I started writing this column in my hotel room at Mallberry in Cagayan de Oro just after a practice game at Pueblo Golf. The next day I was to give in to a request by brother Pepot Fortich to share in the CDO breakfast. Since the sharing was now being limited only to 20 minutes or so, I decided to devote half of it to Tess miraculous recovery, hence the title.
Let me start this recovery story with an anecdote away from the sharing. In one old golf movie “A Stroke of Genius,” a life story of golfer Bobby Jones, there was one scene where actor Jeremy Northam, (playing rival golfer Walter Hagen), was preparing for a game. He would tell Jim Caviezel, playing Bobby Jones this: “On a par four, three bad shots and one good shot still equals par . . . golf is a game of recovery.”
Recovery! The word has taken on a new meaning for me and Tess these past few months. If you had been following my previous columns, Tess had undergone a really major brain operation last February 10 to remove a 6 cm tumor from her brain. After a miraculous speedy recovery, Tess is now busy back at work for the last two months. Her office friends and bosses favorite quip is “Parang walang nangyari” (as if nothing happened). We would have to go back to the hospital again for a short stay to clean her wounds, but still this did not deter the healing. This miraculous recovery (I will not tire of saying that) made possible for us to celebrate our Silver Wedding Anniversary at the Rosary Church, Chatham Road, Hong Kong. No fancy party done, just four days of shopping . That had tested for the first time Tess strength for long walks and standing for long periods. It also proved to be the best final therapy for her – I mean the shopping, not the walking.
This was a far cry from the first time I had seen her come out of the operating room going to the ICU on February 10, a Wednesday. She had a large bandage on her head, she was in pain, she was on a cardiac monitor, she had pressure stockings on and she was quite disoriented. I counted at least five IV lines in five of her delicate veins and she could hardly move her right limbs and she was struggling with her short term memory. Recovery can take time. But in Tess’ case, given the magnitude of the surgery, her recovery time was remarkably short. She is now back at work and back to her old habit of working beyond office hours just to finish her daily assignments at the bank. God is Good!
Getting back to golf, I think I had mentioned before, that I had learned not to fear a bad drive for as long as you can make good recovery shots. . . if you can make them at all. I have had some lucky recovery shots or as my flight mates would say “chamba”. These days with the advent of hybrid irons, pulling a tee shot to the right on the rough is no longer as intimidating. With the proper attitude and correct club selection, you can still recover and hit your ball to a decent farther spot on the fairway closer to the green and perhaps give yourself a good shot on the green. Sure you lose a shot but in effect, that might just be bad enough or good enough as a three put.
Just last week at the par 3, hole no 5 in Navy Golf, I topped my tee shot and it rolled rather uselessly on a straight path towards the hole 125 yards away only to land 50 yards away from the green. All my buddies on the same flight hit the green in one shot, if not somewhere close to it. I was still able to manage a birdie with a lucky chip.
I will end this piece with the greatest recovery story of all. That story is about the Passion. Particularly how the Lord fell three times and got up three times not to escape and flee but to be crucified. Yes, for the sake of our human salvation, the Lord gathered all the strength he had left in his bleeding and torn body with one goal – to die on the Cross and save mankind. We on earth are lucky we don’t get nailed to a cross after recovery. But the lesson has been taught.
Recovery at times is not easy, but the Lord tests our perseverance. 1 Corinthians 10: “So if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you do not fall.”
Feeling confident after months of scoring between 100 and 110 (Yes! That’s right – breaking 110 is enough to make me happy) from several games, I played at Orchard Golf yesterday with Makati chapter brothers Jay Cruz and Cesar Rubin. I scored an embarrassing 127! I treated this difficult course like it was Navy or Villamor. I wanted to go home after I scored my third double par at the hole no. 11.
I’ll let you know how long it takes for me to recover from this.