For those of you who have time to review our website's feature on Munting Handog, please check out the photographs of a pretty, young, lass called Anabel. It would be easy to spot her - wheelchair-bound, an empty space where her left leg ought to be. There wasn't anything empty in her smiles though, hers were heartfelt and full of life.

I have favorites, I can't help it. When the Special Projects Committee visited the Child House last March, I spotted this young lady and immediately she homed into my "favorite" zone. Was it because she was so sick yet so pretty? Or it could simply be her smile, radiant and sincere. Obviously she not only won my favor but also the lens of our photographer and the attention of our fly-less superhero, judging by the amount of coverage she got. I mused, surely even in the land of the infirmed, life plays out more favorably on its favorites.

After a short tour of the place and the initial round of introductions, I sat beside her, this Anabel, and got to know more about how she was taking it all. About why the genuineness in her smile. She supplied me with vital info regarding her sickness; bone cancer at age 16, lost her leg sometime last year, finished her chemo treatment, when again they found growth mass on her back. She matter of fact added she is due for more chemo blasts very soon. Punctuated again by that smile. I ventured rather boldly - "nakakatuwa ka, mukhang handa ka." And then she mentioned Jesus. "Handa ho ako kahit anong mangyari, binigay ko na lahat ng karamdaman ko sa Kanya." That was all I was waiting and hoping for.

When I was texting our batchmates calling for participants, one fellow expressed eager interest to join when he learned of the nature of the visit. At that time I was a bit discouraged, chiding, questioning myself as to why my involvement. Are we to help or are we just filling in the hours? In our exchanges I said, "If to touch one soul, lets!" Going to that place where many are terminally ill, we unexpectedly sensed hope. I was safely anchored but I was struggling with my personal walk then, yet no matter our feelings we are enjoined to testify of the hope we have in Christ. Wanting to do so, I found myself seated beside a terminally ill girl who testified of Him instead. And that was why I was able to share quite passionately of that hope when we, one by one, took turns addressing the crowd. I took off from that short, profound conversation I had with Anabel.

Death is no respecter of person. She is that blindfolded lady who sees no favorites and hears no anxious pleas. However death has lost its sting for those who placed their trust in Christ. Hence she could smile so winsomely because she was defying death. No piteous not yet. Yesterday I contacted Child House for an interview for a fundraiser Chito and Jojo are planning. After identifying myself, Daydee, Asst. Project Coordinator, texted - ay mam, yes po. I remember u, dnt hav landlyn now. Mam, di ba gusto mo po nga si anabel? She died last july 5, libing on Sunday po. A moment froze, then I quickly recovered. There is no sad story here, it is of relief from pain and victory! He/She who has the Son has eternal life; no equivocation.

On the aside, based on Daydee's text and from Anabel herself on my succeeding visit when I saw her again, she knew I liked her that one tiny moment in her short life. I played favorites on those visits, and I am glad I did it. There is no coincidence with the Lord, those were appointed moments. That is why I am belaboring this little story.because life is seldom lived in grand scale, often it is found in those singularly significant moments. Spent unwisely for no purpose, how we fritter away those moments, how they trickle in our hands never to be retrieved. Spent in His humble purpose they take on eternal significance. Remember Anabel.