Apr 24, 2007

MY FATHER, THE HERO

Some eight years ago, my dad suffered a severe stroke. There was massive bleeding right in the pontine area of his brain. He was in a coma, and the prognosis was grim. Nobody ever thought he would live for another day, or at most, three days.

A day and a half after that fateful day, he opened his eyes. But he couldn’t blink them at will. His movements were uncoordinated, and he couldn’t speak. He was bedridden and completely dependent on us for all his needs.

Many believed he was useless, a “vegetable”, even some would say. I begged to disagree, and turned a cold shoulder to anyone who said that within hearing distance from me. Because I knew, deep in my heart, that he was far from any of that. He could read with his eyes and followed instructions as best as he could. I kept a whiteboard handy and wrote down words for him to read. “Smile”, I’d write, and he’d break into a grin. “Blink 10 times”, and his eyes would flutter 10 times. He could count with precision! He would nod his head to indicate agreement, and shake it off to mean “no”. One time, I got so ambitious as to tell him to say name out loud. He tried his best, and came out with a loud whisper of what really sounded like my name. It was sheer music to my ears. Better than Beethoven’s symphonies or Chopin’s romantic melodies. It was simply the best sound I’ve ever heard in my life.

In his physical weakness, my dad was proof that miracles happen … that prayers are answered … that God exists … that the power of love is beyond anything we could ever hope for or even imagine.

He was a hero for making us see all these.

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