I walked in… my mind was racing, my heart pacing; all the while wondering what I would say to him. Would he recognize me, would he hear my voice, would he open his eyes to take one look at me – the way he always looks at me when we meet for heart-to-heart conversations???
I walked in… and behold, he was laying face-up, hands propped to his chest, feet raised by a pillow to allow blood circulation, eyes half closed. His body looked alot leaner than when I had last seen him. He was breathing faster than usual but not too fast to cause a panic.
I walked in… stood right next to him, reached out and placed my hand on his hand as if to call out to him. He didn’t respond. My friend called out his name once, twice, thrice (louder and louder each time). I too shook his hand and joined in to call out his name. Slowly, he turned his head toward where we were standing, opened his eyes just a bit and closed them again. We called out his name again. This time, he opened his eyes wide as if to say “I can hear you but I cannot move anything beyond this” as if to say “I can feel your hand on my hand” as if to say “I heard you walk in a few minutes back, I heard you voice and knew it was you my dear but I cannot move anything beyond this..“
Our eyes locked and behold I was looking into his eyes; the eyes I recognized, the eyes I looked into each time I was intently listening to words of wisdom, words of encouragement, words of gentle rebuke. I was looking into his eyes and right there I could read so much. I could read the pain and the struggle and yet I could also read resolve and a fighter; I saw his encouragement and joy in seeing me stand right there. At once, it was affirmed to me that surely, the eyes are but the window to one’s soul. Tears welled in my eyes as I watched him drift off and close his eyes again. “I am not going to cry” is all I could tell myself. “He needs to see the strength in my eyes, he needs to see that I have been praying long and hard for him, he needs to know that it is his turn to count on me, to count on all of us his friends“. We called out his name again – this time he opened his eyes immediately and then opened his mouth and started to speak but we couldn’t hear what he was saying. I leaned in closer and still his words were nothing but a whisper. It felt like he had so much to say but his strength could only let him speak out half sentences. I decided I would encourage him on. I kept nodding my head in agreement to say “I heard you” and “I am right here”. I even gently squeezed his hand to affirm to him that I was listening even if I didn’t hear a word.
He got tired of speaking and then closed his eyes to rest as he had run out of strength. I held onto his hand longer, closed my eyes and prayed to God.
“Dear God, please restore him – he is a good person, he is kind and gentle, he is a husband and a father to beautiful children. He is my friend. Please don’t take him away just yet. Let us continue to have the honor and blessing of his presence with us. He is so dear to us. Dear God, please heal him as he is in pain and I know you know all this…….“
I immediately opened my tear filled eyes, wiped them as I released his hand and quietly walked to the end of his bed to take a seat. I sat there for 2 hours looking at him: praying and wishing he would just get up and say “Ok, lets pack up and head home – I am fine now…! “. Watching him got me thinking so hard on this thing called LIFE! I couldn’t help but think hard on how LIFE IS BUT LIKE A THIN THREAD!
LIFE – One day we have it and then another moment that opportunity is taken away. Its like a thin thread that is cut and then like that it’s gone!!!! However, while we still have it running in our bodies, do we ever stop to appreciate that we have a great big opportunity and what we do with that opportunity is a form of appreciation (or the luck of it) to the LIFE GIVER?
As I stood to walk away, I took one more look at my friend and right there made a promise that I would appreciate having life alot more by how I lived it and also that when he got off that hospital bed, I would tell him how his experience opened my eyes in ways I would never have imagined.
Get well soon KR
Love Light and Blessings