Do you believe weird dreams? In my culture (Hmong) we believe that when you have weird dreams, they might be a sign of something good or bad, One of the beliefs that we believe in is if you are a parent and dream that your teeth is falling out, that means it's a bad sign you should be careful and watch your children's, something bad might happen to them.
Before my father-in-law passed away many years ago, two nights before he went to the hospital, I had a dream that I was somewhere I don't know where I was, but I was standing in the middle of a road. I can see very far away in front of me there were two ladies dressed in white dresses and were standing on each side of something that looks like a hospital bed. They were coming closer and closer to me. As they got closer I could see that there was a person on the bed, but I didn't know who it was. They got closer and closer. Then they were right in front of me. I couldn't see the ladies faces for some reason, but I could see the person on the beds face. It was a man, a very young man maybe around my husband's age. Seems like I seen that man before or I know him from somewhere. I just can't tell exactly who he was. One of the lady said ""we're only bring him for you to see one last time"" then they push him away and they went further and further away and they were gone. I woke up.
On that night, maybe around 10 pm or so, my mother-in-law came knocking on me and my husband's bed room door. My husband worked 2nd sift so he was not home yet. She knocked really loud and was shouting ""Call 911, your father is having really bad stomach ache and he can't breathe"" I walked as fast as I can since I was 7 months pregnant to open the door and then I went to their bedroom. My father-in-law was sitting on the edge of the bed. He looked fine to me and he was breathing ok. I walked over to him and ask him if he was alright. He said yes, he said he was having little pain in his stomach and he doesn't know what it is and he's having hard time breathing. I ask if he wants me to call for an ambulance and he said yes. In my mind I'm thinking he doesn't need to go to the hospital, he looks fine, maybe if he rest for a while he would probably catch his breath and be okay, but I didn't say anything.
I called 911 and in like 10 minute they arrive. The Medical Technicians team rush into the house and into their bedroom. They listen to his heart and lungs. They ask me a few questions about him, what he ate and his medical history. A little while after that they put him on the gurney and took him into the ambulance. Since my mother-in-law doesn't speak English I went with them in the ambulance. My mother-in-law said she will call her daughter to drive her and meet us at the hospital. I sat in the back with my father-in-law. He was laying on the gurney. They were starting an IV on one side of his arm. Then he put his head up and looked at me and said ""Nyab"" (means daughter-in-law) "I am very thirsty do they have any water here? Can I have some water?"" They gently push his head down back on the bed and told him not to talk. I said to the Technicians ""can my father have some water? He is very thirsty?"" They said no not at the moment. So in Hmong I explained to my father-in-law that they won't allow him any water yet.
Soon we arrive at St. Michaels Hospital. They took him out of the ambulance and into a small room. They transfer him onto a different bed, and then a doctor walked in and checks his heart and lungs again and asks me more questions about him. Then he left and we were alone. My father-in -law got up and sat on one side of the bed and said ""can they give me some water now? I'm very thirsty and my throat is dried up"" I said ""yes dad, I will ask them as soon as they come back". Just then my mother-in-law and her daughter walked in. They ask me what they are going to do to my father-in-law. I told them nothing yet; all they did was just listen to his heart and ask me questions. Then my husband finally came.
My father-in-law sat on one side of the bed and was talking to us, like nothing was wrong with him. Then he stated complaining how thirsty he is and he wanted to go home. Maybe like almost an hour later the nurse came back to check on him. He quickly lay back down on the bed. The nurse asks me how he's feeling now, I said "he' feels okay, but he wants to know when can he go home, and can he get some water?"" she said no he can't have any water at the moment but they can give him some ice cube to suck on, but she never answer my question about when he can go home. In Hmong I explain to my father-in-law what she said. But he doesn't want any ice cube, he wanted water. The nurse said if he don't want ice cube then he can't have water. My father-in-law was mad.
Not longer after that she came back and said they need to take him to a room to do some testing, and again he asks for water and again she said he can't. They pushed him out and into elevator. I, my husband, mother-in-law and sister-in-law sat in the room and wait. We waited and waited for almost three hours and they never brought him back. Then a nurse came and said they have him in the ICU room now. I was confused but in Hmong I explain it to my mother-in-law and she said "why did they put him in there for? He was fine". I ask the nurse why is he in the ICU room? He was fine and talking to us just a few hours ago, and she said his kidneys are not working properly. She said we can go and see him now, but we can't stay in there long, we have to stay in the waiting room. So we all went up to his room.
There lay my poor old father-in-law on life support. He was not moving. We walked in and stood around him. My mother-in-law called for him. She calls and calls him. In Hmong she said ""if you can hear me then squeeze my hand"" and he didn't. My mother-in-law keeps telling him to squeeze her hand if he can hear her, but he never once did. My mother-in-law starts crying, we all begin to cry. I begin to wonder why all of a sudden he's like this now. He was fine earlier. The nurse came in a said only two person can stay with him and we have four, so my sister-in-law went home to get her kids ready for school since it was almost six am and my husband left to the waiting room leaving just me and my mother-in-law. All we did was just sat there and looked at him. Once in a while I would go stay in the waiting room and let my husband come and stay with my mother-in-law. We stay there all day, soon my husband left to go to work.
We stay there for two nights and three days. On the third day the nurse came and said my father-in-law is not going to wake up anymore so we have to get our families together and take him off life support. It was a confusing sad moment. I called everyone to come to the hospital for a family meeting. Soon after that everyone arrived. We all talked and decided to take him off life support. There were about 10 of us; we all went to my father-in-law's room. We helped each other put Hmong clothes on him. The nurse came in with boxes of tissue. We stood around his bed and watched the nurse as she slowly take off the tubes and other stuff on him. My husband and his brother both held my father-in-law in their arms since they are his only sons. We watch the numbers on monitor as it starts to go down, everyone was crying. I watch the monitor with tears in my eyes, as my heart beat faster as the numbers starts to go down. Then all of a sudden there was no number anymore but a straight line. Everyone cried like crazy calling for my father-in-law. In my head I apologize to my father-in-law for never getting him a drink of water that he been asking for ever since we got to the hospital.
Just then my mother-in-law couldn't make a sound out of her mouth anymore no matter how hard she tries. She all of a sudden just lost her voice right then. Before the funeral, we took my mother-in-law to visit a shaman and the shaman said my father-in-law was very thirsty before he passed that is why he made my mother-in-law loose her voice. The shaman said in order for my mother-in-law to get her voice back, at the funeral she needs to give my father-in-law three drops of water into his mouth.
On the day before the funeral my mother-in-law and I were going through pictures of my father-in-law to post it up at his funeral. I came upon a picture of a man that I thought I saw before. It was an old black and white picture. I looked at the picture for a long time trying to figure out where I seen this man before. Did I see someone that looks like him or do I know? I stared at the picture for a long time. Then it all came to me, I was right I did seen him before. He was the man from my dream. I quickly asked my mother-in-law who the man in the picture was and she whispers softly to me since she can't make a sound; He is your father-in-law when he was younger.