Monday, 14 January 2008

With These Hands We Reach Out...




Self-Explanatory...




Today I want to tell you all the story of 2 ladies my mum and I met while in the hospital…

About 4 years back, at about noon, my late grandfather (he was alive then) had difficulty breathing…My parents and I rushed him to the hospital, and because of his age (he was about 87), the doctors admitted him into the red-tagged ‘Zon Kritikal’ (Critical Zone) to be assessed…



My mother went in with him, while I hovered outside the red-tagged doors…After a few minutes, my mum came out looking a little nauseated, and asked if I could sit with my grandpa instead…She said I could say no…



The reason? On either side of my grandpa’s bed, were two other patients, who were seriously injured…

On his left was an army officer who had been flung out of his truck and had sustained very severe head injuries…On his right, two beds away, was a baby who was screaming away, who had shrapnels of glass all over her body…(They sedated the baby shortly after)…


My mum cannot stand the smell and sight of the blood…




I went in, and the first thing I thought was ‘Oh God, the smell is terrible!’…And the sight I saw that night is something I will never forget…There was blood all over the floor, and various tubes of different sizes were everywhere, and I swear there was actually bursting from the patient…



When one smells a little bit of blood, it is ok, but to have blood everywhere, the smell is very nauseating and very hanyir (I don’t know how to translate this)…The hospital personnel were all robed up and had masks on, and my grandpa had on an oxygen mask, but I was left with nothing…I ended up breathing through my mouth instead, while looking the other way…They later drew the curtains, but I could still hear them!





After a while, my grandpa was sent for observation in the famous Observation Room…While they were doing some tests on him, my mom and I waited outside…

At one corner was a young Malay lady crying silently, her face ashen…At another corner was an old Malay lady, also crying silently…


My mum and I guessed they were family of the 2 patients still in the Critical Zone of the ER…I went to talk to the old lady, while my mum approached the young lady…






Although strangers, our lives, are often inter-twined...





I spoke to Opah, and she told me that her grand-daughter (the little baby) was inside the ER…She said that they came from Taiping, and while her son was cleaning the glass windows at home, he had accidentally smashed right through it, and that her grand-daughter had been lying on a little mattress directly underneath…

The result was all the glass landing on the baby and cutting her…The old lady was sobbing away, because she was afraid of losing the little girl…




My mum later told me that the young lady was the young wife of the soldier in the ER…The truck he had been traveling in, on the way home from Penang, had met with an accident, and he and 2 other had been injured (he the worse for he was flung out)…The couple had recently got married less than a month ago, and had recently moved to the army camp in Ipoh…

They had no family here (Ipoh) as both of them hailed from the East Coast (I can’t remember exactly which state, but if I remembered correctly, it was Pahang)…

So she was completely alone, with a dying husband, and no friends and no family, and completely lost…



My mum lend the young lady her handphone for her to make some phone calls home, and subsequently left her number…She told the young lady to call should she need anything during the night, since we lived nearby…



My mum later told me that she was worried the soldier might die in the middle of the night, and the lady would be all alone…



After a while, we left to get my grandpa’s stuff and also to bring my grandma to the hospital to accompany my grandpa…


On the way back to the hospital, my parents stopped at 7-11, and my mum and me went down…I
was a little surprised when I saw her pick up stuff like mineral water and biscuits and bread, and even more surprised when she got some nasi lemak bungkus (she said the 7-11 bags showed they were halal)…

When we reached the hospital, after seeing to my grandpa, my mum did some enquiring, and later, took me to the security guard station (this was about 11 pm)…





Our hands may be of different sizes, different shapes and colour, but underneath all that, it's still the same...Just like us humans...=)





It turns out, she had bought all those food and water for the two ladies whom we had earlier met in the ER…She herself went to see the soldier’s wife in 1A (or it could have been 2A), while I was sent to find the baby in 5D…She was scheduled for surgery in the morning, but thankfully, the injuries were not permanent…

Mum’s reason? They would be too worried to think about food, but she was sure that somewhere in the night, they would be hungry, and there would be no food…


We then nipped back down to bring my grandpa in to be admitted…



The next morning, on our way to see my grandpa, my mum told me that at about 7 am, the young lady had called to say that her husband had just passed away…She also told my mum that all their relatives (as in, both sides) had arrived in the middle of the night, and all got to say goodbye…


I asked my mum if we should go see them, but she said that we should not intrude on the family’s grief, and moreover they would be too busy seeing to the funeral arrangements…The most important thing was, said mum, the young lady had her family with her, and she wasn’t alone…Mum said that if she was still alone, then we should go…



I honestly can’t believe I actually remember the events of that night, but remember them I do…I guess there are some things you don’t forget…





Reaching Out...




But a 17 year-old learned one thing that night…And that is: Just because you don’t know a person doesn’t mean you can’t reach out and help them...



22 comments:

Akmal said...

Daphne,
Hi there how are you?
Hey, just in case you didn't realize this, you ave your mum's heart.
What your mum did is the best thing to do. You see, broken hearts won't care any other thing, including him/herself. The best to have at times like this is someone's companionship.
It must be very hard for the lady, became a widow after a month of living as a wife.

jimi said...

Nice story Daph.

WP said...

Very meaningful...

Pi Bani said...

Nice sharing, Daph. True, you don't have to know a person to reach out to them. Imagine ourselves in their situation... no family members, no friends around when we are in need of all the support we can get. Boleh gila oooh...

Nightwing said...

Hi Daphne,

Another gem from you...u go girl.

What u and ur mom did...great stuff.

I am sure for the two ladies, they will also remember u and ur mom for what both of you did.

Kata Tak Nak said...

Just because you don’t know a person doesn’t mean you can’t reach out and help them...

Malaysians have a lot to learn from the lines above.

I take my hat off to you and your mom.

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

you and mom are real gems. now we know the quality you possess in you comes very much from the way you were brought up. your mom and dad deserve some acknowledgement, way higher than some datukship.

PrincessJournals said...

u and ur mom are angels in disguise! both of them were indeed blessed (despite the reason being there) that their path crossed w u and ur mom tht night.

Mat Salo said...

What you learned in 17 years far surpasses the 99.9999 percent of adults Malaysians out there, who may never grasp the meaning of life to the very end. It's true and it's sad.

Keep this feeling and never let it go. And go thank your parents. They not only brought you up right Daph --but better than right.

And it's got nothing to do with being a Bahai or facing Mecca supplicating 5 times a day. It's got to do with soul. God Bless you girl..

ComeBeALight said...

Thanks for sharing this - it gives others hope in this world that has somehow forgotten to 'love thy neighbour'. Your mother and you have brought out the spirit of common humanity in all of us. Both of you are truly a light to others - shine on.

(Btw, I think you write very well too, and blog well, with the appropriate photos.)

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Akmal,

Hey, I'm fine, and I hope you are too...=) Oh, I know I have my mum's heart...We are very similar in so many ways...We cry over the same shows, we sooo want to act on impulse and bring home every stray animal on the street, we go ga-ga over the same baby clothes...Hehe...

I don't even want to imagine what the lady must be going through...When you get married, you dream of spending the rest of your life together with that person...And one month down the road, everything is tragically cut short...

*Shudder*

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Jimi, Hi WP,

Thanks for sharing in the story...It's appreciated =)

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Kak Pi,

I really don't want to imagine myself in that situation...Some may call it denial or whatever, but really, I cringe just trying to imagine it...

Like you said: "Boleh gila oooh..."

Daphne Ling said...

Hi NightWing,

Actually, what we remember, sometimes can be quite shocking ler (at least from personal experience)...

I was going to bed one night and all of a sudden, I remembered this story, and I just had to get up and write it down! Yeah...I write on inspiration, as do practically all my posts...;)

Funny how names seem so unimportant...I remember the day's events so well, but I don't remember any names...

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Kata Tak Nak,

Chegu, actually I think there is this kind of helping-helping going around in Malaysia, unfortunately, people don't go reporting it in the press (I'm guilty too, because people have helped me too)...

How nice it would be if reporters wrote about these once in a while, instead of always writing about who-snatched-who, who-killed-who etc...

But I guess bad, screwed-up news sells, as do scandals, while feel-good news, well, they're like, for softies...

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Kerp,

Haha! Oh, don't worry, my mum will remind me what I'm doing comes from her! They're (mum and dad) constantly arguing (friendly one lar) about who gave me what! Hehe...

As for the word 'datukship', don't let them hear you...Both nak cucu one...;)

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Kak Farina,

Baru aje kita borak last night...Been a long time ler...

Anyway, I think we were blessed too! Lessons learnt and having the chance to do something come to mind...

By the way, thanks for a wonderful chat...Looks like there are more interesting ways to do things besides sitting in a fountain! =)

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Abang Mat,

I hope to never let 'it' go too...But this world it making me feel so cynical and grumpy...Sad...

And yes, ditto on religion...I think as long as we believe in a bigger force (whatever we may call Him/Her/It), I think we'll do fine...It keeps our own lives in perspective, no?

Daphne Ling said...

Hello ComeBeALight,

What an apt and coincidental name! Thank you for coming over and leaving a comment...It is most appreciated, so thanks a lot!

"the spirit of common humanity in all of us"...

I like how you phrased it...You're right, underneath it all, we're all human beings too...

Thanks for sharing...

Anonymous said...

I'm touch to read what you have written.The world will be a much better place to live in if there are more people like your mum and you.Keep it up.

Daphne Ling said...

Hey Anon 19.38,

Thanks for coming by...And thanks very much for your sweet comment...Will let mum know, and we can kembang together! Hehe...Kidding ler...

You take care...=)

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