Two pictures of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, one of St. Jude, and the one I added of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati are on the erase board in front of my father's hospital bed so that he can look at them when he's conscious and alert. I also have a picture of dad with a picture of Blessed Pier Giorgio on his side but, due to respect for my family, I will keep that one private... until, and in case, we get that miracle we're praying for and we need some sort of photographic evidence.
I've been asked by many people to give an update, so here I am. I will actually go to the hospital right after I finish this... and will attempt to sneak into my dad's room.
Dad is on a roller coaster right now. No, not literally. A few days ago, he got so sick that we were told to start making funeral arrangements because he wouldn't make it past the weekend. It's been decided that I am having the final say on where dad will be buried (when the time comes) and what we're going to do because I took care of him and because I've lived the longest with him (not counting my mom, of course). I've decided to keep him in L.A. with us instead of having him taken back to Mexico for personal reason. I assure y'all it wasn't for purely selfish reasons. I took everything into consideration before I decided. We've talked about keeping the three of us (dad, mom, and I) together and that's what we're going to do. He's made it past the weekend... but now they're only giving him 2 more months to live. I won't listen to the estimates though, because only God truly knows when each of us will go. No living human being can tell us how much longer we have. We just have to trust that we will go when God wants us.
Everyone has began falling apart... including myself, though I think, and hope, that I've stayed stronger than they give me credit for. My mom started questioning God for "doing this", but I've talked to her about it so she's no longer doing it. If there's one (or two) thing I haven't done, is give up on dad and keeping my faith close to me. While everyone is pessimistic and thinking the worse, I'm staying optimistic and thanking God for keeping us all intact thus far.
All of my brothers and my sister are here (dad has 6 children; I'm the youngest) and it made my father VERY happy when he saw all 6 of us together, in his hospital room. (We went two-three days without the security kicking us out for having 8+ people in his room). Though he's only half conscious most of the time, he'll ask where one of us is while keeping his eyes closed. Since two really mean nurses (nasty women) reported us for "creating problems" in my dad's room, we've had to take turns seeing dad. (I heard one of them laughing when security was called. If I wasn't trying to continue acting like a lady, I would've given her a piece of my mind.) Yesterday was really hard for me because I was the last one to see him. Reason for that is because on Saturday I ended up at another hospital, in the E.R., for burning, stabbing chest pains. It ended up being a case of bad heartburn with a little anxiety/stress. Since then, they're limiting my time at the hospital. My brothers are leaving today (only my sister is staying with us for another week), so I'll have better luck in seeing him longer tomorrow. Still, I know I have to get out more (both doctor's and family's orders) because the visits are actually making me feel worse. I feel very weak and fatigued the mornings following the visits. The longer I am at the hospital, the worse I feel the next morning. I've already let my friends know I will need them to come watch a movie, or to help me get out of the house once in a while so I don't get worse. It makes me feel guilty... like I'm selfish and uncaring... for doing this but deep down I know it's the right thing to do. I won't be of much use if I get sick too.
I've prayed the Rosary and Chaplet of the Divine Mercy at his bedside a couple of times... but the last few times I've tried, I've gotten chest pains so I haven't anymore. We still pray, though. At any given moment, you will see at least one person praying in dad's room. Yesterday, mom, my sister Ana, and I were all praying different things... along with dad. Dad began singing hymns and praying at the top of his lungs yesterday morning. No one knows why, but he did... and it's actually beautiful. The fact that he does is half consciously is just another way of showing us that God is with us. In fact, the nurse told me that when they asked him why he did that (when he was more alert) he said that he did it because he felt that God was with him, and that that made him very happy. I keep asking Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati for his intercession.
Did I mention that on Friday (the feast day of the Sacred Heart of Jesus) we found the prayer card of Blessed Pier Giorgio on the table next to my dad's bed? It was literally a foot away. No one knows how it got there, either, because we were the first ones to go in in the morning. I'm not jumping to conclusions, though. Whoever put it there... THANK YOU. Every since I asked Blessed Pier Giorgio for a sign -- that either dad will be okay or that we'll be okay -- I've felt nothing but peacefulness and happiness. I don't know if it's just wishful thinking or what, but I have a feeling we'll see a miracle -- again, either in dad or in the family. I think that my faith in God, the Church, and in miracles is so strong that it's what keeps me going without becoming a complete mess. If anything happens, I at least have the consolation that dad will go without any sins on his conscience. I am sincerely thankful that he was able to confess and receive the Eucharist shortly before his health began to decline. That's all I wanted and all I worked for those years I tried to convince him, and prayed for him, to come back to the Church.
SKIP THIS NEXT PARAGRAPH IF YOU DON'T WANT TO READ THE DETAILED MEDICAL EXPLANATIONS:
Oh, like, some of you want the specifics on what's wrong. Doctor's told us this morning that his liver is 30-40% badly damaged, which is why they've been doing dialysis on him - to clean his blood. Since my dad has been stable and responding well, there's a chance it will get better. His lungs aren't affected as they originally thought. Also, the yellow in his skin and eyes (which we thought was jaundice) has begun disappearing because what was causing it, the bile, was getting blocked. They did an operation and have fixed that. His kidneys are practically shot, too... though we can always hope and pray that we'll see a miracle occur.
That's it for now. It's getting late and I'd like to see dad before visiting hours are over. Thank you all who have been asking Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati for his intercession (I believe he needs one more miracle to be officially declared a saint; I'm hoping we personally see this miracle happen), and for your continued prayers for dad and for my family. They are greatly appreciated from the bottom of my heart. And a special, THANK YOU to my friends who have been there for me and have checked up on me and dad on a daily basis. I love you all! :)
As always, thanks for reading and God Bless.