Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Life / Death

My nephew was born yesterday.
Reading that line again, I think I should put it differently...
My nephew came to the world and had his first bowl of fresh Parisian air yesterday. I received a message on my phone from my brother. The baby was due on July 12th, he came to the world precisely on that date. Two days prior to the birth, the pregant mother was still seen playfully striking a pose between two pandas at a mall.
I can imagine how elated the two parents can be, and how even elated the parents’ parents are! As far as my brother is concerned, according to the Asian traditions, his filial duties have been brilliantly performed: a marriage, a house, a dog and a now child which happens to be a boy. What parents could ask for anything more? 

Vu An - Victor - day one

I would have loved to take part in this family event, but a few thousands miles separate me from the happy party. I still went to the hospital, but for a visit of quite an opposite nature. In room 616 of the Sun Yat Sen Cancer Hospital, a friend of mine was battling the disease.
I saw her a couple of months before. She came to my place to have tea with another friend. We had a good time. We laughed and joked. I knew she has just visited a doctor, but no one suspected how serious it was.
The girl I saw in room 616 yesterday was half of the shadow of the witty and joyful girl I knew. She was in so much pain, she couldn’t sit nor lie down for a very long time.
But what overwhelmed me was the question she asked me when she saw me enter the room:
‘Are you feeling better?’
She had heard that I had had cellulitis and that it nearly got to a very nasty state. But I healed when she was lying in bed, pale and exhausted by the pain.
How I wish I could ask her the same question soon.
I paid her a few visits this week. But if the journeys to the hospital were long, the visits would usually be extremely brief due to her condition.
That was not my first encounter with cancer. I lost many dear ones to that fatal disease. Nothing is lost yet, as long as she’s alive. I’m only reminded to cherish what I have. We do not remember how privileged we are to be able to breathe, walk, see, hear…

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