Tuesday, June 21, 2016

His Last Leg

At a family get together last weekend, one of my cousins mentioned that my uncle was terminally ill. He is suffering from liver cancer and it is now slowly eating him up. He also ails from diabetes and was insulin dependant, further complicating treatment.  The doctors have already informed the family his time was up and they should make it as comfortable and memorable for him. Everyday that he breathed was a bonus.

I was deeply saddended. I had only met him last year and when he announced he had cancer, he looked quite healthy except for the slight tremble of his fingers. He had lost weight because of diabetes. So I could not fathom his matter-of-fact attitude towards the lethal disease, which he fought head-on, for two years.

Today, when I visited him, I never imagined I would seem him curled up like a shrunken vegetable. His face was sunken and he was in pain. The medication had made him drowsy. I was in tears and tried to be grown up among the grown-ups who had arrived to pay their respects. But amazingly, among all the visitors, he was able to recognize and respond to only my voice. I was so happy I made him smile in all that gloom. He smiled through the pain. He still had the spark.

When I was a naughty toddler, while at my grandparents home during the holidays, I put my finger inside the electrical socket and understandably, was howling in pain. It was my uncle who rescued me that day.  Maybe, he remembered that childhood memory of his niece.

My uncle has the fighter spirit, a quality he inherited from his grandmother who was independent, fierce and brave; but I pray he lives an everlasting sleep soon. I wish him peace in his journey. Its been a long hard fight and he must rest.

God bless.

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