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Monday, September 29, 2008

Faith and Family

This weekend we had quite a scare. While my sister, Atsi, and I were eagerly looking forward to my mom and dad’s arrival last Friday night, we got a call from my other sister, Joy, last Thursday telling us that my parents had postponed their flight. Apparently, over breakfast, Joy had noticed that my dad’s skin had turned a shade yellow. This had prompted my mom to have my dad tested just to make sure nothing was wrong. The good news was this happened right before my parents’ flight to L.A. The bad news was this happened right before my parents’ flight to L.A.

Over the next 3 days they ran a number of tests, met with several doctors, while we anxiously waited for the results. In those 72 hours, we went through a myriad of emotions as we tried to cope with the news and prepare ourselves for whatever the outcome would be. All while trying to maintain a positive and hopeful outlook. There were definitely moments of uncertainty (no one can fully understand all the medical terminology that test results show), some feelings of dread (reading medical information on the internet is not always a good thing), and some moments of nervousness (which we tried to keep at bay while reassuring my dad’s anxiety and apprehension).

Today we received some good news, the tests are pretty positive and my parents are coming over this week. My dad just needs rest and has to be more careful with his diet. So far, the worst is over and I am breathing one super huge sigh of relief. They say you can tell a lot about a person by the way they handle themselves during times of stress. I for one am a ginormous worrywart and can sometimes let paranoia get the best of me. I can’t help myself. Any negative news that affects one of my loved ones can turn me into a basketcase. My dad and I were commiserating that I take after him when it comes to worrying, being pessimistic and sometimes even blowing things a tad out of proportion. Luckily we have my mom, sibblings and hubby to counterbalance our nature!

I will say this about my excessive worrying, although it is my nature to fret, this time I really did try to put on a strong and positive demeanor. First, I wanted to be strong for my dad. Being weepy and pessimistic would hardly be of any help to him. Second, I wanted to be reassuring to the rest of my family (especially Atsi who is getting married in 3 weeks). Lastly, I had to think positive for my sake. It would have driven me to madness had I given in to thinking the worst. I consciously made an effort to look at the bright side and to remain hopeful. The philosopher, Albert Camus, once asked “should I kill myself or get a cup of coffee?” – his point was that in life there is always a choice. We may be wired to be worrywarts but we can choose to give in to that or instead to force ourselves not to lose ourselves to that thinking. In my case, it was just me choosing to be pragmatic about the whole thing and deciding that in the long run, worrying does nothing and is an insult to God.

Also, there was a silver lining to this incident. As with all things, even a scare like this did yield some good. For starters, it brought us closer to God. I think this may have been a wake up call for us. Oftentimes we take so many things for granted and we lose sight of the fact that everything we have we need to be thankful to Him for. The last few days we have been reminded of that and we have been given the chance to revisit the power of prayer. The last couple of nights we have (as a family) started praying the rosary together. Here’s something I am not proud of, despite my 17 years of catholic education, I had forgotten how to pray the rosary. Seriously, I forgot the mysteries of the rosary and some of the prayers. I literally had to look it up on the internet and we had to say our prayers infront of the computer so we could read the text. Pretty sad, huh?

Another positive thing is the reaffirmation of my family’s love and solidarity during times of crisis. We may all live pretty independent lives but when one of us is sick or in trouble, it was so comforting for me to see everyone rally together. I thought this was a great moment for us. Of course it would have been better had my dad not been sick but maybe that was the catalyst for us to start praying together again and for us to be reminded that family comes first.


jol said...

I am very grateful for the prayers and the outpouring of affection, care and concern from my family, relatives and friends. Once again, the infinite power of prayers was felt. I strongly believe that a family that prays together, stays together.

Joanne said...


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