Sunday, March 29, 2009
We were startled awake at 6:30 this morning. It was Art's aunt. When I heard Art say, "Oh Auntie, I'm so sorry. I'm sorry," I felt such sadness. We were going to have that party with Uncle and all the cousins. We were going to bring over those apple muffins as soon as he got home. We were going to...
Uncle had passed away a half hour earlier and they were having the Buddhist pillow side service at the hospital in an hour. Art called two other cousins just to let them know but didn't expect them to come since they live rather far away. We hurriedly got ourselves dressed and rushed over to the hospital.
The room was crowded with Auntie and cousins and the service was already underway. The reverend must have arrived early and had begun the prayers. When it was about done, we were surprised to see the cousins that Art called arrive. I told one cousin, he had to have sped over to get here. He sheepishly nodded.
Uncle and Auntie's two daughters are nurses and they had an amazing story to tell us. Apparently last night Uncle's heart became very erratic. Seeing the heart monitor, Susan knew that things weren't looking good so she called her mother and told her to come back to the hospital. It then got to the point where Susan said you need the paddles to shock the heart back to life. She knew her father was leaving them. She called to him entreating, "Dad, mom is coming. Please wait for her." And suddenly, the monitor showed his heart coming back and stabilizing.
He awoke later, surprised and said, "I died earlier but I had to come back." Susan told him, "I called you back, Dad...to wait for Mom."
Then with all his family around him, having said his loving goodbyes, his son said, "In a short time he was ready and we told him it was alright for him to go and he left us."
I can't seem to stop my tears right now. It's not just the sadness but the beauty of his farewell. I'm actually happy for him and happy for his family. Partings are never easy. I can see his smile and hear his voice, "I'll see you later."