Sunday, December 18, 2005

At the wake with Susan

Last wednesday late afternoon, Susan called me to ask for some prayer books since her dad seems in a very bad state and she just wanted to pray beside him.

I told her what he needs are the sacraments so I will try to call Fr Bernie, the parish priest of Don Bosco. I called the church but they said he left to say mass at greenbelt. I called greenbelt but they said he has not arrived. I left a message to call me and mentioned the reason. I hurriedly showered, dressed and rushed for makati. There was some traffic at pasong tamo so I called greenbelt to ask if the mass was done and if I can speak with fr bernie. They said he has left since someone fetched him. I asked if my message was given but the one who answered didnt know.

I then asked my driver to make a turn for don bosco. I rushed inside and looked for fr bernie. The street children manning the food booth said he just arrived and was inside.

Someone called him to go down. I told father what happened and if I can bring him to the hospital to give susan's dad some sacraments if possible confession too. He said he will just need to introduce Fr. Anton who will be speaking at the ongoing recollection then he can go.

I then decided to fetch susan first at new world so we can be fast once father finishes.

We went straight to the ICU room which really looks big with an adjoining glass portion for the family, a far cry from mom's ICU room at that god forsaken medical center pque where I just sat on the footstool the whole time holding mom's hand while she was gasping for life.

Father gave him the sacrament of the sick. Susan said he seemed to whisper something which I didnt notice. He blessed him and laid his hands on many parts of his body. Later susan's dad's face seemed to have changed color for the better and he seemed to be at peace.

Father said once the ventilator could be taken out he will come back to give him confession. Susan told me last night that when we left, her dad seemed to be at peace and more comfortable and he even slept on his side folding his hands. She thought all will be better now.

Unfortunately the following morning he again turned for the worse and the next morning I get an early call from Susan that he passed away. She said that he must have surrendered now to the Lord unlike in the past when he tried to hold on to dear life.

I was not able to go to the wake at the Sanctuario de San Antonio in Forbes Park on that first evening of friday but sent the first crown of flowers. Last night I looked for that crown and we had a photo taken beside it.

As susan and I were near her dad's coffin praying for him, we later realized that both our dad's passed away the same year, the same age, and started to go downhill in 1999.

What's with this year, 1999? I told susan that's when my dad was first rushed to the ICU at Lisbon, Portugal and I had to fly there to take care of him. That's when I moved to the main office of my employer and all my gigantic career headaches started. This was also the year susan had her major operation which rendered her invalid for a while and the source of her daily pain spells. She was no longer able to practice medecine since then but realized later that she was lucky in business.

We both reminisced yet remained hopeful that perhaps all these has a greater reason. We know our dad's are looking over us and that this wellness business we are concocting for years will succeed. Amen!

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