Monday, June 06, 2005

Speaker for the Dead

Right now, Fr. Chi is hooked up to a respirator in the intensive care unit. His blood pressure is very low, and he's barely conscious. He might not make it through the week.

At this point in my life, I'm no stranger to scenes like this. I've seen my grandfather, my aunt, and an old friend pass away in this manner. But I don't think I'll ever get used to this.

I'm sad because Fr. Chi looked like he was going to pull through last week. He was sitting up in bed and his complexion was looking a little better. His disposition was good. We talked about the important events in his life.

When he got out of the hospital, I said, we would have a photo portrait taken. He agreed quite heartily.

Last weekend, they were going to connect the dialysis tube to his arm. He had to undergo an operation. It looked like there was some complication, but I thought they managed to fix it. They were going to move him back to his room.

On Sunday, he had a cardiac arrest.

At the conclusion of "Ender's Game", the hero Ender Wiggin leaves the military and becomes a Speaker for the Dead. As the title suggests, a Speaker studies a dead person's life and, well, speaks for that person: history, hopes, dreams, regrets, sins, heroism....

I feel I might have to take on this task for Fr. Chi.

I'm sad because we never got to talk about the little details of his life. All I had were the broad strokes. I am such a poor first-time biographer I don't think I'll be able to do him justice.

I'm going to have to try.

But right now, Fr. Chi is still hanging on, and if I might trouble you for a moment or two of prayer, it would very much be appreciated.

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