Have you ever got to the point that you thought you were helpless and had no power at all about something?

I'm feeling that at the moment.

A friend, a family, a brother is very, very sick somewhere else but here in this world. He is alone with no friends and family around. Literally. He's all but positivity. He wants to go back here but he can't. He wishes he could turn back the time and fix things right, but it's impossible. No matter how many times I told him in multiple emails that he was not alone, that I was always here whenever he needed me, he couldn't stop thinking negative - as most of sick people do - and stayed thinking that nothing could be done anymore to make things better.

I'm not there to hug him. I'm not there physically to lift up his spirit and to encourage him that nothing is impossible. I'm not there in real to tell him that if he can't cheat death, he can still be friends with it and negotiate the length of time he can spend more in this world.

Friends, if you ever encounter this kind of thing in your life, don't stop trying. Every little thing you do matters. May be not for us, but for others who need it more.

It was his birthday a few days ago. He wrote me an email that he was so truly sad that he was sick and alone on that day. And it hurt me as I read it because it was not true. Because he's still got me.

So even though I am normally overtired when I have both work and French class in a day, at that time I was psyched. As soon as I got home, I took out my cake recipe book, prepared the ingredients for his favourite chocolate cake, and baked it.

I also made a small flag from a scrap paper and cotton bud stick and wrote on the paper "Happy Birthday, Brother."

Being satisfied with the cake and the flag, I took pictures of it in various angles, sent them to him that very night and put a little note in the email:

You're lucky this time you're wrong. You're not alone.

Being so weak even to check emails, he just sent me a reply last night saying that he couldn't stop crying even at the time he was writing the electronic mail. He was touched and happy and no longer felt that he was alone and pathetic and sick and sinful. I can't count how many phrases of terima kasih (thank you) that he wrote but I know that he knows now that he is not alone. That I'm here to help bear his pain, even for the smallest amount.

I may not be a super doctor that can cure him. I may not be rich enough to fly to him and reach him in my embrace. But I'm a friend to him as he is to me.

Baking a chocolate cake may not be a bombastic gesture. But it is more than enough gesture to get your message across to your loved one that he is loved.
Michelle Udem, an intern reporter from the Jakarta Globe - an English-language newspaper in Jakarta - emailed me last week asking if I would want to be interviewed for her article on Blogging in English. I thought it was cute and sure, why not?

I promised to send a photo of me blogging but last weekend was so hectic with parties so I never got around to getting a self-photo of me. But anyway, the article is up today. Though I was not exactly quoted in the main article, I was listed there as one of the few Indonesian people who blog in English.

Let's see if it can generate more traffic. But oh my god, can I handle more fame at this point of time???

I think I can. LOL.
I've attended 3 classes of French course at Alliance Francais Denpasar and I was already bragging to Vincent's friends, Pascal and Briggite, that I speak a little French.

Here is their reply:

Félicitations, congratulations !!!! Super !!!
Moi de mon cote j ai arrête les cours d Anglais le prof n était pas top... Pas plus tard que hier( mercredi) nous avons encore parlé de vous car Samedi le 20:06:09 nous allons fête le 1st year de retour de Bali
Nous allons vous envoyer des photos du groupe
J espère que tout se passe bien chez vous, nous avons de temps en temps des nouvelles de Nicole et Andy les autres "Balinais" j espère que vous aussi vous avez des contacts
Vincent t as pas trop la nostalgie du pays .... lol chez nous c est triste on a de nouveau un été pourri un jour il fait chaud à étouffer et l autre jour on a 10° de moins enfin ...
Gros bisous à vous et une prochaine que ce soit à Bali ou en France
Pascal et Brigitte

Obviously that was way out of my range of my very limited French. So I opened this page on yahoo babelfish to translate the email. This is the result.

Cuckoo Congratulations, congratulations!!!! Super!!! Me of my dimension J have stops the courses D English teacher N was not signal… Not later that yesterday (Wednesday) we still spoke about you because Saturday the 20:06: 09 we go festival the 1st year of return of Bali We will send photographs of the group to you J hopes that all occurs well on your premise, we from time to time have news of Nicole and Andy the others " Balinais" J hopes that you also you have contacts Vincent T ace not too the nostalgia of the country…. lol on our premises C is sad one again has a summer rotted one day it makes hot choke and L different day one has 10° of less finally… Large kisses with you and next that it is in Bali or in France Pascal and Brigitte

Still lost in translation.

Anyone knows a better translation engine?
Even at the time I'm writing this piece, I still can't believe it happened. Not to someone with such a life force like you. Not when you already made great plans ahead. Not when it was so fast, unexpected and seemingly unfair.

But you left us anyway. I'm running out of tears but even so it's still coming out every now and then. Out of my disbelief.

We might not have had our plans come true. But we had the greatest moments together.
We might not be able to see you now. But we saw you in your best shape.
And we will never forget that.

We love you, Ricardo.

Carla and Vincent.
Life is so short.

After my friend Pierre Flaneur died at the age of 30 last year of a heart failure, I am not convinced that age determines our lifeline.

The fact that my good friend Ricardo Evers had a shocking bike accident 2-3 weeks ago and has depended his life on hospital machines ever since does not give me more confidence either.

As if it wasn't enough, someone whom I consider like my own brother just told me that he was dying. AIDS. He is now 33.

I'm feeling like crying. I'm feeling like laughing.

This is all like a joke.

A very, very bad joke.
I know a few of very strong people who got down on their knees and cried after they watched this video. It's very inspirational especially to those who experienced or did not experience this kind of love from their father. And I hope there are fathers out there who can see this video and be moved to do more for their children.