One Day: Finding Hope in Tragedy

One Day: Finding Hope in Tragedy

by Roselyn Alegarbes

Where is God in the midst of this pandemic? Have you asked this question too? Here is a story of a mother who experienced God’s presence while going through a difficult and painful situation during the lockdown. God’s promises gave her, and her children, the hope and comfort they needed.

Everything seemed perfect! A lovely home, an ideal husband, talented children, a secure job and a music ministry in church. What else could I ask for? Everything was fine until January 31 of 2020.

My husband, who was a teacher and a preacher, suffered from mild heart attack. How could it be? Art (short for Arturo) was just 51 years old, and very active in life. He loved basketball, swimming and singing, all of which should have strengthened his heart muscle. He didn’t drink alcoholic drinks, was not into smoking and was very conscious of his diet. How could he have a heart problem?

Since the attack, my husband had to stay home and was advised to go to Philippine Heart Center to subject himself for angiogram. The result was unexpected, he had a triple heart vessel blockage which called for a heart bypass procedure. I couldn’t believe it! My heart was pounding heavily as I told him the test result. I saw his disappointment. The doctor told us to prepare a large amount of money to help get through the operation. At that time, we only had a minimal amount so, we decided to go home and find help to raise the money needed for the procedure. Urgently, I deposited a down payment to the Philippine Heart Center for an operation slot and was scheduled for March 20, 2020. Unfortunately, on March 15, Metro Manila was locked down due to the breakout of COVID 19. So, we were halted to go to the appointment.

On April 20th, my husband was admitted again for chest pains and slight pneumonia. At that time, he was scheduled for urgent coronary bypass surgery in Iloilo, but his pneumonia got worse. On our 10th day in the hospital, his doctor insisted on a swab test. As protocol required, he had to be isolated and transferred to a COVID station. Everything got worse when he was in the isolation room. He started to feel pain, so much pain that I was called to be there with him. He suffered shortness of breath until his heart gave up. It all happened so fast! At 9:30 of May 1, he went home to be with the Lord. I had to break the news to my children, and it was heart-breaking. I could hear their cries and questions of why? It was a question that I could not answer at that time.

In human perspective, it seemed that my husband dying during a pandemic was very unfortunate. My daughter who worked as a nurse in Asian Hospital, Alabang, couldn’t come home to be with her daddy. My two minor children could not leave the house and my senior-citizen parents were all discouraged that they couldn’t come to comfort me.

It was indeed a test of faith! But during that time, I felt God’s closeness His comfort, His promises and the manifestation of His amazing mercy. Holding on to what Job said: “The Lord gaveth, the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord.”

How could I move on when the last 30 years of my life was spent lovingly with him? We never had been apart. But I am assured that life ahead even without my beloved husband will still be according to Gods wonderful plan.

To cope with our sadness and loneliness, my family started a weekly “altar call”. During this time, we read God’s words, honored Him with praises and prayed for all of our concerns. We also discussed how we were feeling. In addition, our church family’s support was overwhelming. The intense load in my work also helped pull me out from drowning with loneliness.

Because of God’s promises, my children and I are confident that one day we will see Art again face to face.

Yes, One Day… in a place described in Rev 21:4, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away…”