Just when I thought I already had enough life lessons…
Just when I thought I already had enough life lessons, through those many things that have done or happened to me, God decided to give me more. He decided to give me more in a way that I never expected ever happen to me. In a way that I never wished anyone else to experience.
It was when I had to stay waiting in the ER with my father. Yep, my family was tested positive for Covid-19, and at that time my father’s decreased oxygen saturation required me to immediately take him to the emergency room of the nearest hospital. The whole ER has turned into a special emergency room for Covid-19 patients, which turned out to be full when I arrived. Even worse, it’s already overloaded — of the 30 capacities they provide, they have to loosen up to 40 capacities due to the increasing number of patients arriving. It’s chaos. They ran out of beds, oxygens, and infusions. The health workers are overwhelmed. It takes about 7 hours until my father finally gets his part, and thankfully, he was able to survive that long.
And I can learn so many life lessons just by looking around the emergency room while waiting: that in a situation like this, health becoming something that really precious and life is worth fighting for. Indeed life is worth fighting for, but I really mean it, literally. Unfortunately, sometimes we take both for granted, whether consciously or not.
I’ve seen the deaths of many people who can’t survive in the ER. Or those who were taken late to the ER due to limitations or road constraints, so that they arrived in a state of death (or DOA, Dead on Arrival). I’ve seen ambulances that keep coming every minute, a never-ending siren. I’ve seen the patients that needed to be rushed immediately but the hospital keeps rejecting them because they’re already overloaded. I’ve seen the body that arrived in blue and stiff condition but failed to be helped. I had always known that the human body would turn blue when oxygen stopped flowing, but only then did I see it right before my own eyes. I’ve seen and heard those heart monitors that beeping every second until that one final long beep, before the doctor calls their family member and declares their death.
In the waiting, I’ve seen those family members that waited patiently. Begging the doctors to give their loved ones their part, or at least oxygen to help them breathe. Those weary and worried eyes of them, and how they kept making sure their loved ones still alive.
I’ve seen the faces of those who still managed to survive, alive, and breathing while enduring the pain in their body. How they lay helplessly with the oxygens on covering their nose while keeping their prayer and wishes for their recovery. Perhaps they’re also persevering and surrendering, I don’t know for sure. But one thing I know for sure, that must be really hard for them to stay strong and to survive both physically and mentally in the ER, while they still have to see others tried to survive, but some failed and death took them.
I’ve heard people crying and mourning for their loss. “That must be really hard for them”, I talked to myself. But however they managed to just cry for a while, then left to take care of the funeral administration and stuff. Whether they are sincere, or they save the tears and sadness to continue afterward, I don’t know for sure either. And then I prayed, I wished I would never be in that position.
I must admit that is the hardest situation I’ve ever faced in my entire life. I used to think the hardest one is when I needed to be painfully injected several times before going on an MRI test, or when I lost in a place with nobody I know with the potential disaster that exists, but that situation, those whole three days of me and my father patiently waiting on the ER before finally entering the treatment room is the hardest. Ever.
I considered myself a highly sensitive person, meaning I can easily feel and even absorb one’s emotions and energy. And in that situation, it’s very difficult for me to endure and strengthen myself and not to “drown” in the things I absorbed, since I have the duty to encourage my father, to talk him positive affirmations so that he can be optimistic and not drown in his thoughts. And now I daydream a lot. I think about how for all this time I may have wasted many valuable things, such as time, health, and life, as I mentioned earlier. I think about how often I felt like giving up on life when perhaps for others my life and my existence are precious. And maybe it became something like an existential crisis where I began to questions so many things about life. Again.
One thing I really hold onto in this hard situation is that “this too shall pass”. I hold onto God’s words and promises of how with hardship will comes ease, and that He does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear. I keep searching and searching for things, be it writings or sayings that will strengthen me. One of them is my today’s daily read, a writing from Efrilia Wahyu on her Medium that I read this morning. She has successfully convinced me that being in a hard situation is a privilege too. In her writing, Efrilia said:
In my case, having uneasy life when I grew up is a privilege. I might be a different person if it was all easy. I might not be as tough as I am now if everything was perfect. Again, life can be awful or beautiful depends on how you see it.
And I believe her. I believe that these hardships my family faced would not happened for no reason. There must be a reason, or maybe reasons, and life lessons that I can learn. Now I believe that hardships exist to make you a lifelong learner, to make you tougher, and to develop you into a better person with better understanding and perspectives.