The Best Offer of My Life

Picture-Quotes-about-opportunity-11I was more intent on my future and getting my transcripts from Abel Bravo to then connect with the people at the Ministry of Education building in Panama City with those documents. The Ministry, in fact, was in my neighborhood Calidonia. Once I was finished there, I would head back to Bocas Town and there await notification of my appointment to teach.

Before leaving Bocas I had suggested that they, Pug, the baby and my sister and her little boy, all go to the funeral and leave me with the apartment as a way of showing solidarity with Pug and also to allow me to wait out my teaching job. Pug, however, would not have it. “Juni,” she insisted, “ here is some money, you go see a tailor and have them make some pants for you to go to the funeral with us!”

Finally, it was decided that since my sister Aminta was employed as night waitress at the only Chinese Restaurant in town, she would stay behind in Bocas and watch our apartment until we were able to make it back from Colon City. The job, in fact, afforded Aminta an opportunity to meet important people who, invariably, would go there to dine. She already knew friends who were willing to take care of her baby boy Carlito while she worked. And so, I assumed that she would also take care of paying the rent while she had a place to live and until we got back.

The day arrived that we left Bocas to take the boat to Colon and I honestly regretted even leaving Bocas Town as it was there that I had been given the best offer of my life; an offer that I could never refuse as I had always dreamed of being a teacher. The one night trip back to the Colon Pier had been uneventful for me. I awoke the next morning feeling well, unlike the first time I took that boat into the Province of Bocas.

We finally arrived in Colon early the next morning together with our baby boy for Miss Levy’s funeral. I had named him Rigoberto to go with my conflicting emotions of being a father. The building on Eleventh Street was as familiar to me as it was to Pug, who had grown up there. The folks there, in fact, welcomed us as a couple now accustomed to one another´s company.

But, my thoughts were elsewhere- back to a very regrettable funeral when I accompanied my school friends as members of the choir at Abel Bravo School to sing in the state funeral of Presidente José Antonio Remón Cantera. That experience would move me sadly all my young life as I had not dealt with nor was able to process those events of our days as tragic as they had been. After seeing our President lying in state there in La Merced Church, the memories would haunt me throughout my life more, I feel, than any other Panamanian youth. After viewing the body of such an important person as the President of our country and thinking how he was murdered in cold blood, gunned down with a machine gun like a common delinquent, I was through with attending funerals.

This story continues.

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