Monday, December 08, 2008

when the days were numbered, and Angel took my dad as how God has planned it..

It has been a month.

And I guess it’s time.

It’s time to tell you how it was before my dad took his last breath.

10 days before my dad passed away, on the 31st of October, I went home to spend more time with dad. Thanks to my sister, Imelda, who was kind enough to pay for the flight ticket which cost her a bomb for me and Kane.

I saw dad. On the bed, looking at me and Kane as we arrived. There was a smile on his face. A happy smile. that we have arrived at last. He was waiting for us and has been asking about our arrival even few days before we fly back. Dad as always, was very impatient. “When are they reaching? What time will they be here? Where are they now?”. Cant blame dad. He was missing his daughters.

Looking at him, I know he’s not well. “Fellie, give me the bucket.” I took it, and he vomited. The next day, he kept holding his bucket. I hold his stomach, it felt like there’s a lump. Everytime he hiccups, there will be a ‘blook’ sound in his stomach. That sound gave me a goose bump.
The next day, dad’s condition aggravated. He couldn’t eat, he vomited a lot. Everybody was tearing, failed to hold back their tears to see dad suffered that way.

That night, he told me. “It will be better to end this now.” I cried. I told him, “Please don’t say that, we still need you here.”

On Sunday morning after mass, we brought him back to KK. Sister Lidwina took control of everything. Morphine was supplied daily by the palliative care center of HQE. My sister cleared his stomach by inserting a tube into his stomach through his nose.

Dad was in pain, “Please take it away, Lidwina. It’s too painful. I can’t take it.”

His vomit was dark liquids. A lot. Really a lot.

“Please hold it, dad. Please, just a bit more. You feel better after this. Please hold it.”

It was very emotional. Rosie went away unable to witness the painful moments. I was crying like a baby looking at the drainage bag where all the dark liquids from his stomach was sucked through the tube. The bucket was half full with the dark liquids. The drainage bag was 1 litre full.
After the procedure was done, dad felt better.

“Are you flying back to KL today?”

“I have to.”

So I flew back to KL that night with a heavy sigh.

The next day, Kane contacted me. They’ve been trying to contact me for many hours but I was unreachable. Kane’s message on facebook was, “Lai, call us asap.”

I called them.

“I think you better come back.”

I was more worried of my work that time. “Why, what’s wrong with dad.”

“It’s very hard to explain. Everyone said you better come back.”

Knowing my family, I asked “Tell me the truth if I really really have to come back. You know I have a lot of work to finish. I am about to finish here. Tell me, that dad is still okay. If you say he’s not okay, then I will come back.”

Almost lost of words, Kane said, “I don’t know what to say. Yesterday, they were already discussing about what’s gonna happen next and they even made preparations. That’s all I can say.”

That means, dad doesn’t have much time.

“Okay, get me the ticket.”
“Good. You have less than 4 hours before your flight.”
“TONIGHT??” I just came back from KK last night. It’s 5.30pm and I am flying at 9pm?? But in the end, I said, “ok, see you tonight.”

Within 24 hours, I was in KK, then in KL, then back in KK. It was tiring.

Dad was okay on Tuesday. So was Wednesday. Thursday morning, it was my turn to bath him. After I gave him his bath, his body became warm and warmer. He slept the whole day until the next day, only woke up few minutes to pee and drink. We monitored his body temp, his blood pressure and his heart beat. It was irregular. Dad started to look for people. Time was almost up. We had a false alarm on Thursday night, dad was still able to give his last advice to us before he could no longer talk.

Saturday, dad could hardly talk. He could hardly open his eyes. His face was different. His mouth was changing. Saturday night, he lost his strength. He couldn’t move his hands to his head. We had to carry his hand so he will be able to scratch his nose or his head. He couldn’t even use his energy on his hand to pee. We had to help him. Dad’s body was deteriorating. And the changes was rapid, it was like a fast warning. We prepared everyone, get them to talk to dad. Everyone of us, including his grandchildren.

Saturday night was the last night I was awake to take care of dad. Kane woke me up at 2.30am. It was my turn to watch over dad until the sun rises. Immediately, I sat beside dad. Looking at dad, I could no longer hold my sadness. I took dad’s hand, and so I prayed.

“God, my dad has suffered a lot. He has been a good son to You. Have mercy on him, oh Lord. If he is not going to be healed, then, take him oh Lord. End his sufferings.”

T came and sat beside me. He took dad’s hand. Hold me with his other hand. He told, “I’m so sorry.”

He was tearing as I was tearing.

That early morning, we left house at 6.30am to go for Sunday mass at the Carmelite church. I gave my prayer/mass request to the priest, not knowing what’s going to happen that evening. As we came back home, sister told us that dad has a bad soar on his backside. The skin is waiting to burst.

Sunday evening as the sun is setting, dad’s heart was getting weaker. Sister was aware of dad’s situation. We keep track of dad’s pulse, BP and his body temp for every 30mins.

Sunday 7pm, we know that dad is leaving. Everyone knows it. Everyone was crying out loud. Everyone was on dad’s bed.

7.30pm, each of us was asked to give our last word to dad and say our goodbyes. When it was my turn, I put my hands on dad's chest. I can hardly feel his heart beat. "Oh, my! his heart is stopping!!"

7.45pm, dad took his last breath. In few minutes, his whole body turned white and icy cold.

We knew, at that very moment, Angel came and took dad away from us.

Dad was never alone. Everyone slept around his bed. EVERYONE.

Dad, when he can still open his eyes

We had our small care center for dad at home

His cancer has complicated his condition, and it was his heart that took him away,
for years dad fought for his heart problem, and within months after he was diagnosed for stomach cancer (stage 4), dad's body was deteriorating fast enough that we couldn't believe the drastic changes...

and dad left us all on 9th November at 7.45pm

Dad, we will always miss you.

and now, it's your time to watch over us from heaven..

We love you, Dad....

Friday, December 05, 2008

Bouncing back from the lowliness..

At last I managed to shut off all the depressing thoughts in my head, not entirely but it’s bearable now. I am getting on fine. Thanks Pearl. Thanks Lyd. Thanks everyone. Especially to T, thank you so much for helping me go through this tough time.

You know it’s funny when you meet someone who doesn’t know much about you, and in your head you’re saying, “He/She doesn’t know I have a dark secret.” Stupidly, I smiled to myself. Hmm, weird. But yea, I’ve been weird for the past few weeks. Everything that was happening around me was also weird. It has been weird.

A week ago, I decided to stay KL for Xmas (which in the end i decided to go back to the original plan). I just don’t want another series of sadness at home. I don’t want another fear to go through at home. I don’t want to be shouted by someone who is not even your blood. I don’t want to hear any more selfish advice. I don't want to smell any more beer from his mouth, talking immoderately with saliva flying over to my face as though i have committed myself to severe crimes.

It’s time to have my peace back.

It’s time to live every moment with smiles.

It’s time to go wild, have fun and be responsible at the same time.

It’s time to laugh out loud.

It’s time to be happy.

It’s time to cry about happy things.

It’s time to work hard.

The finishing line is just a few steps away. Wish me luck, my friend.

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