Saturday, August 6, 2011

Wishing for Grace's Recovery

Today is not just an ordinary day...

My home town in Surigao del sur is celebrating its annual fiesta and unfortunately I couldn't  return home, time is so limited. So I just reminisced the days I was with my family enjoying the celebration...the foods, the entertainment, the laughter, the fun...

But I did not only spend my day reminiscing the good old times, but with something worthy too. Just this morning, a friend told me that Grace, our former colleague, is confined in the hospital again, so we agreed to visit her. After attending my 1:00 pm class, I joined my friends at San Pedro Hospital...we slowly entered the room.

There...I saw her lying in bed with some apparatus attached...I felt a slight lump in my throat upon seeing her  that way. She lifted her eyes and acknowledged our presence and drew some smile in her mouth...she blurted few words and went quiet, then drifted to sleep. I took a deep breath and threw few glances to the container below her bed where the water from her body was squirted through a transparent hose.

I noticed how much her illness took her energy and zest in life, the familiar gaiety was gone, and I felt how painful it was to see her in that state. I struggled to keep my composure, holding back some tears that seemed ready to puff in my eyelids, We (I, Ester, Roy and Juvy) fidgeted at the narrow bench beside her bed and just watched her sleeping. We also asked her sister about many things.

Such a very difficult feeling to see a good friend suffering from a terrible illness, especially in a situation where there's nothing you could do but pray..pray for additional strength, additional hope and relief. It really tore me a part watching her lost the energy of life. But deep inside I am continue praying and hoping for a great outcome, for a positive result and I am wishing she could combat it and be triumphant in the end.

with Grace frolicking around Mine's View Park after our retreat in Baguio City (April 2008)
During our retreat in Cagayan de Oro City (April 2010). Grace, Emma, me and Ester

I've known Grace since 2006, when we became colleagues in the university and because of her very friendly nature, humbleness and comfortable approach, we easily became good friends. We always had a wonderful time together, joining other colleagues taking trips to restos or other places, we frequently talked about great things in life, dreams, longings and wishful thinking stuff. When I had a slight "misfortune" a year ago, Grace was one of the fewest people I approached then and confided my resentment and anxieties, she gave me incredible opinions how to deal with it. 
During one of our dinner outings last year
Grace, me, Juvy and Ester
One great evening after dinner
When I heard she would undergo a form of treatment late last year, I was confident she could make it because she is a brave girl, very strong, prayerful and full of wisdom. And she did actually. She had recovered and we texted occasionally, then I saw her again last summer and amazed with her unique strength despite the odds, we laughed and talked tender topics.

Until July came. We went to her sister's house in Buhangin to visit her. That's when I knew how much she had suffered. I know there's something missing...her huge smile...I missed her laughter and lively spirit. I  wished we could still spend dinner together with the rest of our friends, talking things in life, sharing our ups and downs.

When we left the hospital this afternoon, loneliness crept in. Then I went to the church to attend the anticipated mass since today is our town's fiesta. Then I remember my late grandmother's devotion to San Vicente Ferrer whom she said the patron saint for sick people. There, I slowly walked through the wing chapel and touched the glass where San Vicente Ferrer's statue was placed. Asking fervently to let Grace recovered from the chronic disease she is suffering now and may God give her enough courage and strength. 

Today's gospel (meant for Sunday) is great because it narrates the story where Jesus walked in the Sea of Galilee and where His disciples at first were horrified to see him walking in the water and when Peter followed Jesus he slowly sank because of lack of faith, he shouted "Lord, Save Me!" and Jesus offered His hand and saved Peter. This gospel revealed one truth, that strong faith in God can save us from tribulations, we only need to trust Him. And I know He won't forsake Grace. 

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