Remembering Our Mothers

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(Here is an excerpt of the message I gave this weekend to my local church. And in celebration of Mother’s Day that I am sharing it here.)


I want to end with another story of a woman who was having abnormal bleeding too, though the bleeding did not last for 12 years. It is a story of my mother.

Several years ago, I was excited to fly back to the Philippines to attend my 25th high school reunion. It was a happy event. However during my stay in the Philippines, my mother confided to me that she was having blood every time she had a bowel movement. She thought it was from hemorrhoids but it was happening for more than 2 months already.

As a physician I was alarmed, so I immediately arranged for her to have a colonoscopy while I was still in the Philippines. Sadly to say, that showed a tumor in her colorectal area and the biopsy confirmed that it was cancer.

Before any treatment can be planned, I had to fly back to the US. So when my mother came with me to the airport, and before I went inside the terminal, she asked a very difficult question: “Son, will I see you again while I’m still alive?” 

I could not answer, for I felt there’s a lump in my throat. But she and I knew that only God knows the answer to her question. I left her with a very heavy heart.

Several weeks later, my mother underwent surgery to resect the tumor. Even though she had to have a permanent colostomy, the doctors felt that they got all the cancer and that she was cured.

Several months after her surgery, she came to America for the very first time to visit us. It was winter, for she said she wanted to see snow. And she did see snow, lots of it. However, she had no idea that Iowa winter could be so cold and harsh. So after that  visit she said that she’ll never come on a winter again. But she visited the US two more times, one during summer and another time in autumn.

Five years after having cancer surgery, my sister in the Philippines told me that my mother was losing weight. Then one day I receieved a frantic phone call telling me that my mother was admitted in the hospital and was comatose. Less than 48 hours later, I was on the plane to the Phillipines. The 18-hour flight from Des Moines to Manila was really nerve-wracking. I was continuously praying that I would still be able to see my mother alive.

The same day I landed in Manila, I went to the hospital, and found my mother alive but still comatose. Her doctors knowing that I was also a doctor, invited me to the radiology reading room, and showed me my mother’s x-rays. 

One look at my mother’s x-ray, and I knew that I was looking at her obituary. Not just one tumor, but several large tumors were in her lungs, and I concluded that her cancer came back with a vengeance and had spread into her lungs, and most likely other organs as well.

But God performed a miracle. The next day my mother woke up and found out that I came home to see her. I told her what her likely diagnosis was. However she had made up her mind that she don’t want any further treatment. No chemotherapy nor radiation therapy. She said that she was done fighting. She also said that she had entrusted her life to God, and she’s ready to meet her Maker.

We brought her home and made some kind of a hospice arrangement. Few days later, when it was time for me to leave and fly back to America, even though she was very weak, she insisted to accompany me to the airport when they dropped me off.

In the airport, after our embrace which I knew was our last, my mother told me that she was not sad, but rather happy, for she had the chance to see me again. And she knew that even if she dies, the next face she will see is Jesus, her Savior.

Few weeks later, my mother died. She was not healed from her illness, but she had embraced Jesus as her Messiah, and she died with the Blessed Assurance.

My friends, I pray that we too, whether we are sick or healthy, whether we have incurable illness or not, that we reach out to the edges of Jesus’ robe just like that woman in the Bible, and accept Him as our Messiah.

This is my prayer.


For those of you who still have your mother here on earth, value each moment of it. Happy Mother’s Day!

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