A Time for Everything Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
1 For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
2 A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
3 A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
4 A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
5 A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
6 A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
8 A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.
Today, I lost a dear uncle to liver cancer. He was only 47 years old.
Growing up in the 80’s was fun. I have fond memories of spending our summer vacation at my grandfather’s house. Technically, it was the ancestral house of my mom’s family. It was owned by my great grandparents then when they migrated to the United States my grandfather and his family moved there. Also living in that house were my aunts and uncles. One of them was my Kuya Charlie.
We were still in grade school when I first met him. He was out of high school or in college that time, I couldn’t remember anymore. I recall seeing him every afternoon riding his black BMX bike. If he is not pedaling, he would be running wearing those very short running shorts. I would always tease him then because of his outfit.
There were also times when the kids (me, my younger brother, my young aunt and uncle) would goof around with him. He would let us record our conversations over his portable tape recorder and we would play it over and over and laugh at ourselves. He would also tell ghost stories with a comedic twist. I’ve known him for being a funny person. He would always make me laugh.
I would sometimes go to his room and listen to music or tinker at some of his world war memorabilia. I would also go to his room when I’m in a singing mood and he would let me use his cassette player. After belting my heart out to my favorite songs, he would ask me if my tooth hurts. Puzzled by his concern, I would him why. Then he would say, “Oh, I thought you have a toothache because I thought I heard you crying!” Hahaha
My family also lived in the ancestral home but only for a year. When we left, I never saw him again. Many years had passed and we were reconnected with him. This time he had his own family. I don’t know what happened but we lost communication again. We would often hear about each other through my grandfather but we rarely saw each other. Two years ago, his wife died of a heart attack. I went to visit him and his kids at the wake of his wife. Since that time, we have been communicating a lot. In fact, we would see each other regularly because they came to me for dental treatment of his son, my cousin.
Late last year, he was complaining of migraine and frequent body pains. I told him to consult with the doctor. A month after, I was alarmed by his significant weight loss. He said it was probably because of the stress in his business. Soon after I received a text message from him stating he has a tumor in his liver. He never mentioned the severity of his condition. He didn’t want to let anyone know about his condition because he didn’t want them to worry. Cancer has taken over his liver and his lungs. Until he could no longer bear the pain and passed this afternoon at the hospital with his father, his children, half brothers and sister beside him.
I would like to believe that he accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior when we led him to pray the prayer of acceptance or the sinner’s prayer. God’s ways are higher than our ways. He has His own timetable. Though still very young, it was already his time according to his creator.