Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Right One

Although you come across thousands of patients in your training and practice, you tend to associate illnesses with individuals. You never forgot this unusual disease or that rare medication side effect. But some of the patients you meet stick in memory purely for their person.

It was a Friday night, one of those dreadful 30-hour shifts. Although nobody likes them, you owe a lot of your experience (and most of the gray hairs in your head) to those exhausting nights. And, I have to walk and tell a woman she is dying of cancer.

She must be miserable, I am thinking, as I nervously ask how she is feeling. “I have lived a good life, and had a wonderful family”, she starts. “But if I pass, I want you to let me go”. “I want to meet my husband, he died last year”, she adds. Wow...I am lost for words.

But she continues. “Are you married, young man?” not yet, I answer. She smirks, “You are a good-looking fellow, and you will be meeting a lot of girls, but they are not the same”. An invaluable lesson in life from a dying old lady, I think to myself, my mind registering every word. She continues “there is someone out there, you never met them, and they don’t know of you. But you are meant to be together. One day you will meet, and you will look her in the eye, and know for sure she is the right one”. Now I am the one who is scared of the future and she is comforting me…I certainly did not see this coming. “I promise you, one day!”

My brain is shattered. Why is life so unfair? Why such a nice woman has to go through much suffering? What is life and what do I want from it? What do I want my tombstone to say? And how can I tell who is the right one? How do I find her? Will I be at peace with myself when I reach this old age, or if I endure the same fate?

Few years pass, and I am still wondering. How do I know who is the right one?

Well, it is my turn to reassure you. The day shall come, and you will recognize her…You will know. Though never seen her before, among a thousand people you can tell her apart. No language on earth is sophisticated enough to describe your ecstasy, but there is no mistake about it. Can you ignore the large billboards in Times Square with a thousand lights? It is similar: all the light bulbs inside your head will flash on all at once. A new life starts within you. The universe outside starts looking strikingly more beautiful. How comes you never paused to admire the azure blue sky every morning? Why now all birds come to your window to wake you up with magnificent melodies? And is it your imagination, or the shiny stars truly seem to come closer, confessing in tiny secret signals that someone is thinking of you? The geek in you will believe a fuse was missing and now a circuit in your brain, never wired before, is now constantly on; while the hippie in you will just want to jump on a couch. It's as if you were Pygmalion, and God sent you a woman with a heart of gold instead of your statue of ivory. People around think you are on drugs, yet wonder why you are much nicer to them. There is a smile that no one ever saw on your face before. You feel elated, higher than the moon, taller than the mountains. You could see Forever, ever so clearly, even if the details of lays ahead are still foggy. You realize for once, as if you were born yesterday, that the purpose of your existence is to strive with all your might for the happiness of another person, and you just found the right one!

Bless her soul...I now know what she meant.

(* Story is true, details are modified)

Have you ever been in love
You could touch the moonlight
When your hearts shooting stars
You're holding heaven in your arms
Have you ever been so in love

The time I spent
Waiting for something that was heaven-sent
When you find it don't let go,
I know

Have you ever said a prayer
And found that it was answered
All my hope has been restored
And I ain't looking anymore
Have you ever been so in love, have you...

Some place that you ain't leavin
Somewhere you're gonna stay
When you finally found the meanin
Have you ever felt this way?

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