Seasons of Sadness
Well, I’m so glad I got home tonight safely without getting too wet and seriously my pants need some hemming they are practically dragging on the floor. I went and saw my physio after work and she said to me ‘Dear me, your neck and shoulders are so tight do you get headaches?’ ‘I’m like yeah, sometimes I get it bad’ She convinced me that next Friday I need to see her again…it must be bad. I really need to take regular breaks instead of gluing myself to the computer. 🙂
Well, the month of April is a month that I rather forget especially the year of 2003. On the 10th of April 2003, we received an overseas phone call that not only shocked our whole entire family but have changed our lives forever. My auntie had rang us from Taiwan to advise us that my daddy had passed away. After struggling with liver cancer for about a year he had passed away, and what made it worst was I didn’t even get to see him the last time before he passed away. This regret have plagued me for many years and people often ask me ‘does it get better each day?’. My answer would be NO, it doesn’t get better each day, but as time passes God gives me the strength to cope better each day.
My daddy was a business man, he was tall, he wasn’t dark he was white, intelligent, friendly and handsome – kinda like an all rounder. He is extremely generous to everyone and was a very patient person. He was a good father who looked after our family, I always feel protected when I’m with him. When I was young, when we were crossing a busy street he would hold my hands with his big warm hands – that would make me feel very safe. He was gentle when it comes to disciplining us. To my recollection he has never lost a temper with us kids, he always disciplines us with his gentle words – he never laid a hand on us. My daddy was smart, he was always the top of his class – and I guess I have inherited his brainy characteristics. His dream of becoming a doctor was shattered when he started hanging out with the wrong crowds and ended up becoming a Vet. To me he suited the vet job he loves animals and have lots of patience when it comes to dealing with animals. He always used to say to me ‘one day I hope you can become a doctor to fulfill a dream that I have never fulfilled..’ His dream have became my burden up until this day when God showed me that I was not suited being a doctor with my fish memory and forgetfulness.
My daddy was diagnosed with a tumor in his liver while he was working in Taiwan. He had to fly back to Perth for treatments with chemo as the tumor was too large to be removed by surgery and it was growing at a part where it was difficult to remove – kinda like the worst case scenario. This happened during my final years of University where I was overloaded with crazy exams, working on my thesis project and working part-time at a restaurant at night. I remember one day I took him to the GP for a check up and I asked the doctor ‘what sort of food he should avoid to improve his conditions’ our doctor replied ‘I think at this stage you should just let him enjoy his life and let him eat anything he wants’ now I don’t like to cry especially infront of other people cos it makes me feel weak. But at that moment I burst out in tears sobbing – it’s as if the doctor have announced there’s nothing they could do about his condition just let him enjoy the remainder of his life. I told myself to hold it together and promised not to ever cry infront of my dad.
After some chemo treatment, he decided he would like to go back to Taiwan to sort out his business matters – he owns a Chinese herbal medicine company and given that the doctor said his treatment was going well they allowed him to travel back to Taiwan. My daddy was a strong person, he never showed his emotions or weakness – kinda like another character trait I have inherited. During his stay in Taiwan his conditions became worse and he never told our family that he was suffering or struggling. We only heard of this when a friend of his rang us saying he really needs our help he’s now checked into the hospital. We made a decision for the whole family to fly back to Taiwan to look after him in the hospital. When we arrived at the hospital he has lost so much weight, his eyes were yellow, he was weak and he didn’t have any appetite at all – I nearly couldn’t recognise him. It was heart breaking to see a strong and healthy person turning to skins and bones skeleton figure. I was heart broken but I had to control my emotions and be strong and not cry.
We spent about a month taking turns staying with daddy at night in the hospital looking after him incase there were some complications. The doctor told us that he’s probably got a few months left and the treatment he had done in Perth was probably not ideal. That news really shocked me, and I blamed myself for convincing him to undertake the chemo treatment in Perth – even though that was the only option of treatment left available. Life in the hospital was difficult, he would wake up in the middle of the night in pain and I would wake up and run to grab the nurses to give him some needles of pain relief. I would say to him let’s pray together and ask God to remove your pain and sing hymn songs to him. I have prayed intensely down on my knees every day asking God to heal him, and I was certain God had the power to heal him if he wanted to. My daddy was a non-christian, he never believed in God. When ever we tried to share the good news of salvation to him he would refuse to listen. However, miraculously, one day he told me he had read the bible that I have left on the table and have received Christ as his personal saviour alone. He was later baptised in the hospital and after that he had much joy and peace in his heart.
His health continue to deteriorate, everyday I would give him is truck load of medications – till one day he said to me ‘Can I not take these pills? I feel so sick eating these medications every day?’ I just replied ‘No you have to take them, you will get better if you continue to take them then I would feel bad of being harsh and later on say to him maybe just take 1/2 of them at least’ There are days I think back I should have been less harsh on him and let him do what ever he wants, who am I kidding those medications were only relieving his symptoms, they are not curing him. Even though he was so sick in his bed, he was still trying to set me up with this intern who was looking after him. He would say ‘well, if you can’t be a doctor you could always marry one – and he seemed like a nice guy he would look after you’ It made me really sad to think here he is struggling to live and he’s still worried who would look after me.
Our financial situation was taking a toll, we had to make the decision of flying back to Perth. My older sister was taking an extended leave from work, my younger sister was in high school, and me well I just graduated from Uni and needed to get a job desperately. We made the decision to return back to Perth temporarily to settle some financial matters, it was a very difficult decision for us to leave him behind and I asked the doctor whether we could transfer dad back to Perth. They said he was not fit for flying, so I had to break this news to him. One day dad suddenly asked me whether I could bring him back home to Perth and take him to Freo again, his favourite place where we would sit by the beach and have fish and chips – I hold back my tears and said ‘I’m sorry dad not now maybe later on, I was heart broken. The day we left Taiwan, he did not show any emotions but I could tell he was sad. I reassured him we would return very quickly as soon as all matters are sorted in Perth.
A few days after we have arrived back in Perth we were told he had passed away in the hospital. Things happened very quickly, his health had deteriorated so quickly, they couldn’t revive him. He had a funeral in Taiwan – only my mummy and my younger sister was able to attend due to financial reasons. He was cremated and we brought his ashes back home to be buried in Freo his favourite place. Life was never the same, I became the head of the family, mum have always being a house wife her whole entire life – I had no time to cry, I had to carry on as if nothing have ever happened to hold the family together. I asked God why? Why did you not heal him!! I cried to God but then I realised God have actually saved him not physically but spiritually he no longer have to go through the suffering and pain, he’s now in heaven a great paradise, a better place to be. That really comforted me and helped me grieve. Each year goes by, the worst thing was every night when I think about him I would cry the whole night. I wonder where all this sadness was coming from? I guess I never had the chance of grieving his death. It has now hit me twice as hard as anything. I’m sad that he has never walked me down the aisle instead I had my mummy walking me down the aisle when I got married and he would never had the opportunity to see his grandchildren and most of all to see that I have married a doctor who is now looking after me and to see that we are living a happy life as a family.
Every father’s day I would feel sad, cos when people are celebrating father’s day with their dads. I will be bringing flowers to the cemetery instead. When I’m sad I would go to Freo and sit by the cemetery and it will make me feel better. But I’m comforted knowing that he’s at a better place in heaven and I hope one day I will see him in heaven and give him a big hug and say sorry I have left him behind and that I was harsh on him. Even though I don’t have an Earthly father I still have my heavenly father. We thank God each day for seeing us through this difficult period of our lives, he has never forsaken us during this difficult time. Even though life was tough emotionally, physically and financially, we never had to beg for help from others we always had enough to go through each day. It has taken me 7 years to talk about him, and I think it’s a good sign that I’m healing emotionally. It doesn’t feel like 7 years ago it felt just like yesterday when we were still in the hospital spending our last moments together. May all glory and honor goes to our almighty heavenly father and I will forever treasure the memories of my daddy in my heart.