Three days ago doctors released me from a six-day ordeal that began with admission to the ER from profuse internal bleeding. Diagnosis: complications of diverticulitis, a rare condition that strikes without warning. A CAT scan failed to detect its origin because it has stopped and a colonoscopy ended with clips on three suspected diverticula. The doctors prescribed a three-day observation. My wife got me a private room and my son hooked up an external drive and a media player to the TV in the room. The drive has all of Charice’ songs on You Tube that my brother in San Antonio downloaded last month. Chasters, if you ever get in my situation (the condition visits 10 percent of the population), here’s one way of spending some hours with Charice.
First night, pray for a miraculous healing. Such was my hope when the doctors could not find the source. You and I deserve a miracle and when we pray for it we get it, though not always in the shape we imagined it to be nor at the moment we wanted it. The basis for this hope is what Charice sings in O Holy Night. Yeah, it’s a Christmas song but, this time, watch her pray the song. It can be a prayer for anyone who is going through a night of uncertainty, the dark night of the soul. At one point in her life she suffered defeat and derision, felt not having enough worth, and was ready to change course. Then she went to Quiapo Church and her soul felt its worth. To me, the song said that my night was a holy night, a night divine, and a moment of new birth. And if it were to be my last night, I could look forward to angels singing, stars forever brightly shining, and a welcome hug from One born that night.
The reality was a disturbed night with nurses coming in and out to check and replace IV bottles and take vital stats every so often. I was close to needing blood transfusion but the following morning I felt fine enough to want to go home. Friends came to visit and I treated them to Charice on Oprah’s show. This was their introduction to Charice and they asked like everybody in Oprah, “Who is that girl?” A colleague now appreciates better the lyrics she translated for me and we talked about a joint classes on Arts Appreciation and English as a Second Language for our Japanese and Chinese students. A Japanese student said they refer to “goose bumps” as “chicken skin” and claimed she felt it the moment I played Charice’ video at her ESL class.
Second night, pray with Charice and Andrea Bocelli. In deep trouble as I was, there are others in deeper trouble. The Prayer called me to find solidarity with men, women, and children suffering from injustice and violence. I felt called to help others find within them true love for others. It called me to communion with the suffering Man on the Cross who brought healing to this world and who tasked you and me to continue what He began. With Him I can reach out to the world and extend my hand in brotherhood.
Early the following morning the condition recurred and this time the doctors traced it to its source, injected a coagulant, and closed the wound with a clip. By late afternoon I was back to full consciousness and showing more Charice videos to friends who came to visit.
Third night, send a Note to God. With both arms being used, one for liquid food and the other for blood transfusion, writing was not an option. But mental notes were plenty. One was a thank you note. I thanked God for the doctors, nurses, friends, and, most of all, a family that was there for me and proud of its adopted daughter, Charice. I thanked God for a new appreciation of life which is ever so fragile and so much in need of loving care. Not just my life but also the life out there on the road where “so much is goin wrong.” I asked for strength to make it through and for the faith to carry on a project that will make us safe. Here the prayer of the night before merged in: guide us with your grace, lead us to a place where we’ll be safe.
The following morning ideas came rushing in on how to cut the rate of recidivism in the U.S. and elsewhere. If you share this concern, meet me at the chat room. Together, we will make U.S. streets safer for all.
Written and submitted by Rom Remus
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