Today was supposed to be just like any other day.
I wake up at 6.00 am, and complete my ritual of brush teeth-wash face-shave-wash face again-sit on the ‘throne’- shower-get dressed-greet the dog and give it a good rub down-eat my 2 slices of bread coated with generous amount of low-fat butter and kaya and drink a cup of malt enriched with oats-fuss about the kids-wash any leftover dishes in the sink-say bye-bye to the kids and wife- and drive to work while listening to the DJs on FlyFM poke fun at each other.
That’s what I do from Monday to Friday every work day, every week of the month, every month of the year for the last 10 years or more.
Today was supposed to be just another day of the week.
But it wasn’t.
A friend messaged me on Facebook, right after I completed another ritual of mine in the office (reading the Bible and pray), and informed me that a friend of ours suffered a massive stroke 2 days ago and is hospitalized in one of the specialist centres in KL.
I remember this chap – we weren’t really in touch all these years because we weren’t all that chummy – but I remember he was one of those ‘active’ ones in school – a school (or state?) swimmer, tall, tanned, good-looking, in short, he was everything that I wasn’t back in school (believe it or not, I wasn’t that tall back in secondary school before testosterone finally kicked in when I was 16 and I always came in last in swimming, if at all).
And now, an unexpected ill fortune has hit him, and hard.
It also reminded me of another guy I know, my best chum back in Uni days who became a surgeon only to be hit by a stroke a couple of years back which derailed his career. Ironically, he, like the other guy was a real energetic and active chap, excelling in all things physical. The news hit me hard back then and today’s news hit me equally hard as well.
I spent a little time praying for my friend. I consider my prayers down-to-earth. I didn’t pray anything earth shaterring. I didn’t pray that the stroke in his brain would spontaneously resolve and that all the damaged or dead neurons would suddenly be repaired and my friend would suddenly yank himself off the ventilator and jump out of bed screaming “Hallelujah!” at the top of his now-free-from-secretions lungs. Perhaps in my line of work, I have seen far too many deaths and not enough miracles. So I prayed that if it’s God’s will for him to recover, then let him recover as much of his functionality as possible; and if not, I pray that he would be quickly and painlessly transported to the bosom of his loving Father and that those left behind would be comforted.
Some people would be offended with my prayers.
Oh well, you pray it your way and I pray it mine.
In the ward this morning, my team and I had to handle a man in his 5th decade who is literally fighting for his life because he is slowly being suffocated by the accumulation of fluid in his lungs due to what is most likely a lung cancer. His wife said he never smoked in his life. She said it isn’t fair. They have 3 kids and the youngest is only 12.
I agree with her.
It isn’t fair.
Life isn’t fair. Karma fails us sometimes – bad people do well and good people suffer and die.
I build a wall around me so that I can give myself a false sense of security. I try to tell myself that the mortality that confronts those around me isn’t going to touch me. I know the wall has no foundation and every once in a while a crack appears on the wall. Like today.
Sometimes when I am alone and it’s all quiet, I open up the wall a little and think of my own mortality. I think I’ve lived a pretty awesome life but I want more! I want to see, feel, touch and experience more! I want to see my kids grow up, settle down, maybe pamper my grandchildren. I want to see iPad 10 released! I want to see the day they declare they have a cure for AIDS (and effectively put me out of a job!). I want to see Malaysia become a level playing field. The list is unending.
The expiry date is out there, I just don’t know the exact date. My Christian faith tells me that the expiry date is actually the ‘manufactured date’ for another altogether more awesome experience. I’d like to think it’s true.
Until then, I think I can safely say I’m immortal, at least on this side of heaven!
I didn’t stay morose for long today. I received a beautiful picture from Dorothy, my 85-year-old (that makes her my oldest Aussie pal! Way to go gal!!) camera-toting grandma has gone shooting again and see what she stumbled upon by the side of the road at Erskine Fall in Lorne, Victoria, Australia!
How can anyone look at that and not love life?