Whenever I get to fill up a blog meme with a question: “What is your greatest fear?”, I would always answer: “The big C or death of a loved one.”
I haven’t had to deal with death of anyone super close to me. The closest probably were my grandfather and my FIL. Both, I didn’t get to spend much time with to invest much emotion. I was sad but I did not have to deal with so much grief. So I am at the point of my life where I do not want to entertain thoughts of life-threatening illness nor thoughts on grief. My life is perfectly charmed and A-ok! To simply put, my bestfriend would say: “I am so sheltered and live the conventional type of life that I am not used to the realities of life.” I did not have big heartaches nor did I ever had to deal with huge problems. The Lord was on my side ALL THE TIME, like how I would put it. I am naive and would always look at the world like a child. Yes, I am what I am at age 35.
Last Friday, I had to face the worst news of my life, my dad is battling lung cancer, confirmed, no denying, it clearly states in his medical diagnosis after a week of biopsy: ADENOCARCINOMA! Isn’t the medical world such an insensitive field to clearly dictate where your life is heading? Although the stage has yet to be confirmed and that there are signs that he is on a very early stage, all I can tell myself is: Cancer is Cancer, no matter the stage. Worst, he is battling THE Lung cancer…
I do not want to elaborate on the day’s/week’s details prior to this confirmation anymore because it is just so hard to write them down. One thing is certain, up to the last minute I don’t have any doubts in my heart that the biopsy report will come out negative. I prayed for it, I even fasted on it and I know that God will grant my prayers because my faith is strong and I did not doubt Him.
But then, the result came out Positive!
Is this God’s way of telling me that years and years of faith strengthening made me stronger and now, I am ready to face these kinds of issues that will test my faith even more?
Bottom line, I spent the rest of my Friday crying, bawling and talking to God. It felt like my whole word shattered. I know I sound so pessimistic, it’s as if my dad is already dying when actually he is a very healthy 76-yr old man! But I knew that our time with him is limited and counted, not to mention that I live so many miles away from him. Given my circumstances, I cannot go home anytime I want, everything needs to be planned out. This is the main reason why I cried so much, the distance. The fact that all of his 3 children lived overseas, I feel so helpless.
Only my brother from Melbourne was courageous enough to talk to him on the phone right after he and my mom got the biopsy results. Given the fact that this brother holds the highest executive position, career-wise, he has undergone several stress management trainings that according to my mom he remained calm. As for me, I just needed to release all of my tears that day. On the other hand, I know my eldest brother in California is dealing with his own emotions, he seemed to be the most weak despite his strong front among all of us. I am certain that I needed my little boy to be there when I video-chat with my dad. How Ironic it is to seek strength from an 8-yr old boy?
My eldest brother ended up joining me and my dad with MLS and TGL on the background in our video-chat. My dad’s choice of app, Google Hangout. Yes, he is techy like that. My brother remained quiet, just like a very ardent spectator.
I was amazed by the strength in my dad’s voice and the peace of mind he has in his heart as he face this illness. He said that God has already given him 6 years of bonus life because according to him, to be able to reach 70 is already a gift. I know he has a point and even TGL would tell me that my dad is old and it is quite expected that his time is limited. But I do not want him to die because of this, I want him to die because of old age, perhaps even reaching 100 years old.
We ended our video chat on such a positive happy note and I came by with my night and weekend very fine. But each time, I am about to sleep, I think of this, I think of the sadness that I would feel when his time will come, the void I would feel when he is gone. But then I have to snap back to reality and think that this isn’t the way my dad wants me to be, he wants me to be strong, to be happy for him. So today, I start this daily devotion as I battle the negative thoughts I have with this turning point in our family. I will keep praying and hoping that God will grant more Time for my dad.