It was two something in the wee hours of the morning when I was awakened by my mother pounding on my bedroom door. I swiftly jumped out of my bed and ran to my parents bedroom to see what all the commotion was about. I entered my parents’ bedroom and find my father on the floor having a seizure and my mother next to him trying to grab a hold of his tongue so he wouldn’t choke. She yelled for me to call 911 and I frantically did. In our family, we hardly showed emotion, but at this moment, even though it was way back when I was just 16, I still remember how dramatic this was. Since it was the middle of the night, the 911 operator asked me to open the front door and turn on the front light so that the EMT’s could easily see our house. As I stood at the front door, in the foyer for what seemed like an eternity, I could hear my mother panic and slapping my father asking him to wake up. I couldn’t understand what was going on. Two weeks earlier, my father fainted in the front yard as he was cutting the grass. My mother called 911. He was taken to the hospital, while still unconscious, and was later released a couple of hours later after he came to and refused medical treatment.
As the ambulance finally arrived, I felt the anxiety in my body rise even higher. The EMT’s jumped out and I showed them exactly where my father was and they begin working on him. I watched them hit my father with a shot in the thigh, and this stopped the seizing, but he was still unconscious. My mother told the workers that he was also diabetic, so they ran his sugar level and found that it was over 200. They loaded my father onto the ambulance and my mother and I had to wait for a taxi because our family didn’t own a car.
The taxi ride was quiet. And I still didn’t understand what was going on. It didn’t help that earlier that day I was upset that my father wouldn’t let me go out with my boyfriend. Was he going to die tonight and would me being mad at him be the last emotion I shared with my father?
We arrived at the hospital and of course it took us asking at least 5 different people where my father was before we would be able to find him. He was in a small square that had no walls, just curtains. Still unconscious, he already had all kinds of tubes and wires connected to his body. I sat on one side of him and held his hand. My mother on the other side of the bed was in a wheelchair. Two weeks prior, we were crossing a street and she tripped into a pothole and broke her leg for a second time.
I was so confused. Why was all of this happening to my family?
An hour later, the emergency room doctor finally came in to give us an update of my father’s condition. He told us that we should start making funeral arrangements because he did not look good. Wait. What? Funeral arrangements? My father went to weekly doctor visits to manage his diabetes, if something was wrong with him wouldn’t he tell me? I couldn’t help but think this seizure was all my fault. Maybe my anger towards my father that afternoon triggered something in his body.
A couple days went by, and my father was still in a coma. The doctor told us they found a golf ball sized tumor in my father’s left lung. He had lung cancer. I remember my father had periods where he would smoke a pack a day. But lung cancer? That only happens on TV. And my father needing funeral arrangements, kid’s parents only die in Disney movies. Desperate for some answers, I decided to try something I had never done before. Pray.
My prayer was:
” God, I don’t even know if you’re real, but all I’m ask is that you wake up my father so that I can tell him I love him before he dies and I will do whatever you want me to do. ”
I went about my day. I kissed my unconscious father good night. Since he was in the ICU, visitors were not allowed overnight so my mother and I had to leave at 9pm. I went home that night and went to sleep easily after an exhaustive week.
The next morning, I got ready as usual and made my way by myself to see my father. My mother was already there. As I walked towards his room, I couldn’t believe it, but I could hear my father’s voice. It was super hoarse(from having the breathing tube down his throats for 6 days), but it was definitely him! I walked into his room and my father greeted me like nothing ever happened. There he was, wide awake and he even recognized me. “My prayer worked!” I thought to myself. It took a few hours, but when my mom finally went to the restroom, I was able to tell my father that I loved him. God answered my prayer.
I tried another prayer. Watching my father and mother suffer each day as he was not able to do simple mundane task such as brushing his teeth and getting up to use the bathroom, I decided to ask God to take him so that he would not have to suffer any longer. And being a nurse, my mom took it upon herself to sponge bathe my father and even withdraw blood from him since the lab techs were having a terrible time finding good veins. This was too much for my mom I thought.
Unfortunately, after 20 days back and forth between the ICU and hospice, the cancer spreaded into my fathers bones and digestive system and he took his last breath while my mother held him.
This may sound like a story with a bad ending, but on the contrary, this was the start of the most amazing relationship I’ve ever experienced. I found the real and living God. I found Jesus and because I’ve tried Him and He’s proven himself over and over again to me there’s nothing and no one that could ever make me doubt him. I am far from perfect, but He’s given me closure, salvation from my sins(and I have tons of them!), an amazing husband even after a divorce, two amazing sons, a career that I know I don’t deserve, and most of all some amazing relationships. The craziest part is, all you have to do is ask. There are no strings attached to His love. He freely gives and doesn’t force Himself on you.
My hope is to bring someone some hope. Maybe you feel like you’ve tried it all and you can’t take anymore. I ask you to not give up yet, and just try a little of Jesus.