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CHENG

COVID is a disease that denies you the opportunity to be by your loved ones' side, to hold, to care, to comfort. It was a nightmare--my mother was fighting for her life, and I couldn’t even be there for her. I punched walls, screamed, cried, slammed doors--nothing I could do took away the pain, fear, and suffering.

For 19 days I felt anger, worry, stress, anxiety, uncertainty, fear. My Mom and Dad had to drive themselves to the hospital. NO ambulance was available and we couldn’t wait 5 hours. When I saw them at the Asian Hospital ER, she was carrying their clothes, two large bottles of juice that my wife Stef had prepared for them, and a perfect smile. Nobody thought she was sick, it was Daddy who was in a really bad state. He was already having shortness of breath, and the nurses didn’t even help Mommy because they didn’t think she was a patient. They were telling her to park the car in the basement, so I had to clarify that Mommy is also a patient. Her smile, as always, gave me comfort that I had nothing to worry about. When I offered to carry their things, it was heavy!

“My Mommy lived her purpose. She was simple, gentle, God-fearing, helpful, generous, understanding. She was always accepting, opened her home to many, she was funny, she was silly, she was always there. I don’t even remember her ever angry. ”

It took 3 days for them to be transferred to their rooms. We had hoped that they could be together in one room, but it was not possible. Those 3 days Mommy was so worried about Daddy—he was cold, struggled to breathe, and was very weak. We never thought that on the evening of March 15 she was the one that would have to be intubated and sedated. While we were all extremely worried about Daddy, Mommy stayed strong until she had to be brought to the ICU because her O2 level was very low already.


During her ICU stay, the nurse assigned was kind enough to play our audio voice messages. "We love YOU, Daddy’s getting better, please fight, stay strong." We stormed the heavens and begged God to heal her, to spare her. COVID is a disease that denies you the opportunity to be by your loved ones' side, to hold, to care, to comfort. It was a nightmare--my mother was fighting for her life, and I couldn’t even be there for her. I punched walls, screamed, cried, slammed doors--nothing I could do took away the pain, fear, and suffering.

I found myself in endless tears alone. I wept, I begged God for his mercy. I cried more, and with eyes closed, I felt Jesus literally embossed on my chest. He lifted all the burden I felt. I heard myself surrender, not my will, but yours be done. He said, ‘I got this.’ I’ve never had such a close and tangible encounter of Jesus until that night.

My Mommy lived her purpose. She was simple, gentle, God-fearing, helpful, generous, understanding, she was always accepting, opened her home to many. She was funny, she was silly, she was always there. I don’t even remember her ever angry. She was comforting, she would always put others before herself. She is loved by many.


I thank the Lord for the best years he allowed me to be called her son. Such a privilege to experience her love, her joy, her care.


You have a dance floor waiting for you in Heaven. I love you with all my heart could hold. I miss you forever.

Love always,

Your son Paulo


Story of Paulo Valdez, bowler, father of 2, and husband to Stef

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