By this time last year, I was sitting beside his bed in ICU close to eight hours already. I told him everything I needed to say. Of course, he couldn't answer anymore. Didn't matter. Whatever I told him, he knew already. I just talked on and on while I caressed his left leg and hand. I wanted him to hear and feel me there beside him. I opened up YouTube and played videos we both enjoyed, while running commentaries on them. I scrolled through his FB and Twitter feeds hoping for chismis and scandals to tell him. I gotta tell you, guys, you were all so boring that evening. And I told him that. Everything was so normal. Then, some time after midnight, at 54 beats per minute, it stopped. yeah, so. I kissed him, and bid him good night. That was a year ago, but today, it still feels like it was just yesterday.
Leinil... words are not enough to express our gratitude. You being there, showing up every single time, thank you so, so much for everything, Nil.
Because I couldn't do it, I asked our good friend Jonas, to find me photos that I can post on FB for today to remember Gerry. I planned to do it myself, but as the date approached, I realized I haven't had enough strength do it. I'm glad, he came through. Of course, he did. Thanks, Jonas! This is cross-posted over there as well.
To you all who continue to remember him with fondness, my endless gratitude. He went to those last two conventions for all of you, and for himself. He wanted to see you and talk to you, despite the heaviness he felt. I told him repeatedly that he didn't have to do it, that if he wanted to, we would leave whenever. But he was resolute. He said, he wanted to go; that he needed to do it. Despite me playing devil's advocate, I'm glad he did. He actually had fun, especially during his panel at Komikon. You gave him so much love those days, and he felt that. He didn't say much in public, but you all made him happy. He knew how much he was loved. For that, thank you all so, so much!
Honestly, there was nothing in his mind more than local comics. For comic book creators, you were all always on his mind. There was nothing that excited him more than knowing there were new local titles to come out. To new creators, please know that had he still been around, he'd always have your backs. And to the supporters of local comic book industry, I hope you stay steadfast in your support because we truly need you.
Hani, I love you very much. Not a day goes by that I don't think of you. It's not the same without you around. I miss you, but I'll see you again someday.
-- Ilyn Florese-Alanguilan
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