Today marks the 1st year my dear sister left this world. At exactly 11:46 pm January 6, 2015 she breathed her last.
My sister was confined in USTH, and there she was diagnosed with stage 4 lung CA after several ultrasounds, scans, tests, and biopsies. I remember that day so well because that was the day I had to tell our family that my sister has little time left and will soon leave us. I tried to come up with a way to break it to them gently. At least, a little lighter than how the doctors told me about her condition. I was fearful most especially for our mother. No parent should bury their child, or in that situation see her fade away. But I know I have to. I called my brothers first, I thought I can somehow adjust how I can tell our mom based the news based from my brother’s reactions and of course I get to have better wording as I go along. It was no easy task. I can’t even cry, for I need to be focused on how we will handle this situation. I have to be strong for our mother, my brothers, our nieces and nephews and most especially my sister’s son. So, I finally came to telling our mom about the news. I told her with a straight face, so emotions won’t just go flooding the room. I also told her that we all need to be there for her while we still can. That’s why we all decided our mom should be there. Since my sister is attached to tubes and machines she feels warm all the time even if the AC is turned up. The extremely cold condition took a toll on our mother’s health. That is why she had to come home a few days before Christmas because she was really not feeling well anymore. I stayed with my sister while my niece and nephew stayed with my mom.
January 1, 2015, my mom was rushed to the hospital near our home for she was having a hard time breathing on her own. That’s when we knew she had pneumonia. The doctors at that hospital told us the probable reason why she had it was because she was exposed to extreme cold, and her immune system was affected. I had to come home and deal with what my mother needs in the morning and had to come back to where my sister was confined. January 3, I had to come home for a few days. As I was telling my sister about it she was motioning to me that it will be very difficult if I’m not there with her since I am hands on in everything that she needs and the only people who will be left to take care of her don’t know what to do. So I assured her it will just be for a day or two and I will make sure to call the nurses everyday to make sure she has everything she needs. I replaced the tubing that is attached to her for feeding, I helped the nurses clean the tube attached to her throat and put in fresh bandages so it will not be too exposed, I had the suction done to clean tubes, fed her, changed the linen and her gown. When I was about to leave, I kissed her on her forhead and whispered “I will be back real soon ate < pronounces as “a-te”, that’s what we call an older sister>. She held my hand, and looked at me. Her look says “don’t go” but she knows our mom needs me too. Because of financial difficulty, having 2 family members at the hospital at the same time, I wasn’t able to go back immediately. I was still at the other hospital with my mom, I went outside to smoke and my phone rang. It was my sister-in-law. She said my sister was not doing well and that she wanted me on the phone. Since she can no longer speak because of her trache, my sister-in-law just placed the phone on her ear. So I said, “ate pabalik na ko ah, wait mo ko ~ Ate I will be with you in a bit, wait for me”. My sister-in-law said my sister nodded and did a thumbs up. I hung up, and continued smoking, I was praying “Lord, if you will take her please don’t make her suffer. Please just make her sleep”. Then I puffed my last and went back to our mom’s room. That was 11:30 pm. 11:46 pm my phone rang again, I thought maybe my sister-in-law would be needing me to buy more meds for our sister, as I answered the call my sister-in-law said with a crackling voice “wala na sya Che ~ She’s gone Che”. I felt like a thousand needles are stuck in my heart, I had to remain calm for our mother was just beside me. All I was able to say was “okay, I will be there”. As I turned to our mom, she was teary eyed already. She knew. She just said “go to your sister…”.
I was crying as I rode a public transport going to the hospital. People seemed to be wondering what was I crying about. Then when I got to the hospital, I went straight to her room. There lay the lifeless body of my sister. The once vibrant and beautiful person lay there pale as the night. I guess she just wanted to hear that I am coming back for her before she went. The pain I felt that day hasn’t diminished. It just gets stronger as days pass by. The pain I felt that day was the reason I have this blog. Maybe, I thought, if I share the burden by writing it wouldn’t feel heavy inside. And others will see the value of the people they love even more and spend more time with them. For we will never know how much time we have with someone.
Live like its your last and love like there’s no tomorrow. I know my sister did. She is a beautiful person who have lived a beautiful and fulfilling life, and I miss her everyday and will continue to miss her until I breathe my last too.