Have you woken up suddenly and realised your dad or parents or guardian (an important person in your life) has suddenly aged?
I mean I know my dad is getting on in years but today, it hit me again. By and large, he has been, thank God, in very good health. He’s gone through major scares like ruptured ulcers, ruptured capillaries, lung issues but has been spared from all. His stomach lining was so lacerated that the doctors said it was like broken cloth. He could not be operated on as it was touch and go.
I was 14 then, coming home from school, to my mum rushing to prepare dinner for us before rushing back to the hospital to visit my dad. You know that feeling where you feel sick to the stomach and your heart feels like bursting because you are sad but have to be strong? Well, that’s how I felt. Steeling myself also that if required, I would be the one to stop school. Don’t ask me why I was a child and would be the “hero”…. I guess.
The whole church rallied around us and prayed, including all our friends from Sunday School. We prayed for the best and hoped for the best.
His bed was always surrounded with visitors – family and church members – and despite being weak, he was always in good spirits, always with a smile (my dad is not a man of many words) for those who came. Doctors and nurses included. From what I remember, the doctors started him on a new drug, yet to be tested. He was in the “C” ward. We were young and didn’t understand very much but when you are in the “C” ward, it also means that your options are limited.
Their intent with the drug was to strengthen him sufficiently for an open surgery. But there was a surprise in store for them. In a week, my father’s ulcer had completely healed. The doctors declared it a miracle!
And so the story goes, I was able to complete school. 🙂 And am proud to be able to provide for my parents now. But whenever something happens to my dad, I get that similar churn in the pit of the stomach. Whether through his diabetes which was also miraculously healed. Or his burst capillaries that threatened blood or skin cancer. Or lung issues. Those too he was shielded from.
Lately, we noticed that my dad’s hand trembles slightly when he performs some tasks and he is getting a bit forgetful. Today, the physiotherapist suggested he went for a check up to rule out Parkinsons.
Once again, despite displaying an air of bravado, I had the sick to the pit feeling. He is getting on in years.
A friend, not a Christian, who is very self-sufficient said he had never prayed before. He believed that everything he had, he worked for. Until his mother became seriously sick. He said he didn’t know why but turned to prayer. I think, it’s about getting to the place where you have no control. That’s when people utter desperate prayers.
For me, I cling to God’s divine providence for my dad. His life has always been and will always be God’s tapestry of grace. Plus, his flock needs him (he shepherds the Peranakan congregation) and I still need my dad to be with me and remember me.