It should have been a perfect father’s day present for my younger brother. Months of anticipation and excitement ended on a sad and tragic note.
Each time I return to Japan after a business trip, I always call my family back in the Philippines. And today was no exception. The very moment I stepped out of the plane, I called our home and hoping that my mother will break the good news. I was very surprised that one of my cousins answered the phone and in a panic-stricken voice called out my mother. Perhaps they were expecting my call and I had a really bad feeling from that moment on. After my mother took hold of the phone, I asked how’s everything and cracked a joke or two. Typical conversation. My mother in a somber tone told me that my sister-in-law gave birth yesterday afternoon and that my niece succumbed after 15 hrs due to complications.
S I L E N C E.
I tried to ignore what I heard earlier but my mom’s cracking voice and occasional sobs confirmed that it was real. That it was happening. That I am not going to see my first niece, their first granddaughter, alive. I asked, how’s my brother and sister-in-law doing? My mother just cried. It was a 360 degree turn on what we are expecting. Totally unexpected. It was my brother who broke the news to my mother and father at around 4 am of May 27, 2010.
Few months ago, I remembered how my brother shared via email, chat the preparations they are doing. Yes, including my parents and aunt. Everyone is pretty pumped-up. Buying this and that and even trying to utilize some old stuff that I and my brother used when we were newborns. (Yeah, it may be 30 years old but it still usable!). I even schedule my vacation almost at the same time as my sister-in-law’s due date. I missed seeing my niece for 3 days.Her first crib will be a coffin.
Trying to a strong big brother, I called my brother who is an emotional wreck right now. He was still at the hospital, comforting her wife. He told me that he is now slowly accepting the fact that their daughter was not meant for them. Fate. He is trying to explain to his wife all the things that had happened the past 15 hours. I told him to be strong as his wife will need him the most in trying to recover from this loss. He shared that one of the most painful thing was the fact that they weren’t able to hold their daughter as she was rushed for emergency treatment. He also told me that when her daughter was still under the aid of a respirator, he thought everything would be okay as she her feet moved. But looking at her, he can see that she is struggling and made him utter the words, “baby, kung gusto mo magpahuway, batunon na lang namon”. Listening to his words made me want to hug him. He ended the story, the doctor told him that she is now in peace.
I can feel that my brother is also trying to be courageous, and as much as possible doesn’t want to be that affected. And out of nowhere he asked me if I already receive my ticket and told him I did.I will be seeing all of them this Sunday again, including the newest member of our family. We will all be complete to send her off to the eternal playground. Permanently.
Rest in Peace, Baby.