September 24, 2008

A Tribute to Mylyne … An Ayala Alabang Hospice Cancer Patient

As the chaplain priest of Ayala Alabang Hospice care, I have seen many of our patients died fighting cancer in our care. I do feel their struggle and pain. I feel sorry about their fate but most of the time I am not too emotionally affected. But with Mylyne, I must admit that my relationship with her went beyond patient-priest relationship. We became friends journeying in the storm of life. When she questions the will of God, I somehow questions also why such good people like her should suffer great pain. She was like anyone of us, who can feel pain, who can doubt God’s love, and who can question God’s love in the midst of pain and meaninglessness of life. But Mylyne did survive the storm with her head up high because she prevailed with her God in his heart.

The battle of Mylyne against cancer was not an easy one. It was a long painful bout but she took everything in a stride with God. Yes, cancer took her earthly life but not her spirit. She remained joyful and faithful to God throughout the past two years. She was very human like anyone of us who once in a while questions the will of God. But what made her admirable was her ability to trust the will of the Lord like Mary when she said, “I am the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to your will.” Mylyne was so in touch with her limitations and weaknesses yet she was also in touch with God in her heart telling her always to hold on and fight cancer with faith. I did hear her questioning God’s mysterious ways but I did not hear her blaming God, but like Mary, she simply allowed the will of God to unfold in her life.

When I first saw her after her death, I must admit that what I saw was an angel’s face. She was so at peace… sleeping like a child in her mother’s arms. Telling me silently, “Father Willy, I am home.” Not a single trace of pain. Not a single trace of cancer’s victory against her. It was a victory against cancer. It was God’s victory in the middle of the storm. I do read a lot about Jesus’ transfiguration but when I saw Mylyne’s face during the wake, it dawned on me that God gifted her with her own transfiguration.

Now, when I remember Mylyne, I don’t remember her anymore of cancer’s victory against her. Every time I remember her, it inspires me to trust God the way she trusted God. It inspires me to hold on to Jesus in the middle of my own storm in my life. Mylyne was indeed a child of God and God is very please with her. Cancer my have won against her body but she died healing all of us. I guess this is the irony of the cross. Mylene did embrace and carried her cross well.

As her friend and as a priest, I accompanied her in her struggle by listening to her confessions. But as I look back, she also accompanied me and taught me how to trust the Lord with all my being. Cancer snatched one of my “human angels” away from me but not the wonderful memories of Mylene. I will surely treasure these memories… forever grateful to the Lord that He blessed me with Mylyne’s friendship … it was a short friendship … but her memories will last for a lifetime … until we meet in heaven.

Mylyne … please do pray for us

- Fr. Willy M. Samson,SJ
Ateneo de Zamboanga

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