His Last Goodbye

“Are you Filipino? You should go back home and bring back a dozen more nurses like you to this country,” Mr. Bob never failed to make me smile whenever I checked how he was. Even if he was experiencing severe discomfort due to having cancer, he managed to light up the situation with a joke or two.

It was a joy having short conversations with the kind gentleman. He would share some of his great adventures overseas, his love for his family and his dog, and moments of life reflection.

During those periods, I was also able to share about the Lord and lead him to a closer relationship with God. I sang a couple of songs of worship as well as some of his favourite country tunes. After that time, he would remind me again and again, how he was waiting for another singing session with me.

Mr. Bob’s countenance slowly declined as his condition worsened. Coming to a month of hospitalization, he required more and more pain medications and assistance with ambulation. He would apologize to staff for needing help in standing or transferring to his bed. Despite explaining to him that it was all part of our duty to provide care, he continued to apologize and repeatedly verbalized gratitude for what we do.

On my last shift before having days off from work, I saw him in extreme agony due to pain and immediately administered pain relief medications. He was telling me that he wished to pass away already, not being able to bear the discomfort he felt. He held my hand, thanking me again, “Thank you, thank you, always remember how you became a blessing to a person’s life. Thank you.” Those were the last words I heard from Mr. Bob, who died the day after.

Tears fell. I could not contain my emotions as he spoke his words of appreciation. I have not told him of my struggles, such as being homesick, hoping I could go home even for a short while. Yet, this pandemic stopped those opportunities, and it seemed like a blur when it could ever happen.

I went home that day and spoke to my father through the phone. “For such a time as this… Do you remember Esther’s story in the Bible? If only you could see your profession as your ministry, then you would appreciate why you were there. Instead of asking a way to escape your problems, why not pray for strength and wisdom to face them?” was what my dad said.

I wish to share this personal story (changing some info for privacy matters), dear reader hoping it will also inspire you in whatever circumstance you are going through. Borrowing my father’s phrase: “bloom where you are planted,” is a reminder that we can continue to grow and be used for God’s glory whoever we are, wherever we are, and whatever job or position we have.

I am still in the process of refinement, and there is a lot more to learn about life. I pray that we will continue on this journey loving God and loving others (Matthew 22: 36-39). ❤️🙏

*Thank you, Mr. Bob.

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This cause was inspired by a young lad, Abner A. Ibag, who has passed away after 18 precious years of existence. He has left a legacy of positivity and have become an inspiration to his family circle, friends and his acquaintances; a beaming beacon who has shared selfless acts of kindness, emanating an aura of joy with a contagious spirit of bringing smiles and laughter. Continuing this feat, from a period of hiatus, I aspire to continue sharing a heart of caring through social media- with stories and encouraging updates, and connecting people with the same mindset. Everyday stresses may become overwhelming, but know that you are not alone going through this. Would you like to join us? Feel free to send us your messages, inquiries and suggestions. Let's brighten up the world. Keep smiling!

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