Bittersweet goodbye….

Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam who passed away in 632, related:

 “Gabriel came to me and said, ‘O Muhammad, live as you wish, for you shall eventually die.  Love whom you desire, for you shall eventually depart.  Do what you please, for you shall pay.  Know that the night-prayer[1]  is the honor of a believer, and his pride is being independant on others.’” (Silsilah al-Saheehah)

 If there is only one thing certain about life, it is that it ends. 

 After two years of battling with cancer, my dear boss passes away last Friday. He was only 53 yrs, still consider very young and have a full life ahead of him. I only been working with him for 2.5 years, but he’s been such a great mentor for me, a great manager and at few occasions acted as a father figure.

 He was diagnose with stage 4 lung cancer exactly two years ago, since then he refuse to give up and try everything he possibly can to beat his cancer. Always shows a positive attitude even when we know he’s in a lot of pain. Finally early this year, this body just can not take it anymore and he has to be in a long term disability. We left his office intact with hope he will beat this and come back again by the end of this year… At that point, most people knew it just a matter of time .. but I’m still in denial. I really do care for him and refuse to believe that he might be gone.

He came and visit us once in a while .. we all can see the physical difference, he lost all of his hair, his skin was so pale and he lose tons of weight. But he still the same Bob that we knew, still have the same smile, still have the same sense of humor.

Tuesday November 10th, he came and visit us at the Bank, he brought in a big box with him, then he told me it’s time to let go and he’s here to clean up his office for good. As sad as it was, he’s again in a very good spirit .. he even told us he was playing a round of golf the day before and will play again that afternoon. He also told us his plan of visiting his family in Salt Lake City that weekend.

Come to work the next Monday, I heard he got a heart attack and was being treated in hospital. I spoke with his wife on the phone, she always sound so positive and even told us he might be going home in the next day or two. I wasn’t worry then.. on Tuesday, some of the manager went and visit him, came back and told me that things doesn’t look good and they don’t think he will be able to go home anytime soon. That Tuesday night after work, I went and see him … when I arrive, all family member was waiting in the hall way crying.. I assume the worst and started to cry too… that night the doctor made a decision to move him to ICU because his heart was too weak to support his body and the other organ started to failing.. apparently his kidney already shut down.. I was able to see him that night for just a minute, before I left he wanted to hug me the he kiss me and he whisper “Good Bye Sendie.. you take care..”  I can not stop crying since that night thinking about him…

Wednesday afternoon, we have few customer stop by after pay him a visit, they told us based on what the doctor said, he might not even make it through that night. Few of us, including me rush to the hospital to see him again and he does look worse that he was before… he told us how much pain he’s in… the look of him being so much in pain and so weak is too much for me to handle. He kept on squeezing my hand as if he try to assure me that he’s okay.. he’s hanging there… at that time I knew… I wasn’t in denial anymore.. I just wish God will take him away from all of his pain so that he can rest in peace.

 The Priest gave him his last rites on Thursday and he went peacefully Friday morning. We went to his viewing on Monday and his memorial services at St Francis Cabrini yesterday. I will miss him terribly.. but at least I know he’s not in pain anymore…. And I got a change to say good bye… Good Bye Bob… Thanks for everything…

“When we are gone and people weep for us and grieve, let it be because we touched their lives with beauty and simplicity. Let not be said that life was good to us, but rather we were good to life..” Jacob P. Rudin


















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