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Friday, March 23, 2007

Caring For My Mother...

A few weeks ago, I travelled to the Philippines with my youngest daughter (10) to visit my mother who is ill. She was diagnosed with "C". It was so nerve racking since I reside in the U.S.A. and none of my brother and sisters are here with me. Everything was just a mist. I'm always thinking how she is, relying on text messages and some phone calls, are they telling me the truth so that as to not hurt me or make me panic.

I finally decided to go back home for 3 weeks and see for myself and be with her. My daughter came with me (10) since my mother asked for her. We arrived in the Philippines close to midnight so this was not a good time to go to the hospital since she would be asleep. We would go the next day. We got to the house of my sister and there was a delicious meal awaiting us. It was a pasta dish from a restaurant called Italiani's, and it was awesome.After the meal, we slept 'cause we were so exhausted from the 14 hour flight.

The next morning the maids served us breakfast and asked what we wanted. Then we told them what we wnated, breakfast was served and it was so good to feel spoiled again. Having them set the table, making sure your drinking glass is always full either with water, juice, milk, etc. and your clothes washed, ironed, hanged and folded. Aa driver to take you around, or just relax in the Lanai staring at the colorful garden and feel the tropical wind glide through your entire body. We ate Mangoes, (considered the sweetest in the world) and my daughter and I had a blast savoring every bite. After breakfast we showered and proceeded to my other sisters house and looked on her new renovation. After that, we proceeded to the hospital. I was nervous, thinking of what to say, how would I react when I see her, so the traffic was a lot of help preparing myself. Things have changed since I was home 4 years ago. Even the hospital my mom was looked like a 5 star hotel.
We finally arrived at the hospital and my heart started to beat faster. My mom was on the 15th Floor where the suites are located. Got to the 15th floor and started walking towards her room. My vision was like those movies where all you see is misty vision on the corners of your eyes and the center of your sight is so sharp. Then we get to the door and my sister opens it. My mom bed is the first thing I see since I couldn't see her 'cause of the wall. I moved closer and there she was, lost weight, looked tired, and my heart just crumbled, went to her directly bent over and hugged her tight and cried and told her I Love her so much. I just continued to hug her, missing a mothers smell and warm hug, I felt like an infant in her arms. Then I let go and my daughter came to hug her too. She knitted a green scarf for her since green is my mothers favorite color. Then we sat and talked, asked how everything was. I kept looking at my mom and thinking how a radiant woman, vein woman of before suddenly being struck by the worst sickness, transform her into what I saw. She's still gorgeous tho even with her weight loss.

5 days after, we left the hospital, nurses saying their goodbyes with glassy eyes and all and my mother thanking each one who attended to her. She being kinda weak due to the medications and all with the heat of 90 deg. just penetrated our skins upon embarking to our cold vehicles just dehydrating us. We got to my parents home and all she wanted to do was rest in her room, which we made her do.

The next day, I woke up at about 5:00am, got out of my room and saw the maids cleaning the inside of the house, the driver washing the cars for another day and my mothers cook asked if I wanted anything for breakfast and I said just coffee. A few minutes sipping my coffee, my father steps out of the room, gave him a big hug and talked with him. In his eyes he is hurting since my mother is his life. But he kept himself poised at all times as if nothing serious is happening. After we talked about what's been happening in my life, their lives, he stands and takes a shower to gets ready to go to his clinic. Then, I decided to walk into my parents room to check on my mom and there I saw her weak, face all sagging as if she was so dehydrated. Her mid wife started to measure her stomach which is done 1st thing in the morning when she wakes up and starts to prepare her breakfast. Chemotherapy makes food taste like metal, that's why they don't feel like eating. I sat down beside her and started to pray with her and the mid wife on healing verses of the Lord. After the prayer I hugged her and kissed her and told mom, lets go outside in the living room, there's a strong breeze and she'd feel much better. With my continues persistence she agreed, so I helped her up and aided her out of her room to a chair by the entrance of the house (which I prepared) long before I asked her and there she sat. The strong breeze gushing through our hair felt really good and refreshing. When my dad walked out after preparing himself, was so surprised to see my mom out of her bed, looking so fresh. T'was a sight I cannot explain. All I can say, it was "Radiance of Happiness".

For 2 weeks I never left my mothers side, helping my sisters entertain friends who'd visit her, whom themselves were survivors of the disease giving words of wisdom and motivation of their own experiences and you know what? They had the same symptoms. This continued everyday, an SOP you may call it. Prayed in the morning and in the afternoon before friends and family arrived.

A week before I was due to go back to the States, one of my sisters told me to go out, go to a flea market and buy bargain clothes for my family. A brother gave me a dinner at his home with some cousins, and the next day my sister gave me a dinner with all my cousins she could get a hold on. I was a blast. It was nice to see my side of the family after 4 years. That evening I had another party for me given this time by my group mates or you may say childhood friends. I got to the party almost midnight and when I saw them, it was like going back through time. Everyone had their own families, conversations were more rational not like the good ole days we're we'd talk about girls, gimmicks and all. it as so memorable and tears came running out of my eyes.

The day came. when I was about to leave for the States with my daughter. I had to be in the airport at 3am for my connecting flights to Japan then to the States. I couldn't sleep anymore that evening, my sisters helping me pack my suitcase, the giveaways and all. While they were sleeping on the couches, some in the bedroom, i was just sitting in the Lanai, thinking of my younger years. I had a wonderful life and up to present. They gave me the eduction, my mom had the patience, and "she is the rock of the family" besides the true rock "GOD". She made sure everybody was together during weekends, we'd go to a lot of plays together, eat out since we're all heavy eaters, we'd go to plush restaurants with my parents and to the narrowest hole in the wall restaurants but serves awesome dishes. I kept walking in the garden thinking , what a hard work it is for a mother to take care of her family. The sacrifices a mother does for her children and seeing her kinda helpless tears my heart apart.

The time came to say goodbyes and I went to her bed and hugged her so much and kissed her and told her I LOVE YOU MOM and thank you so much. I didn't let her go. I sniffed at her smell, and continued to kiss her and utter words of Love. Then I hugged my father and told him I love him so much and just kept hugging him like a kid scared to let go. My daughter hugged them both as well mother as usual giving words of morals and my father saying he will miss her. We walked to the van, suitcases were already loaded by the driver and off we went. My head turning not leaving the house's site and my father by the doorway.

I arrived at the airport a few minutes after 3am and it was already packed. We alit from the van and the porters loaded our suitcases and then hugs came from everywhere, my sisters and my niece and my brother in law. We just told each other we love each other, not letting go, told them to take care of mom, hug Mom everyday for em and Pop as well. The we walked towards the entrance of the airport and glanced at my family behind me a waved goodbye and a word of I Love You!!! and never looked back again.

It's really hard in ones person life once a tragic illness hits the family. It's like the world stops. Your in total denial that such is happening, Asking yourself why is this happening and other sorts of questions. But you know, when we were cruising, a voice whispered in my ear and said, "I Shall Heal Her". Right there I felt a presence, a comforting presence, and I believe she will be healed. She will be a testimony to others who have seen her that God has healed her. I felt very relaxed the whole trip after that.

So to end this, I would like to tell my mom and my dad,

" Thank You, for Being the Best Parents a Kid Could Ever Have! "