Thursday, January 07, 2010
A Hero's Farewell
Dad has won his battle against cancer.
After fighting for his life again for the span of about a year and a month, Dad has finally emerged victorious...
Dad passed on at 10:55PM Tuesday.
He left us for a better place to meet his Maker with all his children and close relatives by his bedside. It was a swift transition for him as he took two short breaths... he bid his final goodbyes peacefully.
Everyone got to witness his passing. I was blessed to get to be with him, holding him... his right hand gripped in mine, as I held his right shoulder with my left whispering prayers for him in his ear as only I knew how.
I could feel his grip slowly loosened as he progressed into unconsciousness... the warmth of his hand dissipated rapidly as his face turned pale from the chin upwards. Dad was no longer with us.
No more pain... no more coughs, that incessant and at times knife-like pain in his chest Dad always said whenever he coughed lately.
No more sleepless nights... no more tossing and turning. No more worries.
Dad triumphed over his fight against the invading cancer to his lungs. He killed the disease. It will not harm him anymore. The disease is dead.
It was a blessing to be with him in his final moments but it was a miracle to get to witness the extraordinary moments we had with him two days before his demise.
Just like Dad... like a wounded hero coming back home from battle, he conjured-up his final fighting strength to be aware and alert despite all the heavy medications - his morphine that was given intravenously via the PICC line at the later stage from orally, also the IV Buscopan apart from IV Cefoxitin antibiotics that was no longer of any use, to see and talk to his loved ones.
Dad had very strong will power, the positive attribute I wished for so long to emulate.
He called out to Mom first, then to each of his children by their full names, his grandchildren and close relatives.
It was the most intense and heart-wrenching moments in our lives as he seek forgiveness from each individual for the things he had done or said, seek for us to make Halal the food that he eat from us, the money we spent on him, the time we had given to care for him...
He wished each of us with an individual well-wishes for the future... our lives, our family, our career and for everyone to stay together to care for Mom... for the grandchildren, their Granny.
I am confident that I can take care of Mom as best as I can but will never match that of Dad's. I will have to learn and make mistakes along the way... to lead my own family, to also maintain the close knit we enjoyed amongst our siblings, just as Dad had done all his life.
Dad thanked Wifey for her good care and guidance she has been giving to his Son and Grandson. She was thanked for giving him and Mom the opportunity to step onto the many far away foreign lands we had taken both of them on our yearly vacations.
Dad wished for Sonny to be successful in his studies and career later in life. He expressed his confidence that Sonny will go far and be fruitful in his adult life. He reminded Sonny to take care of his parents when Wifey and I are old.
Dad entrusted me to take care of Mom now... as I had taken care of him... to help my brothers and sisters out when they encounter difficulties in their lives and be the strength to unite his family during adversities.
Everyone said that I was given the heavy responsibilities... requests that have yet to sink into me and have time to digest.
Yet these are the responsibilities that I will honor with whatever I have equipped within me, as best I know how.
I still cannot believe Dad is gone now...
All the people here... all the hectic times. The funeral plans I have to arrange and coordinate, remove me from having time to feel that he is truly gone.
I have cried countless times... like a boy to his Dad. I stayed by his bedside all the while holding his hand to let him know he was not alone except whenever I was taken away to perform my duties as administrator during these sad times, or when I had to let his hand go to let relatives have their final privacy and prayers to Dad.
I did not shed a tear when he drew his last breath. Everyone around me was utterly distraught, yet I did not cry. Instead I held his shoulder tight to send him on his way.
I felt relieved. Relieved for him instead of sadness that he finally left us.
I felt happy for him. Dad is free now. Dad is victorious!
That was my hero and always will be. AMIN.