Friday, November 13, 2009
Mama and Papa: Love that defies death
I just got off the phone with my mom. My sister and I are scheduled to leave for the Philippines next Wednesday to see her. I am planning on going but need to confirm with my gastroenterologist that it's still okay for me to make the trek out of the U.S. Endoscopy this past Monday was a breeze. Waiting on results of the biopsies taken ... i believe he took tissue from my stomach and small intestine. He indicated nothing looked unusual so i'm guessing the biopsies will come back negative. Still doesn't explain malabsorption symptoms I continue to experience which are now going on 2 months. I realized this morning that the first day I had the symptom was the night of 9/14, which happens to be my father's birthday. September 14th, 2006 was also the day we learned that our dog Shen had spleen cancer ... she died the next day, on a Friday afternoon, just like my father who died December 20, 1968 on a Friday afternoon. As I deal with health issues, I know my Papa is with me, protecting me. I feel his spirit. On Tuesday I have a ultrasound and diagnostic mammogram scheduled to deal with the lump in my breast that has come back. If it's determined to be solid, my surgeon recommends excisional surgery again to remove the lump. I'll know for sure on Tuesday.
With malabsorption issues getting worse, I need to confirm with my doctor that a trip to the Philippines will be okay. There's a followup test he wants me to go through ... it appears the organ that both my doctor and acupuncturist are thinking is the culprit is my pancreas. The holidays are always a little hard for me as I remember my father. I wrote a piece about him and the loss of Shen back in 2007, and have re-posted it on the Pet Haven website. Weight loss and no pain ... my mom tells me this morning when we are on the phone, "your Papa never complained. He kept losing weight and had some stomach cramps." I have to remind myself that even though "I feel fine" my body is clearly sending me a message that something is wrong. I think Papa is telling me to listen, to pay attention. I have an open, heartfelt conversation with my mom this morning. She wants so much to come back to the States. I tell her I want to come back to see her but need to make sure my doctor gives me the okay to travel out of the country. As much as she wants to see me she says, "take care of your health first and do whatever tests you need to have done." Her strength and health is deteriorating yet she says she will come here to see me. I tell her "no, I am young. I will come and see you." She goes on to tell me, "yes, you are young. Your Papa was young. He was only 39 when he died. I still get angry at him for leaving us. Didn't he know how much I needed him?"
For decades I don't think my mom and I ever told each other we loved each other. The deep loss of my father (and the love of her life) took something away from us.... we have healed a broken bridge, and for that I am eternally grateful. We end our conversation with, "Ma, I am planning on coming next week. I want to see you. I miss you and I love you very much." She says as her voice cracks, "I love you very much darling. Please take care of yourself."
I may not have had a father around me, physically, growing up ... but I believe he has always been with me. I also have a painful, yet beautiful image and memory, of my mother who loved someone with a depth that defies this earthly world. An image etched in my memory of a woman - my mother - who loved my Papa so much that she tells me "I am approaching the end of the road. I am ready to be with your Papa again."
Their marriage vows, "till death do us part" was not accurate ... even death could not break the incredible love that existed between my Mama and my Papa.
I love you both with all my heart.