10th March 2013, Sunday 4.30pm. Waited 30 minutes for my wife while she was judging for a singing competition.
Watched at least half a dozen performances, which were all pretty good. One of them stood out at the end of the day, as I recalled commenting at length about her as we drove off.
I remember this very young participant, (must have been in her early 20s) not for her extraordinary vocal ability, but the way she was dressed (White glove, pink outfit with tight purple singlet. Flat chess, no bra!) and the lack of self restraint in everything about her performance.
I later on understood why, as my wife clarified that she was actually a ‘he’.
No wonder he raised a few eyebrows and drew smirks on the audiences’ face during his audacious endeavor. I too, was indulging in the mockery at his expense on the way home.
Nonetheless, the guy got through to the next round.
Monday, my wife received a text message stating he’s been withdrawn from the contest, as he was killed the night before, in a car crash.
Shocked, saddened and dumbfounded by the news, I also felt trivial by my very own immature reaction to what was to be the man’s last performance.
I spend the next two days trying to make sense of the news. What would I have done if I had known? Applauded louder? Shared the gospel with him? Not judged?
Not that I had it figured out, there’s absolutely no sense with dying young, but here are some of the lessons I derived from it:
1/ Life could be taken away. Anytime! Treasure those you love and be kind- even to strangers. You may never get a chance to say thank you or you’re sorry.
2/ Embrace differences. Respect!
3/ Courage. The guy stood up for his belief, and pretended to be no one else but himself. He gave his very best as if it was his last performance, with conviction and absolute passion.
All, at the risk of being the laughing-stock. He didn’t care a bit!
This gentleman was probably the boldest, bravest man in the entire mall that day.
Why didn’t I see those quality when he was still alive?