I was bedridden a little over a year ago. I caught a fever. My temperature fluctuated for a week. I recall waking up at 2 am because of such an urgency to start praying. I would say it was an almost audible voice I heard. I would never have woken up on my own if I never sensed the words telling me to wake up and start praying. I knew it was time. 266 miles away from my home, my uncle in Los Angeles was slipping in to his eternal sleep. His name was Florante and he was diagnosed with 4th stage lung cancer. In my meditation, I remember feeling at peace. I affirmed out loud as if he was in my bedroom and said that everything will be alright. Then I said my goodbye. I quickly fell back asleep and had three dreams within a dream about myself waking up from each dream. I finally woke up to an asthma attack. I medicated myself, then back to sleep I drifted. I was not completely aware of the time, but it seemed just a few minutes later, when I sensed the lights turn on in the hallway outside my room. My door opened and I quickly sat up as if I never slept. It was my mom. She told me that my uncle had just passed away. Before she could complete her sentence, I said “I know.”
How did I know? I don’t know. I just knew. It was the most chilling night I have ever had.
Sometime before that evening my dad had partly opened my window to air out my room of stubborn bugs that were keeping me ill. I didn’t realize they were opened the entire night, until it was near dawn after my uncle died. A very strong gust of wind came into my room. I can’t forget how beautiful the neighbor’s wind chimes sounded. Though the chills kept coming, I had a calm and peaceful feeling over me.
5 days before his passing, he celebrated his 64th birthday in California. My family attended and my parents were able to reach him with God’s gift of salvation. I caught a cold during the time of his birthday, and when we returned home it had only gotten worse. I remember an afternoon when I was driving home after picking up my brother from school. There was a white dove that flew across from our driveway as I was turning to park. I had never seen one so close just a few feet from the windshield. In my uncle’s last month when he was diagnosed with cancer, my brother and I would see this dove almost everyday he had school. It would be on the neighbor’s lawn with a group of pigeons. It had never crossed our path until that afternoon. It was also the last time I was outside of the house and not long before the night of his passing.
I remember my first few steps after landing America in 1993. My uncle’s face was the second familiar face I saw when I was reunited with my dad. He was the father of my cousin who came with us to board the plane en route USA. Christmas was just around the corner. He and his wife brought us over to a party at his workplace where my sister and I were showered with many gifts. I’ve never had that many presents in one year. He was a good citizen. He worked for the Los Angeles Metrolink as a bus driver. During a very challenging time of my life (2008) when I lived apart from my family because of an adversity between me and my dad, I hid from everyone and lived with a good friend. I recall stepping into a bus for work one day. I had never known my uncle’s daily route until I looked up and saw his familiar face. We smiled and he was glad to see that I was alright. I readied to give my fare, but he refused it and told me to take a seat instead. I said “Thank you”, and strangers on the bus must’ve thought I was nuts when I leaned in to kiss him on the cheek. 🙂
He was laid to rest one year ago today. I love you and miss you Tito (Uncle) Flor!
By His Grace, Sheela