Dad wasn’t about fanfare. Didn’t dress nice, buy anything past books and just was so simple, humble and humble. Oh my goodness. In my complaining mentality, I have been thinking this past week a lot about how amazing it was that Dad rarely complained or called attention to himself. It makes me feel better when I just vent things out aka complain. I have much to learn.Rather than eat ice cream (though we did take the girls to Sweet Frog) to remember Goong Goong, on my dad’s one year homegoing to heaven, I thought I’d just make my dad proud by piling some stones to remember God’s goodness. I remember Dad preaching throughout the years how we too should build memorials and piles of stones to remember God’s goodness, but also to remind and explain to the future generations of how God was good to us. We must not forget. My list could on, but here are couple of “stones” regarding God’s faithfulness to us in Dad’s cancer and sickness that I don’t want to forget. When I think back on these things, I realize why I can’t depend on anyone else besides Jesus Christ. Amen.
- My middle sister, Priscilla, and husband and two girls made a huge move over to Singapore into my parent’s basement in July 2013. Neither of them had a job, a home, and they had prayed on the decision to move. In faith they moved and that same week they moved in with suitcases, we found out that Dad had been diagnosed with his cancer. God knew.
- At work I had worked with a certain oncologist for a few years doing Outreach to the Chinese community. I knew he was both caring and very good at his job. Little did I know that a few years later, my dad would need an oncologist from that practice. So only because I knew this oncologist was great, I was able to make sure that this doc was the one to walk my dad and mom especially through his cancer. That connection was priceless and divinely planned So blessed and touched by God’s provision.
- Again at work, I met an awesome girl around my age, while doing Outreach in end of life care to the Chinese community. Once again, only God knew that a few years later she would be working as a physician at NIH Palliative Care. When my dad got admitted to the NIH trial for small cell cancer, I realized she was there too and ended up being one of the physicians who cared for my dad directly through Palliative Care, etc. Her presence and the fact that she knew me calmed and cheered up Dad.
- Mom retired from NIH in 2010 and there was no way we could have planned it but while Dad got his first few rounds at NIH under the clinical trial, Mom was able to visit her former coworkers/friends one floor below each time she was there. Not only that, she knew the big campus back to front and so there was not as much stress involved with the logistics.
- In 2010, I decided to make a job change and started working in hospice care. I had no interest in doing so, but really considered it because my mom had told me quite strongly that she felt like I should take this job. I didn’t look for it, send in my resume but God gave it me, honestly. Little did I know that working in end-of-life care and serving the dying could be such a meaningful job, both career wise and especially personally. Working in hospice care has increased my compassion for the elderly, for the dying and gave me a greater understanding and compassion for Dad as he lived his last years, months and days. God blessed me with knowledge about dying that allowed me to be more prepared and so much less afraid and more able to love my dad through it all. I pity the idea of climbing up the corporate ladder or making big bucks and obtaining fame and status. God has blessed me soo soo soo much by giving me a job that allows me to realize that life is not to be taken for granted. I would not trade it for a business suit or corner office.
- My final stone for tonight is that God was good even to the minute details of my love life. In high school I met Kevin and had no idea how perfectly God matched him to me. I am thankful that Kevin is a godly and studly man and that my dad really liked him, but not until my dad was hit by cancer did I realize how deep God’s love is for me. I didn’t know that having a husband who also lost his Dad through cancer when he was young would be something that would matter to me really. Until I realized that God gave me more than a good man, but he gave me a husband who could understand and walk with me emotionally through Dad’s sickness. He didn’t give me funny looks when I cried and mourned Dad’s decline and he just was there really quite perfectly. To add to that, God gave me a mother-in-law who had gone through it years before. God foresaw and even planned those details. Just thinking about it leaves me in amazement.
There are a billion more stones to be piled. But sleep must be had. Blessed to be loved by two amazing fathers.