For several weeks (before my scheduled trip to Israel), we had been preparing for Mama’s transfer from the hospital to my place. My brother bought Mama her hospital bed, oxygen tank and the other things that we might be needing while I prepared her room and redecorated my place so she could feel very much at home. We also found a nurse for her named “Mercy” days before my departure date. It was all set. We were all excited for her homecoming.
The “temple-palace” being prepared for the “Queen’s” arrival.
For weeks, Mama had been “okay” but still in terrible pain every time she needed to be turned from one side to another. All the other tubes/ “IVs” were removed and only her NGT (nasal gastric tube) was retained. We saw a lot of improvements in her and that gave us so much hope. She had always been in high spirits, even when in pain, in no time, she’d be lively again. We kept on reading to her and I will never forget the times she would ask me, “Kamusta ka naman?”
I remember, being the youngest and the only girl in the family, my Mama and I had our own “world” together. My Papa and two older brothers had their own world, while us ladies would have our own too. We were very close and we would tell each other every thing. We had a lot of fun and crying times and I could share anything with her and she would just listen (and vice versa). That’s how she’d always been – someone who genuinely listens, someone who dearly loves. That’s why I know in my heart, I will miss her every day.
One of my dates with Mama at Bizu where she’d always buy me my favorite macaroons. This was during the earlier part when she was diagnosed with the little “c”. I told her that we should just enjoy our dessert together.
I guess our special bond started with the story that she always told me. When I was born in Baguio City, it was holy week (1st day of April) and she was the only one who gave birth in the hospital that day (that made sure that I wasn’t adopted). After my Papa and brothers visited us and went home, she said that it was just us, a few staff and the janitor. She told me that after giving birth, she stood up and walked while she was bleeding on the floor because she wanted to call my grandma and tell them that she gave birth to a baby girl. From that day on, she had her only baby girl and I had my one and only Mama. For twenty nine years of my life, she’d always been there ~ a true woman of strength. And I am blessed to witness the strength that God graced her with all through out the years.
My beautiful Mama with her three children, Jimmy Boy, Jason and Bonita.
My Mama had always been thoughtful. She was very down to earth and she would talk and listen to people from all walks of life. As what my Kuya Jason shared during Mama’s wake ~ she had friends everywhere, from the restroom and restaurant staff to the managers of different establishments, they knew Mama. That’s why it’s somewhat difficult to visit these places as they would ask us about her for sure.
One of Mama’s old letters. She was the one who taught me how to pray. This letter also reminds me to buy cream for Papa (para lalong pumogi).
26th of October 2012, I wrote my “thank you” list on my journal:
- Quality time, reading and prayer moments with Mama
- Improvement on Mama’s body and lesser episodes of pain
- During “Saved Festival” with Kuya Jason, that evening while praying for Mama, I had a vision of Jesus carrying Mama from her hospital bed.
When I saw this vision, it was very peaceful and of course I had my own interpretation. The interpretation that I would want ~ that Jesus would carry her pains and disease (Isaiah 53:4). It was a beautiful picture but I wasn’t quite ready yet for the exact vision that I saw and its literal meaning. I was still fighting for the miracle that I wanted to witness for Mama.
My prayer last 30th of October 2012, days before my departure:
“I claim that Jesus already took away ‘the old’ things in Mama including pain, sickness, and her ‘old self’ and has already made her a completely new creation in Him. She has the righteousness of God through Christ who gives her divine strength and I shall witness this wonderful transformation for His glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
That was my prayer that evening and several months before my departure, this was God’s promise to me:
“For you shall go out with joy,
And be led out with peace;
The mountains and the hills
Shall break forth into singing before you,
And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree,
And instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree;
And it shall be to the Lord for a name,
For an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”
How could I go out with joy if my Mama was still in the hospital? How could I be led out with peace having that kind of vision? And how could singing break forth before me if I wasn’t even able to properly say goodbye and tightly embrace my Mama on the evening of the 5th of November?
To be continued…