, she has to know!”  I insisted.

“No!  Because knowing Mom, she’ll worry to death… and she’ll get cancer… and she’ll die!  No way!”  she protested.

“Ay naku, Ditas…  OK, whatever you want…”  the awful truth had begun to sink in.

“I want a parteeeee when I’m gone!”  Ditas requested.

“Well, a parteeeee you’re gonna get, Ditas!!!”  I rejoined.

“Visit me, ha?”  she reminded.

***After we hung up at 6:30 p.m., I had to sit quickly on a big chair to steady myself from the shocking news, if not, I would have fallen to the floor.  Dearest Ditas with cancer?  Three months to gooooo???  WTF???!!!  F*CK!!!!!!!!   :O   :O   :O

I so wept inside of me…

That time, I had not realized that it was the last time I would speak with dearest Ditas.  The last time — that was IT!!!   😦   😦   😦

************************************

************************************

Mercedes Tomasa “Ditas” Gonzalez-Favis Gomez.  Ditas was a “free spirit” from the pyschedelic Sixties…  Throughout her life she retained that magical youthfulness from that era which enabled her to fully understand and easily empathize with the youth of all the generations that came afterwards.  She had a unique, forgiving, fresh perspective, specially of artistic people, of which she was one.  Nothing new shocked her, everything new delighted her.  Eccentric was exciting, Radical was relevant, and Weird was wonderful.  Although a full, redblooded, vah-vah-voom woman who appreciated “real men” [ and that was said with a lot of sass and jazz  ;P ], she embraced her many LGBT friends with unconditional affection and endless understanding.  And they took her in sincerely as one of their own, to her genuine delight.

************************************

It was as Ditas wanted it exactly:  No more tears.  Just togetherness, smiles, jokes, laughter, singing, dancing, and remembering all the good times that were, somehow still are, and still could be.  And then joyfully going on to the next new thing.  It’s “the new way to go,” and I totally like it.  Absolutely!!!   😀   😀   😀

[ + Mercedes Tomasa “Ditas” Gonzalez-Favis Gomez, 22 September 1951 – 16 May 2012 ]

 
Advertisements