****Part 1 from last month, is here.*****
On Tuesday, May 1, 2001 I got a phone call from home to inform me that Chachan was admitted to the hospital. I immediately drove to the Bishop’s house to discuss the matter with him and he arranged my air ticket to Dar es Salaam for Wednesday.
As I reached Dar I contacted the travel agent for a ticket to India for the next day, Thursday. Unfortunately, the flight was full and the travel agent put me on the waiting list. However, just 2 hours before the flight I got a phone call from the agent that somebody had cancelled his ticket at the last moment and asked me to hurry up to travel.
So I reached the hospital on Friday afternoon and found that Chachan was unconscious for 2 days. However, he immediately opened his eyes when I called to him and started to talk to me. This was a surprise for all my siblings. My eldest sister told me that Chachan had had confession and communion on Tuesday, but refused to be anointed, insisting that he wanted to be anointed by me.
I met Chachan’s physician who told me that Chachan is in critical condition and that it was too late to do any kind of procedure. He advised me to take Chachan home so that he could be more comfortable. Accordingly he was discharged and we went home.
Being aware of his condition did not make me emotionally prepared to anoint him and I was hoping to ask my Parish priest to anoint Chachan. On Sunday when Chachan learned that I had not gone to the parish to offer Mass yet, he insisted me to go and offer Mass. So on Sunday afternoon I went to church and greeted my parish priest and also requested him to anoint Chachan. We agreed to have Mass together on Monday morning and thereafter go home to anoint Chachan.
After the Holy Mass I returned home, but saw from afar a crowd gathered around my family’s house. As I reached home my uncle asked me to anoint him immediately, for, Chechan was sinking. So I anointed him immediately.
As soon as I finished the anointing, he surprised us all by sitting up and talking. Together with my siblings, my uncles, aunties, cousins and neighbors we had prayer and supper. After supper they all left except my siblings.
Chachan died peacefully at 2:00am amidst the prayers and presence of all his 7 children.
“God gives us what we long for.” Chachan had the strong conviction and longing that I would be able to be there when he needed me. God granted him this longing by arranging my last minute ticket home. If I had missed that flight I wouldn't have made it home until Monday afternoon, which means Chachan would have died in the hospital.
Chachan also wanted me to anoint him, that is why he had refused to be anointed earlier. But even after coming home, I was not prepared to anoint him. That is why I strongly believe that God prepared such a scenario on Sunday that I was compelled to anoint him. Thus his second longing was fulfilled.
In short, through these personal experiences of the deaths of my Ammachi and Chachan, I am fully convinced that “God being the loving and caring Father takes care of all our needs.”
-Fr. Zach Poulose
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