The Hardest Lessons
-none really stand out at the moment
–The Black and the Purple Chapter I: 66% complete but kinda crappy
Lolo Macky (my grandfather on my dad’s side) was rushed to the hospital yesterday because he was having extreme difficulty breathing. I didn’t know how bad it was at first, until Dad called me, and he was crying because Lolo was in serious condition and had to be confined in St. Luke’s Coronary Care Unit. That call was utterly terrifying to me, because I didn’t think Lolo would last the night. It was the first time in a long time that I prayed so hard.
I had already agreed to overnight at the hospital to watch over Lolo, but before I could get there I had to pick up my brother at his school in Ortigas Center. Just as we arrived at Ortigas Center, Dad gave me that frightening call.
I pleaded with the Lord for Lolo’s life. I had already spoken to him about the Gospel before, but I wasn’t sure he understood completely. Mom, Vince and myself were all weeping in the car, pleading, begging, praying earnestly. We all knew Lolo to be kind-hearted, if stubborn, hard-working and industrious. Unfortunately he never really slowed down and despite his strong genetic stock (all his brothers are in their late 70s and 80s and all are still in excellent condition), the weight of the world began to weigh down on him.
I learned later from Ninang Rosenne that Lolo suffered from acute heart failure, wherein the valves of his heart gave out and were letting blood back in. This caused his heart to puff up. I spent the night at the CCU lounge across the hall. I was barely able to sleep thanks to the family of a recently-deceased patient who camped out in the lounge for the greater part of the night. But I guess what kept me awake the most was the fear for Lolo’s life, which was still there. Very real.
Thankfully, medication relieved his pain somewhat and the antibiotics he has been taking for his pneumonia (which may have aggravated his heart and caused it to give out) have helped, so he was moved to a private room this morning. He doesn’t feel so awful anymore, but we know that he’s going to have to change his strenuous lifestyle.
The thing is, though–I feel that Lolo doesn’t want to stop working because he’s known no other life. To be brutally frank, my dad’s side of the family is not really very affectionate, and there are some other issues that haven’t been worked out. As such he finds that the only thing that can fulfill him and make him feel needed on this Earth is his work. He never really gets much affection now, living alone, so he turns to what gives him meaning. This is really tragic and I wish that I could have helped more. I’ve always resolved to visit Lolo more often, talk to him, treat him to lunch–but I’ve begun to take him for granted, and this makes this partially my fault.
It really is so easy to take family members for granted. You see them every day (or week) and they’re just there; extensions of our life who hover about the periphery of our attention. Sometimes they’re really dear to us, but often they’re people who we barely pay attention to. Maybe we only notice then when they get annoying.
But sometimes, the Lord in His infinite wisdom just slaps us with the realization of their mortality–sometimes, really painfully–and we realize that perhaps, we should have loved them more than we have.
On a lighter note, it was really refreshing to have Dad over again. We had dinner at Teriyaki Boy with Mom and Vinci, so it was pretty cool to be able to share some time together again. And I really think that we should do this a lot more often.
Love While It Counts,
Your Black Lion