Thursday, March 15, 2007

you will see heaven, the angels, and god himself

On the day my mother was discharged from the hospital, our whole family was relieved. The second ECG showed a healthy heart, except that it’s a bit enlarged, which has been her problem since the nineties. It’s a relief to know that it’s nothing serious. The 2D Echo performed that morning also didn’t show anything alarming, thank Vishnu. The official results will still have to be interpreted by Dr. Bautista, the cardiologist with pimples the size of cherries and with a bad case of halitosis. We’re all ecstatic that nothing is wrong with her.

Before we left the hospital, my elderly aunt, whom, I think is my father’s cousin (I’m not really sure), visited my mother, carrying with her three oranges as get-well soon gift. She’s a cancer survivor. Three months after her husband’s death, she got so depressed her cancel cells got activated. They said it was cancer of the nose or something like that; her nasal cavity had been badly affected. She was eager to describe her near-death experience in vivid detail.

To me, it seemed more like the hallucinatory effect of general anaesthesia, but what the heck, I had nothing else better to do so I sat up and listened.

She said she felt like she was breezed through something. “A tunnel, that’s a tunnel,” interjected my sister who pulled a chair by the hospital bed to listen attentively to my aunt.

Then she saw a troop of dancers in tattered robes, begging for some loose change. Somehow, she got transported to a place with an enormous well with a blazing fire inside.

“Oh that’s hell, you’ve seen hell,” said my sister, her nostrils dilating like my dog’s when it is in heat. She asked someone which direction she should take to get to heaven. She was told to go up a long staircase. The ascent was tiring. Eventually, she felt she was just being lifted higher because her weary feet were just too exhausted to go on.

“There’s an angel, you were being carried by an angel, have you seen it?” asked my sister.

She arrived in a breezy place of blue and immaculate white, which she thought was heaven. She saw kids of the same height and a man with keys, whom she believed was Saint Peter.

“Oh, you’re starting to mix it up with your own beliefs now,” commented my sister, who, being a born-again Christian isn’t exactly too euphoric about Catholic iconography.

A great book was opened and the man asked what her name was. Immediately after mentioning her name, the man flipped through the pages to look for it. As the man fingered through a page, he murmured: “St. Benedict, Joseph, and Mary…” My aunt’s name wasn’t there.
By this time, my sister's face was starting to sour.

And then, she saw a huge arched gate that opened out to a magnificent banquet hall. In the middle of the hall was a big statue of the Virgin Mary with flying thingies all around it.

“I think you’re hallucinating now. It must’ve been the anesthesia,” quipped my incredulous sister. (In this country, Protestants equate the veneration of Mary to pagan worship).

And then, after that, my aunt said the drug wore out and she found herself back to the operating room. But before that happened, she heard the song In His Time being played in the background. She has never heard this song before. She sang two lines to us and tears instantly raced down her plump cheeks.

My sister was quick to exploit the situation. “Do you know what that meant?” she asked. “God wants to save you. The fact that your name is not yet written in the book of life is proof enough that you need to accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior.” I quickly turned away, tucked myself in one corner of the hospital room, and tried to read John Bayley’s Elegy for Iris. The scene was getting more surreal than the hallucinations of a stoned rockstar has-been.

“Are you doing anything this afternoon? Why don’t you come with us. We can talk about your experience more.” When we got home, my aunt requested me to play Ballade Pour Adeline and Song for Anna on the piano. And then, I accompanied my father as he sang In His Time. The music had been cued. The lights were on. The stage couldn’t have been more perfect.

My sister got a bible and started the performance. “This will separate fact from hallucination. According to the book of Revelation chapter 3, verse 2 …”

It was too much for me. It’s time to do something worthwhile, I thought. So I went up my room, turned on my laptop, and surfed the net for porn.



At 11:37 PM, Anonymous cruise said...

good to hear that your mom was already discharged from the hospital, buti nalang equipped na rin ang mga hospital natin para maka-detect kung merong sakit ang isang pasyente.

marunong ka pala tumugtog ng piano! cool...

At 12:05 PM, Blogger pat said...

wow, you're back. i thought you were gonna go all mystical and start new age talk, &tc.
anyway, cool that you're back.

At 7:04 PM, Blogger weng said...

hahaha! natawa ako dito! how are you and your sis relating in terms of belief, i wonder...

anyway, glad your mom is ok. good your back blogging too. =D

At 12:13 AM, Blogger Abaniko said...

Ibang klase ka talaga! :)

I thought you have left the blogosphere for good so I removed you from my blogroll. Now that you're posting again, I'll restore the link. Hope you'll churn out posts regularly from now on.

Why the long silence, btw?

At 6:39 PM, Anonymous Basang Panaginip said...

Damn, that was surreal indeed and histerical.

Welcome back Chris

At 10:25 AM, Blogger Sidney said...

I thought you left for Paris! Glad you are back. I also remove you from my blogroll. Will restore the link soon.

At 9:21 PM, Anonymous elsa said...

Je suis contente que ta mère soit sortie de l'hôpital et rétablie. Mon père aussi a un coeur trop gros et ce depuis 1979 (au moins), donc ta maman a sûrement de beaux jours devant elle.
Et je me réjouis de te lire encore et encore!

At 7:19 PM, Blogger vina said...

and he's back!
well, kinda.

At 9:22 PM, Blogger Shelly said...

Hi. I really like your blog. Was wondering if you want to add it to my directory? Thanks Shelly

Weblog index

At 7:26 PM, Blogger slim whale said...

cruise -- yeah, it was quite a relief. i was so worried when i brought her to the emergency room. don't have time to play the pliano these days. and my piano is horribly out of tune.

pat -- mystical? I thought so, too. i'm also glad i'm back

weng -- my sister always drags me to their Sunday service. sometimes, when my mind is not working right, i go with them

abaniko -- was busy with work. couldn't find the time to write. i do hope i can do post regularly now. i'm really happy that you consider me one of your fave bloggers. thanks so much.

basang panaginip -- in my family, surrealism is normal.

sidney -- thanks sidney! i kinda miss bloghopping. i have yet to visit your blog. miss your pictures

elsa -- j'éspère que ma maman aura de beaux jours devant elle, comme ton père. je suis désolé je n'avais pas de temps pour repondre à ton email. J'ai écrit un poeme Français, je vais l'envoyer des que possible.

vina -- oh yeah, i am back! thanks for dropping by

shelley --- thanks

At 4:07 PM, Blogger Jay said...

Are you back for good now?

At 12:51 AM, Blogger slim whale said...

jay -- i do hope so.

At 5:03 PM, Blogger rmacapobre said...

> “There’s an angel, you were being carried by an angel, have you seen it?” asked my sister.

seeing things that arent there are called hallucinations and/or delusions .. perhaps a trip to the mental ward is in order ...

At 10:41 PM, Blogger runawaycat said...

Your sister is funny...

At 12:53 AM, Blogger febeth said...

You see when somebody recovers from a near death experience, they sure have a story to tell.

Just listen and you will learn from it. Your story is like a replay of several stories I hear whenever I am in any hospital visiting sick relatives.

At 4:55 PM, Blogger slim whale said...

rmacapobre -- ouais. je suis d'accord.

runawaycat -- among other things

febeth -- i know. i've heard this story a million times. people who do drugs have more interesting stories to tell. but that's not the point of this post. oh well...

At 2:03 AM, Blogger Jules said...

i love the way the tita quickly dismissed it as hallucinations .... hilarious

At 8:56 PM, Blogger slim whale said...

jules -- i come from a family of contraditions and hilarity. all the members of my family are characters. glad to see you here again.


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