Saturday, November 14, 2015

Ten Ninety-Five

Why ten ninety-five? Exactly 1,095 days ago, my life changed…our lives changed.

It was the middle of the week. The country was in anticipation of a fascinating global event. Around half past nine in the morning, this part of the world will witness a total solar eclipse. It will last for about two hours. However, due to our latitude, we will only be seeing 87% of the sun being covered.

The day started on a gloomy note. The sky was overcast. It was late in spring and occasional showers were not unusual. The spirits of astronomy enthusiasts were probably dampened by the prospect of not being able to watch the eclipse happen and all their preparations going to waste.

There was another type of anticipation going on. I did not report for work this particular morning. The specialist phoned me a week ago to ask if I can meet her in the clinic today. So, while the rest of the country was watching the moon block the light coming from the sun, my husband was manoeuvring the car into the hospital parking lot.

We didn’t talk much on the way to the clinic. I just wanted to know the reason why the doctor had to personally call me and then to get out of there as quickly as possible. I would like to be outside watching the eclipse, too.

We sat in the waiting for about five minutes. When the doctor came out, she gave me that reassuring, but anxious look. She led us into the consultation room, closed the door behind her, pulled up a chair, and sat right in front of me. I knew then and there that she was going to give me some terrible news.

I could not recall the exact words she said. Perhaps my mind has blocked out some of the details in order to cushion me from the shock. “The results came out positive…” I didn’t know how I looked, but the next thing I knew was, she stood up and grabbed a few paper towels and handed them to me. “I’m so sorry…”

My body went numb. My mind was screaming… “Lord, what about my mom? She will be heartbroken. Who will take care of my parents when I am gone?” Then I realised that my husband was beside me. “Oh, I’m sorry, Lord. How stupid of me not to think of my husband first. But then, Lord, he can always remarry…”

I turned to my husband. He was quiet and still. I couldn’t see any indication of consternation. This was good. Else, I would have gone hysterical.

I wiped the tears with the paper towel, faced the doctor, and asked her calmly, “What’s [going to happen] next?”

She explained the standard course of action that will be taken in cases such as mine. She will set a schedule for surgery in the soonest time possible. She will try to put me in front of the queue, but there are no guarantees. If there are no available slots for me before the Christmas break, she will make sure to get one in early January.

I was probably looking very distraught. She asked if we would like her to write medical certificates so that we can take the rest of the day off. I smiled and thanked her.

While she scribbled the notes, I looked out the window. How odd the world has suddenly become. I could see the trees swaying in the wind. The cars were driving in and out of the hospital gate below us. Life was bustling around me, yet it felt as if time stopped. Something froze inside me and sent my whole being numb.

The doctor handed us the medical certificates and led us to the hall. I smiled at her and whispered “Thank you.” She acknowledged it with a nod and turned to go. Then, she turned around and gave me a hug.

The sky was still dark and gloomy as we walked back to the car. Now and then, we would catch a glimpse of the receding eclipse as the sun peeked through the clouds. A light shower fell from the sky. Great! The heavens felt exactly the way I did.

How could I forget this day? An eclipse came to my life—our lives.

The one promise in the Bible that has kept me going is…

Psalm 23:1, 3, 4a
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s  sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;….”

Wait a minute...! The image above does not seem to have any connection with the narrative. 

Well, today, we had a celebration. It's been 1,095 days since that fateful day and God has been so good to us. (I'll tell you about the food and the place some other time.) Here's to the 1,095 days and more to come!!!