My mom passed away during the early hours of September 22. She had been in and out of the hospital this year - the longest hospitalization lasted 75 days. At that time everything pointed to her eventual demise. Aside from the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD that she had been battling for the past nine years, there were seizures and infections to contend with, not to mention a life-threatening inflammation of the gall bladder. The inflammation miraculously disappeared after the mystic Apo Bito visited my mother. One of my mother's attending doctors could not offer any logical explanation to the phenomenon. "Thank God it's gone, she is through a lot already," Dr. Nikki said.
My father and sister Coco flew in from Manila to be at Mommy's side. The world stood still for us. Everything focused on Mommy. My father had an extended leave from office. Travel became problematic. I had to cancel several trips including one to an international film festival. Being away would be too much of a hassle so everybody stayed put. The hospital became an extension of the house. The nurses, especially the ones assigned in the ICU, became part of the family.
"This isn't the end yet," soothsayers comforted us. True enough my mom was discharged from the hospital.
But twenty nine days later, she would again be brought to the hospital. This time I was worried. I am ridiculously superstitious. I believe in powers no science could explain. You see, aside from the comforting words that the soothsayers left us, there was also a warning. "The next time she gets hospitalized, and I hope we are wrong on this, but that would be the end."
Three weeks after my mother's death, I'm still grappling with a new reality. A sad reality that the words "She's resting now" or "Sympathies and Condolences" hardly bring comfort and ease. A reality that I could still not comprehend nor grasp the extend of its power. But one thing is sure now. I'm going to miss you, Mommy.