Letter no 45: Temporary Home
January this year when I was diagnosed with a congenital heart disease. I thought it was over when one day I passed out after severe nausea and heavy breathing. I was brought to a hospital, a place that hadn’t been a home, and there I met Dawn, a sweet angel my tears couldn’t resist.
There I sat on my bed blankly surrounded by machines and white walls. The smell of the hospital bed added some holes on my heart. I couldn’t be home I thought. I woke up to mild headache that afternoon thinking it’s all side effects of the medicine. I saw my mom half awake on the couch holding a rosary. She noticed I moved my feet up that probably brought her to reality.
“You’re awake”, she said fixing herself.
It’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon. I didn’t know what’s going on. The last thing I remember was having breakfast, throwing the food up after few mins and chasing my breath till I dropped somewhere in my room. And then there was nausea and severe headache. I could barely recall how I got to the hospital that day. All I remember was being held up to the stretcher and seeing the fluorescent bulb flickered as I was being rushed. The rest was blurry.
After a small talk with my mom, I knew right then something was wrong. She didn’t exactly tell me what’s going on, but I could feel a little weight on my chest. I had never imagined myself being in a hospital. That’s the very least I thought could happen to me. I was healthy, active, energetic, the kind of person who hates hospital.
My doctor came to the room, and I decided to know what my condition was. I was diagnosed with a congenital heart disease. My world suddenly crushed into pieces.
On my 4 days of stay in the hospital, I thought it was over, until I met a sweet little angel named Dawn who was admitted to the next room where I was.
On my second day, I heard her sobbing. The walls dividing us couldn’t lie. I became curious. I moved my feet up, made sure I was fine and trotted to the next door. I finally saw her face from the small pane. She was pale, about 12 to 13 years old I assumed. She was beautiful as an angel, with dark curly hair. I couldn’t help myself so I knocked and the lady beside her was too kind to accommodate me in.
“Is she alright?” I asked.
“I’m Cecilia, her mother. She’s alright. She just needs a little time and she’ll be fine. Her name is Dawn and you are?.” The lady beside her answered.
I introduced my name, got to know a little bit about Dawn. Dawn had chronic leukemia, a hopeless case, a progressive disease, cancer of the blood cells. But apart from knowing she had it, I could see the strength on her eyes. She was a fighter.
On my third day, I got to know more about Dawn on a serious conversation and somehow developed a little string of friendship. I couldn’t imagine where her strengths were coming from.
I one time asked her, “where are your strengths coming from?”
“you mean to go on?‘, she replied.
“I guess I focus more on the things I can control, such as my emotions, my feelings towards my family, the food I eat. There are things in this world, you cannot control, and you let God control it. I have leukemia, it’s worst that you can ever imagine, but I can’t do more about it than comply to medicines, therapies.” She said.
She’s right. Her words awakened me. I should not think about the disease or any illness to the point of dwelling on it. There’s so much beautiful things in this world to behold and feel, the beauty of friendship, the love of family, the taste of food.
“So what do you do if you’re not feeling better? See it’s my first time confined. I thought it was easy. Now, I’ve finally known the feeling. It’s so bad than I ever imagined.” I continued.
“I just cry because pain suppose to make you cry and it goes away. You just obey the pain because God never exceeds to our limits. Sometimes, I think of dying, because it’s all we are going to, but another day comes, it turns to months, years, and you realized, you’re still alive. There must be something I could have done than just think of death.” She answered in her most wise time.
On my fourth day, I was dismissed from the hospital. I was feeling better but on one hand, I never saw Dawn again on her room. The nurse told me she was transferred to St Lukes for some tests and possible bone marrow transplant. It was sad. But her nurse gave me a note from her. Tears fell down as I read the note.
“Don’t be afraid to die, there’s a safer home somewhere. I’ve been seeing it in my dreams. Hospitals are just temporary home. Keep breathing while you’re feeling the earth. I would miss our conversation”
I never saw her from then on but our 2 days of friendship taught me a lot. She’s maybe right. I am still blessed to have a loving a family while others don’t have. My senses are all functioning while others don’t see. I have a job while others die hunting for one. I realized that this is just a reminder from God that as long as there’s life, I have no choice but to go on and fulfill HIS purpose for me. This earth, and hospital rooms are just our temporary home and somewhere, there’s a better place where there’s no disease and harm. Just pure comfort.