Saturday, April 25, 2009
Our Soaring Hope
After a week of mental ordeal for most of us, but a painful "secret" for Dad, I finally got a breakthrough with him.
I finally was able to persuade Dad to see the doctor for the high fever and chest congestion he had been having for three nights in the past week, but tried very hard to hide by acting normal.
I can never understand Dad and cannot imagine how painful and scared he must have been all those days when he was sick. Often in his sleep, he mumbled with arms flailing in the air and legs twitching as if he was being disturbed. It made Mom really worried about him.
I suppose Dad even hallucinated a man he thought was familiar but unsure of his identity who kept vigil by his side whenever he laid down to sleep. One time, the person smiled warmly at him and asked for his permission to pray in the house.
It freaked Dad so much that he did not sleep in his own bedroom for a few days. It scared Mom immensely, even thinking it could have been a paranormal!
Under the pretext of our casual visit, I enticed him to tag along with us for an outing. Upon his acceptance, I made Dad felt obligated to see the doctor "so that you have medicines for the common flu and fever on standby."
Wifey, Sonny and I fetched both Dad and Mom from their home to Woodlands Polyclinic for the checkup.
Fortunately, with the newly revamped clinic came even better efficiencies in the service and waiting time. Dad was in the consultation room within the hour. I showed the attending doctor Dad's prescriptions from SGH, told her about his past and present medical history as well as his recent bout of flu and high fever.
I also requested that Dad should have medications for the common illnesses that do not react adversely to Warfarin, an anti-coagulation that he is currently on.
I was totally relieved when the doctor found that Dad was no longer feverish; only a chest congestion that was not serious or life-threatening. Both Dad and Mom were equally, if not more than relieved when I explained to them later.
"We should just come here," Dad quipped when I returned from the Pharmacy with his medicines to the waiting area, "no need to go to the hospital."
I heard you, Dad.
The nagging, hard part was over. And so started, the good and memorable happenings of the day as life has intended for all of us.
Had our hearty meal at Mr. Teh Tarik - Mom's recommended eating place just across the road from the polyclinic. At one point Wifey and I thought our old folks shared a romantic moment when they shared a Black Spider drink together.
Nope. As venomous as the name suggested, it was just an innocent rip-off of the A&W Rootbeer Float drink.
Sonny left for home to cramp for his midyear exams in May while we hopped on a cab and headed to Carrefour Hypermart in Suntect City and spend the day with our folks.
On the way up the escalator at Suntec City, Dad told me something that made my day...
"You mother's stronger and brave whenever we're out with you." Dad said as we watched Mom and Wifey going up the escalator in front of us. I was holding her folded wheelchair.
"Just now she climbed the stairs to cross the road and now this." Dad continued, "She gets energetic being around you both." Referring to Wifey and me.
It is nice to know that we are able promote positive thinking on Mom... to not feel helpless but high-spirited around us. I do hope Dad feels the same way too.
Dad bought a light and portable beach chair at Carrefour. He "want to put it in the garden to relax." A good idea, since Dad spends a lot of time tending to his potted plants in his corridor garden and the plants reciprocate with displays of beautiful blooms. A private showcase that should be admired up close on a comfortable chair.
The best part of the day was when we sat by the bay at The Esplanade.
"Your father loves to look out to the sea for hours." Mom said, "He's not strong anymore."
My heart sank and I was speechless for a while, but I told Mom that I hope to be just like them with Wifey...
Married for the longest of time, sticking by and supporting one another through the darkest of times together. Blessed with many children, grandchildren and great grandchildren who adore them dearly.
In their golden years, they have no worries about money. A warm and beautiful home with no mortgage to fuss over, financially independent even with some extras to go on tours! A wonderful life in a large, close-knitted family. A full life.
"We still have you both."
Mom smiled and nodded slightly, eyes looking far beyond the body of water in front of her, "I always pray for all my children to be in His care."
We saw a couple of Sea Eagles flying by and circling the waters in front of us. Majestic and graceful, the birds soared above us and dived into the water to catch its prey. It was totally awesome to witness something like that in urban Singapore. It was totally unexpected to actually see these birds in uptown financial district!
Yet, the thing that amazed me most was Dad's wisdom.
"They are usually a couple." Dad uttered, eyes tracking the birds flying above, "The nest should be near... on top of one of these buildings."
It was like National Geographic... me being the photographer while Dad, the narrator. "They are very protective of their territory." He added.
We sat and talked at the same spot for hours. Two of my favourite women in my life must have gotten into some deep conversations that lasted all those hours. Dad was silent, smiling and eyes squinting at times, his mind must have been wandering farther than the body or water.
The once scenic bay, temporarily cluttered with construction activities of the Marina Bay Sands, glimmer with the reflected light of the water from the afternoon sun. The scene gradually changed to glittering walls of colorful lights at sun down.
A quick dinner at Makan Sutra and then a stroll by the bay towards the loud rock music a live band was playing at the bay's amphitheater. It proved to be too loud for my old folks.
Stayed a while to soak in the dazzling colors by the bay before we called headed for home.