Penat tu bagus. Bila penat, kita tidur pun lena, makan pun selera.
That must be dad’s words to me that I remember most. I had slightly resented it when he said it to me. I had hoped for soothing words when I complained of being tired from work. But I know fully that those words are mostly true.
I watched him tossing around, his face scrunched. I didn’t kow if he was in pain or merely uncomfortable having all sorts of lines plugged onto him. The CPAP mask strapped tightly around his old face. He would not stay still, so the doctor had me sign the consent form to put in a bigger, more secure line on him.
Since the previous day at the ER we had been asked on consents and decision. Dialysis, yes or no. Rhesus activation, yes or no. The doctor took a detailed history of dad down to where he taught back when he was a school headmaster. By now, I guess, all the doctors treating him would have known he has 12 children. What they still don’t know, so far, is where did the pus came from.
One of his lungs had stopped functioning. His kidneys were damaged. Even his heart was affected. Beside his bed at ER was a whiteboard. Among the notes were Sync: 200J and further down below Sync: 150J. Synchronized shock. Dad’s condition is critical, the doctor had said. The chance of survival was later said to be between 40% to 60%.
I sat there holding his hand. I had not hold his hand for a long time, I realized. Minus the times when we shook hands when I saw him. I hardly hold dad’ hands. He never needed the comfort.
But right then, he did. And I didn’t know what to do except squeezing his hand.
Oltong boltong motjin mom mae ae
Palgan oseul ibko
I found myself singing slowly. It was the lullaby I sing to Winter when I want to send him to sleep.
Tears escaped the side of my eye.