My Dad underwent 2 surgeries today. (His medical history is a long story but) The first one was to remove metal that has been cutting the side of his face and the second one was to remove a portion of his jaw bone because that portion is “dead”.
My Dad had been putting off the jaw bone surgery for a while because he was traumatized by a major surgery he had to do in September last year.
We spoke to the doctor after the 2nd surgery and he assured us that my Dad is ok. My Dad would have to do chemotherapy again after this as part of his treatment.
I was hesitant to bring Phoebie to the hospital at first because my parents used to always nag about not bringing kids to visit people in the hospital. In the end, I decided that letting my Dad see Phoebie was more important than the possibility of their nag.
When we got to the hospital, my Dad was minutes away from being wheeled into the operation theatre for the second surgery. I could literally see my Dad’s face light up the moment he saw Phoebie. “Gong gong, are you ok? Gong gong, jia you!” Phoebie told my Dad and he replied with a big ok.
I led Phoebie in praying for my Dad and for the first time, my Dad didn’t refuse or reject our prayer. My parents are not Christians and my Dad has always rejected my offers to pray for him. Phoebie followed me line by line in praying for a smooth surgery, for peace and for the doctor to be clever. At her amen, my Dad smiled and said, “Thank you, Phoebie.”
While we waited for the surgery to be completed, my Mum was amused with the way Phoebie would engage everyone and anyone she saw at the waiting area. So instead of being worried the whole time, at least my Mum managed to smile.
When my Dad finally came out of the operation theatre, one of the first few things he said was Phoebie Koh.
Before we left the hospital, Phoebie said, “Shall we pray for Gong gong?” And my Dad stretched his hand out to her.
After praying, Phoebie again told my Dad to jia you and my Dad nodded.
It’s really amazing what the encouragement of children can do, not only to grandparents but to parents too. I would probably have broken down multiple times today if not for Phoebie. And even though my parents know Phoebie was just repeating after me when we prayed, I think her cute voice and focused look awed them and made them smile.
I think I don’t thank God enough for Phoebie. With a little tilt of her head, and her eyes looking at me, her “Are you okay, Mama?” never fails to make me smile. Indeed, I am thankful for this gift of encouragement called Phoebie.