Last Three Words….


rose

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Silently, he left

By himself, not taking anything

Not saying goodbye

So peacefully and without regrets

He knew he had all of our love

And he left his heart with us.

Just a couple of days before his passing

He tried to write it on my palm

But failed for he had no more strength

He tried to utter the words with his mouth

But no voice came out.

I thought he said, “ALFI.”

It did not make sense to me.

So I did not understand what he wanted to say

Until a year later.

What he wanted to say was

I LOVE YOU… I LOVE YOU…

He tried so hard to let me know

He could not express it with his hand

His mouth failed to utter the words.

Then he tried with his heart

Quietly, voicelessly with all his heart

To let me know that

He loves me

Till the end.

I was exhausted from a defeating effort to try to convince the hospital not to end my husband’s life. Yet, the moment I walked into Ming’s hospital room that night, I forced myself to put on a warm and loving face, so he did not suspect anything was wrong. His health was deteriorating, and he surely did not need to know the hospital’s evil plan.

I sat there quietly and tried to figure out what to do next. All I knew was that I wasn’t going to give up the fight for Ming’s life. Perhaps I could seek outside help of some sort. Maybe someone else would be able to persuade the hospital not to stop his blood transfusion. So far, my attempts were only causing me to suffer more heartbreak – but more importantly, the battle with the hospital was robbing me of precious moments with my husband.

Despite all of the internal noise buzzing around in my head, the hospital room was so quiet, one could hear a pin drop. Suddenly, I noticed that Ming was trying to tell me something. I leaned in closer to listen, but he didn’t have the strength to whisper a word. I gently placed his hand on my palm to see if he could trace the letters onto my hand, but he didn’t have the strength for this either.

My heart sank into my chest as I watch him struggle to try to say whatever it was that he wanted to tell me. His eyes began to fill up with tears as he grew nearer to accepting defeat. Soon, his tears were flowing like a river – and with each tear that fell from his eyes, I felt another piece of my heartbreak.

Again and again, he tried to open his mouth to say something but nothing came out. Out of desperation, I got really close and tried to read his lips. Watching his mouth change shapes, I soon believed I could make out his word: “ALFI.”

I gave a gentle nod, which he accepted as the understanding that I finally knew what he was trying to say. I saw his body relax a bit and he soon closed his eyes to rest. The tension from the whole interaction caused my chest to tighten as reality set in that “ALFI” may have been the final word I would ever hear from my husband.

Dr. Alfi was the professor that my husband collaborated with when he left Harvard for the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital to pursue chromosome studies. Eventually, Ming left Dr. Alfi and went to USC affiliated County hospital while Dr. Alfi opened his private amniocentesis lab.

Prior to Ming ending up sick in the hospital, he had found out that his department was in jeopardy of closing because they didn’t have enough patient specimens to move forward with the study. Last we had discussed, he was considering partnering with Dr. Alfi once again after he recovered from his sickness. And here Ming was, with a near zero percent chance of recovery, still worried about his job. I would have given anything to have been able to help him free himself of those worries right then.

My husband passed away a couple of days later. I did not think about “Alfi” until exactly one year and one day after his death. It was then that I flashed back to the memory of me trying to read Ming’s lips that day in the hospital. All of a sudden, I could read his lips clear as day. It wasn’t “Alfi” that he said, it was “I love you.” These three last words were his final good-bye and his last gift to me.

As I sit here, recalling this memory I shared with Ming, I am left wishing that I had been able to reciprocate this precious gift with an, “I love you, too.” The honest truth is that I love him wholeheartedly, even now.

Ming and I spent his final days fighting for his life: He fought physically, while I begged and pleaded with the hospital to not stop his blood transfusion. I remember it so clearly: It was a Thursday morning, and the chief of the intensive care unit came to see me. His look was emotionless and detached as he delivered the cruel news that the hospital would stop Ming’s blood transfusions the next day.

I was in complete shock and disbelief. He must not have understood the significance of this decision, that bringing an end to Ming’s blood transfusions meant bringing an end to Ming’s life. Therefore, I begged, pleaded and even tried to reason with the doctor – but he wouldn’t budge. He stated that Ming was going to die regardless, and he did not want to waste any more of the blood supply.

I knew, the instant that he refused the blood donations that came in from our church that I was dealing with a person who lacked feeling. I felt completely helpless. How could I change the mind of a person who could so cold-heartedly abandon a human life?

After realizing that I couldn’t change the director’s mind, my anger took over. I remember looking through the doctor’s eyes and into his dark soul and saying: “Doctors are not God to determine the life and death of a human. They are responsible for treating patients.” What came next out of my mouth even shocked me as I told him that if he went through with his plan, I would consider him a murder. He didn’t even blink or show an inkling of regret.

In the end, I was practically hunched down on the floor, begging for his mercy and begging for my husband’s life. When I realized the battle had already been lost, I begged him to at least give Ming and me three more days to spend together, without stopping the blood transfusion. He knew that our church offered a three-day fast, so he granted my request. I thanked God for providing me with these precious 72 hours so that I could try to win my case with a bigger giant than the department chief: the hospital itself.

During his last three days, I was not able to stay with Ming every second, so I entrusted one of our church sisters to be with him while I dealt with the hospital. What touched me the most was that he never expressed any disappointment with me for needing to leave his side at times. He trusted me totally with all his heart. I refrained from telling him all that was going on with the hospital. I decided it would be best if he didn’t know that the hospital was deliberately going to end his life. No one should have to experience such pain in their final days.

I submitted an official letter to the hospital in regards to the doctor’s decision to terminate my husband’s life. All I got back was a scratch piece of paper with a note sloppily written in pencil, confirming the termination of Ming’s blood transfusion to take place the following Monday, which was less than just three short days away.

To be continued…

默黙的,他離開了…
他一個人,沒有帶走任何….
沒說再見….
如此的,平靜,沒遺憾…
因他知道他擁有我們所有的愛…
他把他的心留給我們…
在他逝世前二兩天,
他試著寫在我的手掌上,
他失敗了,因他已沒有力氣….
他試圖用他的嘴發音,但沒有聲音出來
看他的口型, 我以為他說 阿勒菲
它好像沒有什麼意義
我不知道他想說什麼
直到一年後… 我才領悟到
他想說.的是.
我愛你  … … …
他非常努力地想讓我知道,
無法用他的手來表達,
他的嘴也無法說出…
然後他試著用他的心….
悄然無聲的用他的心….
讓我知道…
他愛我… ..
一直到底…

我愛你–最後的禮物

在經過一整天的奔波我回到我先生住的醫院的房間, 他的情形還是一樣. 我不想讓他擔心, 因此沒有告訴他在醫院裡發生了什麼事. 我只是靜靜地坐在那裡, 想想我應該怎樣做,去求外面更多的力量來幫助勸服醫院, 讓我的丈夫可以得到繼續的輸血, 而沒有任何中斷. 要應付在醫院裡這些人實在是非常頭痛及難過的事.
病房一片安靜, 連一根針掉下的聲音, 都可以聽到. 突然, 我看到了他試圖告訴我什麼, 但他已經無力 發出聲音. 我試圖把他的手, 放在我的手掌上, 請他把它寫在我的手上. 但是他還是做不到.
他著急, 我更焦急, 我眼淚幾乎都要流出來了. 看他很著急的樣子, 我知道這件事非常重要, 問他想告訴我什麼. 我可以看到淚水已在他眼裡打轉, 看到他那麼迫切的想跟我說, 但卻說不出來, 第一次看到他的如此絕望, 我的心都要碎了。
他打開嘴巴再一次一次的試圖說話, 仍然沒有聲音, 我開始注意他的口型, 見到我好像看懂他的口型, 終于安心的閉上他的眼睛休息 . 他的淚水也從眼角渗了出來. 我心中有種心酸的感覺,  知道這可能是他最後一次跟我說話了.
從他張開口的形狀, 猜他是說阿爾菲. 當他離開哈佛大學到洛杉磯, 就是到南加大附屬兒童醫院–阿爾菲博士下工作.後來他轉到南加大縣立醫院, 而阿爾菲博士則出去開他的公司. 我心想為什麼你現在病那麼重, 還在擔心工作?當然,這次實驗室將被關閉,你就沒有工作了, 我知道你想看看以後你可不可以到阿爾菲奧博士公司工作. 我們以前也討論這一點. 拜託請不要擔心你的工作. 你只要好起來, 回到我身邊便够了.
過兩天後他去世了, 我也沒有繼續想阿勒菲這三個字母, 直到一年後的一天, 我才忽然領悟到, 他最後要說的是
我愛你
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