I am still floating. I really could not compose proper words because even upon writing, my heart, my mind, and my whole being were so consumed with the thought that papa can still fight against his disease.
He was a fighter. He was our pillar in the family and despite the years of thorough battle, indirectly as just two months back that he's been hospitalized, I knew he's been struggling to survive even to his last breathe.
It all started when...
So my sister and my mother have to rush him to the nearest hospital in the area where they could check on him thoroughly. We had our video call as they informed me about the situation. NEVER IN OUR ENTIRE SYSTEM that he has stage 4 cancer of the liver. As per the doctor's diagnosis, END STAGE! He's an occasional drinker but never got himself drunk not even a smoker. So how come the diagnosis was on the liver? There's some glitch surely.
I told myself, of course, it was a mistake, and so I was crossing my fingers and started close monitoring with them at home. At once I rebuke his illness because my FAITH told me God is our great healer. HE is our great doctor. Papa and I had our constant zoom meet up every day and we started talking about the good old days...
*He asked for forgiveness...
There was healing and reconciliation because being the eldest in the family, I have experienced the hardest part when papa and mama started their married life at an early age. There was also a point that papa told me he regretted having me. It was a constant battle emotionally, but with God's divine intervention, and I acknowledged those were just parts and parcel of life, I have forgiven him a LONG TIME ago.
After my graduation in the university when I have shown him that I can make it and he's the proudest father when we took a graduation photo together. That chapter of our father-daughter was closed with reconciliation and forgiveness hence I am more blessed having been married as he told me to prioritize my family and don't comprise my time with them by being so overwhelmed of earning money because at the end of the day, when we die, we won't bring all those things with us but what's left were memories and the time well spent with one another, It hit me to the core!
Whenever we prayed online, he's full of joy that he can talk freely and can express his emotion on how he felt about his illness. The rest of the family was having an online get-together. We were so engulfed of HOPE, our steadfast FAITH got stronger and continuously praying to God for papa's extension of life as we would still go home this year to see him physically. Sage as the only grandchild enthusiastically said, "Grandpapa Donis, Love you!" and papa's heart was full of happy memories.
Not until the fourth week of April....
Papa was in constant pain, excruciating pain that only he could understand. The way we looked at his deteriorating physical condition, we have doubled our closed monitoring and he's been in and out from the hospital.
At Reagan where he stayed for nearly 12 days because even the doctor's finding was a bit frustrating knowing that the reality could make his emotion gone so bad, instead of helping to cope up, his attending doctor told him he has 6 months to live, insisted on doing chemotherapy with 600,000php per session with which papa will undergo 7.
Indirectly her constant statement may not be the expenses but the thought of undergoing the procedure right away without an assurance that papa will make it. At once when my papa told me this, I understand they were just doing their job, however, my concern was that, could she or the three of them (papa had undergone ct scan and skipped the biopsy instead has to result in chemotherapy as per the statement of Dr. Chong, Dr. Sanchez, and Dr. Magallen) find a more fatherly approach not to let my papa down with his real condition?
Can they be at least human enough not to give my papa more emotional and depressing news that he is dying? For Christ's sake, I went ballistic (emotionally) they're not only draining the family emotionally but also financially but God is never outdone with generosity and provision. When papa said he wanted to be discharged, Dr. Magallen was a bit unpleasant when I told her online. I remembered how she had dismissed me saying that she wanted to have her lunch! We don't feel connected with her right there especially when the family decided not to undergo the chemotherapy because based on her statement it would be a throbbing procedure and papa vehemently said, he doesn't want to undergo more painful injections. He wanted to die peacefully and pain free.
With papa's request to be home and be with the family rather than in the hospital due to covid that visiting hours were also very limited, our way of communicating was online. I thank God he's been able to stay at least for nearly 15 minutes and afterward he had to calm himself and relax....
And then the Month of May came...
I am teary-eyed writing this trying to find the strength to articulate my thoughts with an intention that whoever will undergo painful death in the family especially when you are overseas and could not make it to be with them physically because of the pandemic remember that God is our refuge and HIS perfect time we would be with them in Heaven. A painful recollection that papa did NOT make it until this year.
He started not to take any food not even medication. He's acting like my baby as per my mama and my sister's statement whenever they would feed him.
He would close if not covered his mouth nodding he doesn't want to eat nor to take medicine any longer. He's tired and in so much pain. Despite the supplements given to him and my sister who has been attending my father since the very first day of his hospitalization told me, papa was getting weak every day.
I knew in my heart that our lives are fleeting. We will never know our TIME either and I told my father that God's miracle is working on him daily despite the fact that he was not bedridden. He managed to go to the toilet with an aide of my mama if not with my sis and bro. There was a night I stayed with him almost 4 am in the Philippines and by merely seeing him online I am at peace and continuously pray papa will make it until we will see him this year as promised.
June 2, 2021 at around
9:30 am Seychelles time...
9:30 am Seychelles time...
I was having my class and right after the bell rang, I was having anxiety I could not understand. I even got an overseas call which was so weird. The urgency of the missed calls...from my sister and my brother, leaving me a message...
"ate si papa bah!"
my heart was pounding so hard. I went cold!
The most difficult part was seeing my family online crying and my sis almost passed out, had to be attended at once, since she's been papa's constant nurse from day one of his journey. I could not understand my emotion as I was in the car, holding my phone while hubby's driving me home. I can't work that day after the news.
I told my papa...
"I am HERE papa. I LOVE YOU."
I can't let him go just like that. Only when I took the courage with God's grace to bid goodbye, to be at peace likewise gave him an assurance I would take care of my siblings and mama. We will continue this race of life making each moment with the family even if it's just online.
*He passed away with a smile on his face at peace going home to his eternal place!
papa 's few hours before his last breathe asked my sister, who will pick the three of us (myself, my baby and my hubby) from the airport with which our departure scenarios were always full of HOPE and Happy memories as seen on our photos back in 2015.
Likewise we're blessed to have had the chance to spend our Christmas holiday with them last 2019 wherein he said that we will see them again two years thereafter which would be this year.!
against your disease!
This has been posted here
images edited via Incollage with Father's Day theme "Forgive" animation via Canva