I’ve been away for quite a while so I guess I owe you a noteworthy story. I’ll do you one even better because what I am going to write here on out (as far as this post is concerned) is not just a story, but the truth. A true life story with witness, yours truly. I was in the ward one day during my Internal medicine clinic rotations when a fragile little thing called hope disappeared from the ward. In a split second, she was nowhere to be found.
It all started with an elderly lady who came in with a benign mass at the roof of her mouth and controlled hypertension. She came in calm, possibly apprehensive, but calm all the same. After her routine check with the doctor and a few answered questions the outcome seemed good. All she needed was a minor surgery to remove the benign mass in order to prevent it from possible infection that would otherwise make the entire situation a little more damning. Upon hearing this, she seemed relieved and became quite chatty and animated like a magical fairy had waltzed in and changed her entire persona. She was happy, the doctor was happy, the nurse… everyone was happy! I mean, the day you get to save even one life or put a smile on a single person’s face like the way she was smiling would turn a bad day to a good one. Oh, and did I mention she was with a little girl called hope? Well, she was.
Anyway, we were all in the moment when just like that, hope disappeared. Hope had suddenly left the room and when I looked around to see who could have possibly taken such a quiet little child away, I saw it.
With smiles still plastered on our faces, the doctor suddenly looked more intently at something on the chart. He was not flipping pages anymore but staring at something on the paper and the woman wasn’t smiling anymore. She wasn’t telling us “God is good!” and asking us if we were Christians anymore. She was seated very still, not quite ramrod straight due to her age but very stiff, like cold water had just trickled down her spine that you could consider it ramrod even though not straight. It wasn’t just her too. It was all of us. And the atmosphere? You know when people describe the thickness of an emotion in a room and how a knife could slice through it? Here, there was an unconscious awareness of the sudden fragility in the atmosphere where we all had gone rigid for fear that any movement, no matter how languid, could break the glass surrounding us as we waited to hear something conclusive from the doctor – the only one in the room who wasn’t in our glass room. And in the midst of all that, I saw who stole hope. And in that moment, I knew:
- what fear looked like and how quickly it could come by the thought of bad news;
- I knew fear was the robber that stole hope.
I observed how starkly contrasting her reaction was at just the undertones, the slight suspicion of something becoming worse. And I realised the opposite of fear isn’t always courage. Sometimes, the opposite of fear is hope. The english textbooks don’t have it all figured out. Life does.
Because sometimes, we fear to hope just to avoid the possibility of being seated in this lady’s butt imprints; sitting in the glass room anticipating fear all the while fearing to lose hope. But now I know the culprits that stole hope and I can’t let that happen to me.
I can’t let them steal more of her than they’ve already stolen because, like you know from one of my previous posts; ‘The thing that kept me sane‘, she is my reason for sanity.
So with that, I have risen this morning with a burning indignation in my chest for the injustice of their acts to this woman. And the felony they have committed by taking hope away from me, ravishing her and reducing her to torn up rags. And with my indignation comes a resignation to protect what’s left of her, nourish her, and grow her to the Queen she once was that fear took away.
Then (which was about two months ago) I only knew of fear but now I know the others involved in this hideous crime. The unsuspecting criminals to my scantily clad mind that caught me unawares.
- The sadistic joker called defeat,
- The sly encourager, disappointment
- The wanton gambler, loss
- The viscious lawyer, blame
- The seductress, hurt
- I know bad news and the multiples – repeated failures, all mockers in their own right.
- False promises and lies,
- Bruised faith,
- And even more fatigue.
They all stole hope. But now I’m her self acclaimed avenger that will avenge her. Because amidst the shadows I have chosen to seek the least dauntingly bleak and pretend it’s light just so I can find her, and restore her until I can actually find the light.
I have chosen. I’m all G.I Joe’d up and I cannot fail because this isn’t a game like tomb raider, where the worst that can happen is a pop up of ‘Loser’ on the screen. It’s beyond that so I cannot fail.
I just cannot fail.