As I sit in hospital looking at my mum sprawled on her bed, looking so fragile, I can’t help but think of the countless times in the past when this same scene played out before me. First, the stroke when I was 13, then the heart attack years later, then the heart bypass… in the midst of all that illness, my mum found her faith in Christ.
When Pastor Kee came over to pray for my mum the other day, he read from Psalm 121, one of the Psalms that I truly love.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
My mum’s roommate is this old Indian lady who has a rare colon disease. She has been in hospital for the past 3 weeks. I see her elderly husband sitting by her side on the uncomfortable hospital chair, day and night, keeping her company. She doesn’t talk much, her medication keeps her drowsy, but her husband just sits by her side, in silent comfort. It must be really tough and tiring being in the hospital for that long. I am just so inspired by this man’s dedication to be by his wife as she goes through this illness.
My dad, when he sees my mum in hospital, shows his care by asking her if she has eaten, if she is comfortable. I can tell that he is worried for her. At home, his Alzheimer’s kicks in, and he asks my sister, “Isn’t someone supposed to be here?” (points to his bed).
I can’t help but feel a little saddened by the many sick people I see in the hospital. I guess it’s easy to just ignore when things are going ok, when you are just out there, doing your own thing, living your life without any interruptions. Not everyone, like the old Indian lady, has family members who care.
It’s time to stop, reflect and show some love.
My mum and dad, taken during my family portrait session in 2009.