BY TESS HALILI
I would like to share my few memories of my mother before she went back to our Creator. My mother’s last 5 days here on earth was a great memory of her, as she taught me about how to be a faithful disciple of Jesus and Mary.
On March 19, 2012 I received a call from my sister that my mother was in a coma because of hypoglycaemia. She was already in the hospital for almost two months when she had a massive stroke because of her diabetes.
I arrived at the hospital straight from the airport and the image that I witnessed was unbearable; it was so hard to look at my mother’s lifeless and miserable body with all the tubes and machines connected to her body. She was in the ICU with two other miserable patients and the hospital facilities were very poor (a Veteran’s Hospital), I was so confused as I was not sure if I should request for her to be transferred to another hospital but my sister explained to me that it may be best for her to stay (being a nurse she knew better of our mum’s condition). Five days passed and she was not improving, we continued praying the Divine Mercy and just yielded to the will of the Father.
On the 5th day, I noticed a woman in her early 30’s who was also in the ICU. She voluntarily joined us every time we prayed the Divine Mercy for mum, I became curious and wondered why she was at the ICU because she looked alright to me apart from the fact that she looked very pale. I asked my sister about the woman’s condition and my sister told me that she had “sepsis” or blood poisoning. I became inquisitive and asked more questions, finally my sister told me the story that this woman had a voluntary terminal pregnancy (abortion), she was about 25 weeks or over 6 months.
I eventually had a chance to chat with this woman and I asked her why she did not keep the baby, since she had a 6 year old boy already. She told me that it was complicated, the baby was not her husband’s as her husband was working overseas. I then asked her if the father of the baby would support her, she said that the man was a married man and a policeman. Her husband was unaware of the incident, they told him that she had bad food poisoning.
While my mother was alive and younger, her ministry or apostolate was to help couples get married in the church and also to help mothers or women who have had an abortion go to confession. I knew for sure that if she had met this woman she would have encouraged her to go to confession.
On the 8th day of my mum’s comatose, Bishop Yniguez visited her and gave her an extreme unction or anointing of the sick. Bishop Yniguez stayed with my mother for hours and he whispered into her ears as we continued to pray for her. Suddenly as we were praying, I felt a strong feeling in my heart to ask the woman in the ICU if she would like to go to confession. Even though she was Catholic she did not have any idea of the meaning and importance of confession and the consequences of what she had done. I then explained to her the importance of confession and she was delighted to know that God would still forgive her (as it was her third time doing it). Without any hesitation, she was very willing to confess and ask forgiveness for what she had done.
I discussed with Bishop Yniguez the situation of this woman and he immediately asked me to look for a room in the hospital where she could have a confession privately, my sister and I were able to find one and we helped walk her to a private room where she was able to have her confession with Bishop Yniguez.
While she was inside the room confessing, my sister and I prayed for courage and true repentance for her. After approximately an hour, she went out and had a big smile on her face, it was as if she had been unchained from a big chain.
I was crying inside, and as I went back to my mother’s room I gazed at her lifeless body and could feel and hear a whisper saying “thank you Anak (thank you my daughter)”. I then realised that the reason my mother was still hanging around was because she wanted this woman to be helped and to reconcile with God. The next day, my mom finally rested in peace.
It never occurred in my mind that my mother wanted that woman to be forgiven before she departed. My mother was truly a DISCIPLE of Jesus and Mary. She would not let any single soul (on her awareness), suffer from guilt.
My mother’s name is Laura meaning laurel a symbol of victory!!!