The straw that will not break the back…

Many years ago, I was dragging myself home, my mind filled with dozens of worries. My ventures had failed and we were down to the last dollar…literally!

I bumped into a friend, an old classmate whom I had not seen since the 1960s. He was the Chinese boy with the scaly skin (Ichthyosis Vulgaris) whom most people in school shunned. It did not bother me and we became fast friends but lost touch after he moved (back then, no telephones or social media).

Heng greeted me with a wide smile and we even hugged. We were both in a rush and promised to keep in touch – but never did.

I still recall that fleeting encounter, his brimming smile and the joy in his eyes. Perhaps he was happy to see me but I think it was more to do with Heng – always a happy boy, now a happy man.

I could not fathom then but felt a great unburdening of my heart.

Years later, in a pensive moment, the thought occurred – an angel had touched me – in the form of my friend.



  1. Awesome and touching Eric! Yes there are always instances or incidents which have special impact on our life that changes our course!

    1. Thank you Soumya dear, for following the link here 🙂

      It is a long winding road with many potholes and forks. All of us can do with a direction or two – and all of us do point out for fellow travellers, a way or more.

      Peace and blessings,

  2. A beautiful and touching post Eric..
    Some people’s capacity for happiness against all odds is indeed inspiring! That they cross our paths at just the right moment is uncanny and augments our belief in angels 🙂

    1. Thank you my dear,

      Amazing huh? Heng appeared and that set a train of emotions, events and results. I never once saw him unhappy or down. I used to feel a little sad and even angry when some shunned him. That drew me closer to him – and I was the beneficiary 🙂

      Peace and blessings,

  3. this was heartfelt and moving. He turned out to be a happy man despite being ignored by many is indeed wonderful. Hope you saw him after that and rekindled your friendship. Thanks for sharing

    1. Thank you Padmini,

      No, I never did meet Heng after that day. He has dropped out of sight. Last December we had a 40 Year Class Reunion, he was not there – no one was able to contact him.

    1. Thank you dear.

      I try to live by what I learnt that day – share a smile whenever possible. But I must also confess that sometimes, I do forget 🙁

    1. Thank you for your contribution.

      I reckon that helping others is not neccessarily time or currency consuming – we can do it on the go, so to speak.

  4. Wow, It moved my heart in a profound way. very uplifting sir Eric! It made me think just now that you’re also an angel that inspires me ^_^

    1. Ah, Therese – you come bearing sweet words.
      We’re all angels at some time or another and for someone or another. All we have to do is to walk our path.
      You’ve probably touched others and yet do not know – the true helping without seeking reward, I reckon.
      All good wishes sprinkled in your path,
      Eric 🙂

  5. I like how you look at this encounter. You may be right – he might have been an angel meant to impact your life in a certain way at that time. Not all people that have influenced our lives are long-term friends…I think that’s okay 🙂

    1. Something is wrong with me – This is the second comment I missed in this post. My sincere apologies.

      You are very right of course, Janna, some encounters are not meant to be long term.

      Peace, Eric 🙂

    1. That is true Kathryn – if we will only pause and discern.

      Most people’s idea of help is “write me a cheque”

      God helps us in ways – most times it is through angels (usually people we know). But is a prophet always recognised in his own home…

  6. Yes, He does send His angels to take on human form when we need them most, dear Eric. Would love for you to find that old friend again, “just because”. Wonderful story here–and obviously that touch gave you strength to find your way out of the financial maze you were lost in at the time.

    1. I thought about tracking down Heng…but wonder…

      Recently, I met someone from the 1970s. He was one of my mentors. I always held him in the highest regards but was so disappointed that he had grown old, bitter with life and…(I better stop here). I felt sorry for him but also felt the great loss of my fond memories of him.

      I continue to wonder about going after angels – as I believe angels appear and disappear (literally and metaphorically)…

  7. So very touching…I felt the tears welling up as I read the last line…yes, I believe in angels too…and there is nothing like realizing you have been in the presence of one….although it is true, like you did say, it is usually after (sometimes long after) the encounter that this realization occurs….that is truly the way of it….thanks for sharing this with us, it touched my heart….
    goodwill to you

    1. Oh, Celeste, I hope those tears made you feel better and not down…

      You describe your experience(s) well. You are so right, as it is an uplifting experience. We are never alone, are we…

      All good wishes, Eric 🙂

      1. With that spirit Christy, no one or nothing can hold you down for long…

        Like a balloon filled with love and hope, life’s trials can hold you down only for so long and you’ll surely pop above the waves soon.

        Peace and luv my dear. Eric 🙂

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