Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Night I Did Not Die

After a great Father's Day service and a good lunch with some friends, Grace and I were heading home. As we walked to the car, I turned to my wife and said, "I am not feeling too well". Grace looked a little worried as she took the wheel. While in the car, I was doubling up with a deep uneasy feeling in the pit of my tummy.

It must be something that I ate. I had cold sweats and my bones felt hollow. Grace knew that it was serious. We usually talk during our car journeys and if I were to become quiet, then something must be wrong.

Being a nutritionist and editor of a health magazine, she has a whole library of diseases and their accompanying symptoms. While I was in the midst of my physical misery, a running commentary of what might have caused my ailment was going on in the background.

"Could it be the cendol or the coconut milk? I think you are suffering from food intolerance. What about the red beans in the cendol, that may cause food allergy. Blah blah blah...."

I was not analyzing as much as agonizing. I had never felt this way before. So, at the back of my mind, I thought that that could be my last day on earth. Yes, it sounds morbid now but that thought actually ran through my mind. Of course, I did not tell Grace. She might be too shocked to drive or worse, she might just drive me to the hospital. 

Grace reached out with her left hand and placed it on my head. She began to command healing in the name of Jesus. That brought slight relief. After that she put her foot to the gas pedal to get me home fast. It was a relief when I hit the bed. The thought of seeing Jesus soon was still running inside. 

"If I were to die now, it would be fine. My theology was obviously intact. I felt no fear but even had a hint of elation. If that is the feeling of death then it should be quite all right. I will definitely miss my wife and a list of relatives and friends but if I have to go then I have to go!"

Grace interrupted my dying thought with a cup of Swedish Bitters and a mug of Ho Yan Hor herbal tea. My sense of humor kicked in - my darling wife was using the best of Europe with the best of the Asian world to revive me. 

Swedish Bitters is known as the elixir of good health and it supposedly can cure almost anything, especially stomach disorder. Ho Yan Hor herbal tea is even more potent in its curative ability. With 24 herbs, it is able to relieve 'heat, nausea, indigestion, waning appetite, hangovers, common flu, fever and most probably resurrect the dead.

The only problem was that these two life-reviving elixirs had really challenging taste. The Swedish Bitters shot fire up the nose and down the throat like a race car spinning out of control and crashing. The herbal tea tasted better because Grace had added dried plums into it. After making sure that I obediently consumed her prescription, she left me to my dying.

The tonic and tea did wonder instantly. They took away that nauseating feeling. My bones still ached and weariness was taking over fast. Within minutes, I fell into a deep sleep and slept for three hours before the gentle voice of my wife woke me up. 

I remember thinking, "Where am I? So, I am not dead yet."  

The bad feeling had gone even though I did not really feel on top of the world... but I was not dead.

Since I had given heaven a miss, I had to attend the Father's Day celebration dinner with my wife's family.

Albert Kang

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