Mission accomplished. Two weeks ago I wrote that I would be on the road to bring my father home. The good news is that all is well, he is settling back down comfortably in the ancestral home, and I am now also home with my family.
I was surprised at the amount of luggage we brought. Everything he could possibly need that couldn’t be bought cheaply in the province was packed into the boxes and bags we carried. I have always tried to travel light, and so does my dad. Having all that baggage to keep track of irritated him, even if they were for his comfort. He could only complain, though. And I knew he was okay with it on the inside even if he was a bit grumpy on the outside.
The 16 hour trip from Manila to Tabaco pier was mostly silent. For the most part it was a night drive – one I am not comfortable taking for safety reasons. But I have to hand it to the 2 drivers who alternated four hours at the wheel. We made it to the pier with an hour and a half to spare before the ferry departed even though we left the bus terminal an hour late. My dad was antsy about the trip because of his colostomy bag that he had to vent regularly. We took an air-conditioned bus so you can imagine how stressed he was. I only learned on the trip back that the bus line had recently acquired ten of those modern buses for long distance trips, you know, the ones that come with a washroom on board. Shucks. (Face in my hand as I shake my head). Wish I had known.
I won’t drown you all with the emotional details of the trip back. Let me just say that it’s a daily struggle for loved ones with cancer, as I read in a forum somewhere. That struggle between hoping for the best for his recovery and yet knowing at the same time God can call him home anytime. And that I won’t be near to keep him company during his last moments if it does happen soon.
His surgeon gave him six months to live (without chemo) starting November 1 of last year. He’s in his 5th month now. The oncologist was cautious but optimistic that he can recover if he took all the supplements that he was prescribed. My dad sent me an SMS the other day that he had just harvested some rice from one of his fields. It’s back to business as usual. Except for that long gash in his abdomen and how easily he tires, he seems to be doing okay.
I learned a valuable lesson from that trip. If you’re going to go, it’s best to go with a smile doing something you love for as long as you can. I don’t know how many more months or years God will give him or me. Come to think of it, none of us do. So do that thing you’ve been planning to do for the longest time. Say I love you, you’re sorry, or please forgive me to the ones who matter. Make up your mind about your eternity. Like the Lord Jesus said, you never know when your time here is up.
Have a grateful Friday the 13th everyone. Peace to you all in the name of our Lord Jesus. Enjoy our weekend with your loved ones.