The past few weeks (even months) had been very challenging for my family and me. I have been taking care of my 82-year old father who has become very moody because of his age and illness. Last Wednesday, my brothers finally brought him to the hospital, where he had a surgery performed on him to remove both the air and water that weren’t supposed to be in specific areas of his lungs. Yesterday was my first time to visit him, since I do not have a household help and I still have two very young daughters to take care of (as well as pets and plants).
I was having lunch at the outdoor cafeteria of the hospital (Philippine Lung Center), at the same time tallying the hospital expenses based on the receipts we have, when I received an overseas call from my husband in Singapore. Apparently, he had already been to a clinic because of severe stomach pain, but was sent to a hospital since the clinic could not handle his case. He was at the ER of Changi General Hospital, and he went there by himself.
Hearing the pain and anguish in his voice was all it took for me to start crying, kneel down, and pray. And I didn’t care if people were staring at me. At that moment, it was just me and my LORD. I was reminding Him of His promise that I, weary and carrying heavy burdens, could come to Him and He would give me rest (Matthew 11:28) and that He would “take revenge and pay back” (Romans 12:19) those vexatious neighbors of ours who had been harassing us day and night.
What happened next was amazing. The sun suddenly shone brightly as I finished praying and went back to my seat and continued to cry (and tried to eat again). And then it drizzled and I felt refreshed. I knew God was communicating with me then, letting me know He was acknowledging my prayers, and He will never back away from His Word. At the same time, I have stopped asking Him WHY. I was reminded that it’s not about me. Although I am supposed to learn from the problems that come my way, at times it’s really the people who would be impacted along the way who are supposed to learn from them the most and I am just a channel of God’s blessings.
As the day progressed, I started feeling more optimistic. My father’s disposition has improved, he has become more like himself as I talked to him. He started to eat and became makulit. He even reprimanded me (and my siblings) for not taking care of the lands he inherited from his parents, telling me that we should do something about them immediately.
Just before I went home that evening, I received news that my husband was discharged from the hospital. It’s a good thing that his brother is now a diplomat at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), or my husband probably wouldn’t receive any assistance at all from the Philippine government. Although my brother-in-law is based in another country, he made sure that someone from the Philippine embassy in Singapore checked on him from time to time and took care of at least half of the hospital bill.
Another positive thing that happened was having my eldest nephew instead of my brother (his dad), who drove me to the hospital, pick me up and drive me home. After so many years, we finally got to talk again. (And I mean the deep kind of conversation.) He’s now thirty years old, and for the first time, he treated me to dinner at a really nice casual restaurant somewhere in QC. I wonder what took him so long to do that, when he’s been an engineer/junior manger with MBA for so many years now! (LOL)
Seriously, I have learned to live my life one day at a time. I have learned to be thankful for everything I have, even fort the people who act as sandpapers in my life at times. And I am always thankful for my family (and in-laws), no matter how dysfunctional they may seem at times.
(Featured image by Photo by Axel Antas-Bergkvist / http://www.unsplash.com)