Sometimes I wish that I can somehow play with and change the script of my life like I do with my stories. Sometimes I wish that I can use my ‘writer’s magic’ to change the course of events and fix the outcome of my life, sort of give it a magical touch and a plausible happy ending. I wish I can change my story in such a way that after all is said and done there is still a happy life for me to live. Sometimes I wish I can change the way I feel about certain things. Oh the things that I wish!
Yesterday I had friends over and as usual with my friends, our friends (my late husband’s and mine), after everything we talk about, the conversation always ends with that particular day in the hospital when my husband died. There’s nothing much left to discuss about that day, since I have gone over the events a million times in my mind and even with my family and close friends. But every time I go back in time I remember things that I hadn’t noticed before or hadn’t given any thought to.
On that particular Thursday when he was first admitted and given a room, my husband was particularly quiet. He was a quiet man who didn’t say much, especially when we were among people. He got along with everyone, regardless of their age and socio-economic or cultural or religious background. He had a heart of gold and was a source of inspiration both as a person and an artist to many, especially the younger generations. To quote Oliver Herford:
“A man is known by the silence he keeps.”
I remember how on that Thursday evening after sitting quietly next to each other for a few hours, he was finally given a bed and a sedative to help ease the discomfort he was feeling. I felt so lost. I felt so hollow and scared and confused. I felt like I was sinking into an abyss so deep and so cold that I started shivering. I was afraid to move, to even breathe. I sat there in that armchair watching him sleep, sedated. And I don’t remember feeling anything after that. It was like everything around me was frozen.
I don’t know how long afterwards the nurse came to check on him. Then she came and stood by my chair and gave me a hug. It was the first time I saw that nurse and will probably not see her again. But at that moment in my life I was so desperate for a friendly touch. And this stranger gave it to me when I needed it most.
Maya Angelou writes:
“I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.”