I got a phone call from my relatives. The voice on the other side of the phone told me that my dad’s blood pressure went high. He was hospitalized.
I was still working by the time he told me. Soon I asked permission from my direct supervisor and drove my car to the hospital. I, my mom, and my little brother were waiting anxiously. Praying to God asking for miracle. But fate said otherwise. My father’s life can’t be helped.
Don’t ask me how I felt. Obviously I was broken. I cried and yelled. I cried so hard. Tears just couldn’t stop running out. Even if I asked it to stop flowing, it couldn’t. I didn’t believe it came so sudden. My father left no goodbye, either to me, my mom, or my little brother.
He was so healthy the day before. He cooked me meal, prepared hot water to me, waiting for me in front of the door knowing that I was working overtime. He is a loving father. It feels so sad to know that God called him this fast. We never knew His plan.
Since then, I never stop crying. I cried to the point my eyes lost its water. It couldn’t flow anymore. My eyes stop shed the tear, but it became so puffy. My heart was super broken.
Some days after it, I remember I was sleeping. Suddenly I heard a super familiar sound, sound of my father’s motorbike! It woke me up happily.
I ran to the door excitedly, got ready to hug my father. It was ruining my heart so bad to see the fact that the one riding the motorbike was actually my father’s brother.
This is a story of someone I look up to. A great-grandmother of 3 great-grandsons, a grandmother of 8 grandsons, and a mother of 4 kids.
She is 80 something this year, but she has such a youthful spirit. Let’s call her HG.
Let me tell you how she looks like. Heels will be her choice of shoes, followed by black short pants and blue jeans shirt. Then at the corner of her collar, you can see white sparkling brooch. During this pandemic time, she always put her shocking-pink yet cheerful mask on her face. If she open her mask, you can see her reddish blush on. Look her in the eye, there is a sparkling light green eye shadow followed with eye liner and fake eyelashes.
Her style is beautiful, livelier than mine, the writer. I’m just 20 something but I had never found a grandma this unique.
She brings smiles anywhere.
She says thank you with love, a very sincere one, comes from the deepest part of her heart. She would look in the eye of the person and speak it from the bottom of her heart.
She is one of the most romantic lady. She would loyally accompany his husband, bring him walk, feed him food, serve him physically and mentally. She is a very good companion. Her act of kindness towards his husband and family shows her affection.
She has traveled almost all around the countries. She had a lot of fun and gratefulness. Sometimes she got lost too on her way back to toilet or hotel. She sometimes forget things easily, which I can really comprehend.
She is one of the loveliest human being. Her love to others is awesome.
Why could she be this happy, healthy, and long life? What is her secret of live?
She is God’s disciple. She reads Bible every day, after and before bed. She speaks words of God, praise and worship Him. Her love comes from God, that’s why it flows naturally.
Hello reader, can you imagine there is somebody who can tell their amputation experience while laughing happily? I got a special friend like this.
Ten years ago when the doctor said that her leg needed to be amputated, she cried and shut herself in her room above the hospital’s bed, not wanting to be visited by anyone. Even she was reluctant to lift the blanket to glance at half of her feet.
Today she sits by the pool, a little bit jealous to see other people can swim, but at least she is laughing while telling me this story and we are even drinking premium ice chocolate!
Let’s call her VN, a-quarter-century-old woman, independent, design expert, and of course beautiful.
The first time I met VN was in a small group gathering held by our church. We were both new comer. I was curious of her way of walking, looks like she was having strain wit her leg. Then I asked her. Apparently my guess was wrong. She told me that was because of an accident years ago back when she was studying in Russia.
It took her years of becoming my best friend to finally admit that it was not because of an accident, but rather occurred due to a bone cancer.
At the very first time there was a small bump on her knee. She told her mom. It was assumed as a common bump, so VN was taken to a massage therapist. The massage was so painful, she was screaming out loud. Days after it, it didn’t get better. At the end, they decided to brought VN to hospital.
The bump got a radiology diagnosis (X-Ray). They can’t get the result immediately, needed to wait for several time. VN and her family were waiting anxiously. At the end, the result said that it was a malignant cancer, stage 2 bone cancer.
It was a very terrifying announcement for a junior high school student. VN took a package of chemotherapy. Slow but sure, her hair began to fall out. Once she run her fingers through her hair, it caused hair loss on her scalp.
Keep this brief, the chemo worked. After attending several sets of chemo-therapies, VN was stated cancer free. Finally, she could be free from chemotherapy. Sadly, this good news wasn’t last long. The next year, the bone cancer re-attack VN’s knee.
The treatment for her second episode of bone cancer wasn’t enough by only conducting chemotherapy. This time, VN needed to get a bone removal surgery. Luckily, it was not her big bones which needed to be removed, only the small one below her knee area. After this operation, she could walk was usual again. Praise the Lord.
Another 1 year passed again. Episode 2 was not the end of the story, there were still the third episode. This time, coincidentally, the cancer was returned again when her father was about to be transferred to Russia. After considering here and there, they finally decided to brought VN to Russia, with the main consideration was Russia’s advanced technology.
There in Russia, VN’s medication was repeated again. VN needed to re-drink the medicine she had took in Indonesia, same with the chemotherapy, it was needed to be re-conducted. Pity on her. Something that was obviously inconvenient. But since she believed that she would be healed, she retook the treatment.
The doctor in Russia scanned her feet and found out that apparently the small bone below her knee had been removed. According to them, it was a wrong decision by Indonesia’s doctor. It was an inappropriate action because they took off the small bone without substitute it with any other bones. There were body weights which needed to be lifted, sooner or later would gave a bad impact to the remained bones.
In Russia, after reviewing the best treatments, it was lastly decided to put in an artificial bone. In short, after they put in this artificial bone, VN didn’t feel comfortable with her way of walking. By the doctors, it was thought as something okay, VN was asked to get used to of it. Her parents also asked her to keep being patient, but one who was able to feel her feet was her own self. Another year passed again and there was no meaningful change.
At that time, another bump re-appear on VN’s knee. In this episode of bone cancer, the doctor hardly decided that an amputation is needed. The first person to cry wasn’t VN, it was her dad.
When did VN cry? It was right before and after the operation was carried out. Woefully, the operation was carried out on her birthday. It might be one of the worst birthday she could ever had.
Since then, VN was unwilling to be visited by anyone. Let alone be visited, just looking at her own feet she did not want to. If a nurse came to check on her wound, she always asked the nurse to cover her scar. Do not stop there, VN was also unwilling to obey doctor’s and or nurse’s order to learn to walk on crutches. She kept refusing till the doctor get mad on her.
It took her approximately a week for her to accept her amputated leg condition. Times passed. Years after it, today, VN comes to the day she is finally able to move on, reminisce and recount the story you read above, is retold funnily, with a lot of laugh.
It took me several years to admit that my amputated leg is because of a bone cancer, not an accident.”
New Normal just started at Jakarta, Indonesia. Parks begin to open. I and VA, a 25-year-old multi-talented yet beautiful woman, a used-to-stranger and now-sister made an appointment to leisurely strolling in the morning.
Firstly we stop to eat instant noodle, then walk for 5 minutes, then sitting and talking for the whole day. So that is our kind of leisurely strolling after being caged in our own house for around 3 months of quarantine.
“I met a new boy in a dating app. We talk about so many things. I think I like him,” told her to me.
That’s how we started our love updates this morning. Since then, everything flows naturally.
“The first man matched with me was a Chinese Indonesian, handsome for me. I am attracted to him. We texted intensely. Then he asked to meet me after the quarantine has been over. I told him that I am someone with disability. It doesn’t take long for him to went ghosting after I told him about my fact. It’s like he couldn’t accept my physical deficiency.
Then I try again. Now I’m texting the second man. He is a Korean. He asked me out too after the quarantine has been over. Do you think I should tell him about my amputated leg or just let him find out by himself later when we meet?”
It took me several seconds to think of the answer. “It’s a difficult question, sister. If I were you, I will… “
Then I stop again, thinking but still couldn’t find the answer.
Then she interrupted, “It’s hard to think of the answer. What if every one whom I tell suddenly walk back? They even don’t see me personality. But what if I let them find it out when we met, then that person can’t accept it and feel that they have been trapped? It’s so normal, out of so many normal people like you, why should they consider to have a disability person like me?”
Suddenly I feel like I got a whisper from my mind, “Dear VA, you don’t have the obligation to tell him before you met him, even after you guys met, if you are asked of your condition, you have the right too to refuse to answer.”
“I think there is no such a totally correct answer to answer your question. There are so many factors, every case is different. Different man different result. But if I were you, because I have tried to tell about my condition prior to my condition, then I will do it differently for the second man. I will just let him find out right at the time when we meet and let him value myself based on my personality, not of my physical condition.”
A friend of my friend died inside a cliff, tragically.
For some of you, cycling might be another kind of fun activity to release stress. But for a friend of my friend, let’s call him AZ, cycling was not just another funny action of pedalling a bike’s wire, it’s an ambition. It’s a live goal.
His dream was to travel all around the world just by cycling. How did you think? Was it possible? In my point of view, it was quite impossible.
But as for a cyclist, he could manage to make it happen. Because all he needed is a pair of strong legs, padded shorts and cycling jerseys, water bottle and bottle cage, sport shoes, helmet, and obviously a bicycle. His dream sounded impossible for me at first, but slowly he tried to make it happen. At first country A then B then C and so on.
Till one day he reached Nepal, a plateau. Before he reached this country, his family has warned him to be careful. It’s a challenging route, the longest downhill route on earth. Fate was fate. Destiny was destiny. We could never predict.
His family suddenly lost contact with him, didn’t get any message reply from him. The next day, a corpse was found at the end of the cliff near his cycling area.
I’m feeling bad for his death. At another point, I’m glad that once in my life I have that kind of friend. He might have left this world, but his dream stays, at least in my mind, waiting for the next cyclist to make it come true.
It’s a weekly community meeting. Ten of us are sitting together. We are asked about one of the things we are really grateful about.
One says A and B, about job and families and health and any other general things. This one impresses me the most.
“I’m so grateful of being able to have a shower with hot water,” that’s what AR, a 28-year-old man tells to the entire people in the room.
We are all seeing him silently. Our mouth might not say a word, but our eyes do asking why, staring curiously.
That’s how the story starts.
“Once I lived in a village which water derives from the rain. The water was… It was bad. It got sticky to your skin whenever you try to rinse off your skin. That kind of feeling you get when there is remaining soap which couldn’t be rinsed off no matter how many times you try to rub it. The only way to deal with it is by convincing your mine that the water is clean while it was not. That’s how I finish my shower all the time.
Long story short, some months after it I moved to another place. This time, the water was not sticky as the previous one, but it had wiggler! Well, I got no idea whether this is better than the previous one or not.
Then I moved again to another place, this time to a little bit slum area of this city. Hmm, maybe not slum, maybe just a suburban area. I had less working experience, less money as well. That’s why I couldn’t afford to rent a good living place. Working up until night and wake up early in the morning. One of the hardest thing to deal with after stepping my feet to the bathroom and before going to sleep is, cold water. It’s the kind of cold which made me shivering. My bones can feel it. I dislike showering with cold water. And I did it for several months.
But today, I’m so thankful that now I get a better job. I can rent a room with hot-water shower. I don’t need to take a deep breath before showering. No more winter season during my cleaning time. I am happy, so grateful.”
That’s how AR impresses me, and maybe others in the room as well. Showering with hot water might be something ordinary for several people, but for some others, it’s a type of luxury.
COVID-19 outbreak is still on air in Indonesia. The number of positive patient keep increasing day by day. Not only airplane industry get the impact, it works too for travel, hospitality, transportation, and many other industries. Without exception, thalassemia’s patient as well .
In this session, where so many people choose to stay at home, a patient with thalassemia major unfortunately still need the same amount of blood transfusion once in every two weeks.
So here I present, a story of SN, mother of a patient with Thalassemia major, a stranger who soon become a friend of mine.
An old friend of mine contacted me for a need of O+ blood. I was hesitated at first. It is quite a brave decision to go out these days. But as I rethink of the consequences, finally I dare myself to go out of my house and donor my blood.
That’s how I meet SN, a mother yet a donor fighter. Why do I say that she is a donor fighter?
Well, during this outbreak as well as holy month of Ramadhan, it gets more difficult to get a blood donor. And SN needs to collect at least 3 bags of blood once in every 2 weeks. I wonder how she is able to get this. This outbreak drives her depressed. Absolutely people tend to stay at home. Why would they bet their own life just to donor their blood to a total stranger?
“It is quiet stressful. This pandemic drives me crazy,” told her to me.
“So, how old is your daughter?” asked me to her curiously.
“She is turning 17-year-old this May.”
“And you have been doing this for 17 years?” startling me a bit, amazed as well.
She was nodding and smiling. “Wow, I am impressed. But, it’s not always like this, right? How do you usually get the blood?”
“Yes, it is usually not this difficult. I only need to go to PMI (Indonesian Red Cross Society) routinely, go to hospital and then get transfusion. It is usually become a bit difficult during Ramadhan, yes this session. But right now is the hardest because it is a double event. I’m so grateful God send me some angels to donor their blood. Like you,” smiled her to me.
I think it is one of the most beautiful smiles I’ve ever seen lately, a very sincere one, spoken from the bottom of her heart. Makes me feel more human in this huge world.
“My very pleasure, glad to help, SN.”
Deep inside I compare what I’ve done with what she has done. I only do something very small. I wonder how she can live this kind of life every single day. Such a fighter.
“Have you ever lack of blood? I mean, you need minimum 3 bags of blood twice a week, how if you only get 2? Or even lesser? How if unfortunately my blood doesn’t pass the examination, how if there is just not enough donor? Will something bad happen to your daughter?”
“Well, it happens many times, especially during this pandemic. If so, I will need to borrow the blood from hospital, then find a donor and return it to hospital the next time.”
“Ah I see. I wonder how much you need to pay for blood transfusion every week? And anyway, is the blood for sale? I mean, I donor it freely to PMI, but do you buy it from hospital? Or they give it to you freely?”
“I used to buy it, before government issue BPJS. It costs around 400k a bag (around 28 USD). But if it is without BPJS, it could cost 15 million (around 1.035 USD) and need to be paid twice a month.”
When I hear it, I was like, “Wow, not a small amount of money.”
She went through it all, going through it now, and will keep going to it. As a stranger, the best thing I can do is keep donor my blood and if possible, help her to find another donor.
“Hey, friend,” she called me.
“You are still young. If it is possible, before you get married, check to doctor first whether you and your-husband-to-be has the the blood of thalassemia carrier. If it is just one of you, it is safe then. But if two of you are, be careful.”
Story of BB, 18 year old student, a victim as well as a rescuer.
“It was a sunny day at Yogya when our government launched Transyogya, a public bus operating around the city, connecting almost every area of my lovely town.
I was standing up, holding the grip, until our bus almost get into the station. When I looked forward, I am confused why the bus didn’t stop or slower the speed whereas there was another bus in front of us.
Seriously, not long after that, our bus hit on the bus in which was in a stop position located in front of us. My body was moving forward in a very high speed, as well as everyone in the bus.
Not long after the accident, I get myself back. As I looked around, every one was hurt. Some officers helped some of the passengers to get out of the bus. I tried to rescue them to, especially the old men.
I helped them one by one. From grandpa to grandma, adult to kids, ladies and men, till I became the last man standing in the bus. When I was about to get off, an officer looked me in the eye and said, “Hey young boy thanks for helping! You are such a kind-hearted man.”
Not long after that he looked down at my red elbow. Then that man said, “Wow you even bear that wound while rescuing these people?”
Furthermore I look at my hand and just realize that my hand was hurt. There were some glass flakes pierced. I was surprised and just able to feel the pain.
Then I laughed to him, “Hahaha thanks for letting me know.”
Then I was frozen. Speechless as well. He pulled me out of the bus and brought me to a hospital together with dozens of other patients.
Long story short, my hand was bandaged.
Weeks later, I was healed. My hand was recovered, I could use it normally. I took off the bandage and put it inside of a photo frame and hang it on my sleeping room’s wall.
Every time I feel bad about myself, I will look up to that bandage and remind myself that once in my life I’ve ever been a hero without wings or spider webs, and it makes me feel more than great.
I had that kind of roommate who made people laugh till their jaw getting stiff, but then every night go to bed crying.
She is lovely, having beautiful eyes yet funny unique voice. She is overweight as well. Let’s call her GB, a 30-year-old woman.
Once I asked her, “Hey, friend, what’s your most favorite thing to do in this world?”
While everyone in the room was in silence because of thinking, she spontaneously answer me, “Eating,” with full of smile in her face.
I asked her why, then she told me because only when she is eating she could forget about everything. I din’t really buy this word until I share the same bed and night with her.
We shared the same tears but not the same pain.
When we were about to sleep, I could notice that she was crying. That’s how everything started. I just knew that she is a widow. During her 3 years of marriage, she has aborted 3 babies. By the way this is allowed in her country. It means one baby every year. Then it simply means she got pregnant every year and every time she got pregnant she aborted their babies. Nope, it supposed to be her babies.
“If I could turn back time, I won’t marry this man. I was so specious and stubborn. No one agreed on my choice. My parents to my best friend, they didn’t allow me to marry this man. My ex-husband was previously a divorcee before we get married. May be that was the reason why my people didn’t allow me to marry him.
But because I was persistent, they got no choice except to let me do what I wanted, marry him. That’s how everything started. He was a lazy man, unwilling to work. It was my mistake to spoil him too.
I earned money. Let him stay at home. Prepared his clothes. Cooked him food. Served him all the best I could do. Did all the things the best wife could do. At that time I was a working wife as well. There was also a day I was pregnant and I still cooked him food while all the things he could do was only sitting and playing.
I remember in a cold winter day, I was pregnant and I cooked him food. Getting off from my work, walked a long way to cook then delivered him the meal. I was late. I felt like almost dying. The first thing came out from his lip wasn’t asking how I was doing, he was mad at me being late.
I was full of anger and disappointment, speechless as well.
At that time, I just remembered why all the people around me didn’t allow me to marry him. May be because they already knew this would happen. I regretted I didn’t listen to them and just follow my personal instinct.
Not long after saying this, GY cried. I could’t do anything. She regretted everything.
That’s how she went to bed crying everyday. She regretted her life and couldn’t turn back time. The only thing she could do to forget her regret was eating, only eating. But she felt sad for being fat too.
“How do you feel when you know you have tumor in the middle of your head and the only way to analyze it is to open your head?
A question asked by a pastor to himself as a tumor patient.
He is the one wake up every Sunday morning, go to church, asking people to have faith in God, asking them not to be worry because God is always be with us, lifting up the life cross together. It is might be not so difficult to be said, but way super challenging to be implemented to real life, especially when we people are facing a big problem.
Here I present, story of JB, a 50-year-old cheerful pastor, a tumor fighter as well.
Realizing he was not young anymore, JB decided to have a medical check up, one package with body x-ray. Some days after the medical check up, the result went out. It’s good, it’s very good. The doctor said 95% of the result was good. The doctor only told him some light suggestions such as, “Eat more vegetables, drink more water, don’t eat too much of …” You could name it, from fat to cholesterol, sugar to anything that is not good to be consumed in a big amount.
When it came to the page of head analysis report, the doctor stopped for a while and said, “There is something in the middle of your head. It’s not part of your body organ. It’s something solid,” then the doctor showed the picture to JB.
JB slightly tilted his head,”What is it, Doc?”
“It’s probably a tumor. But I’m not so sure about it. You can find a neurologist to know more detail about the tumor in your head” told him to me without feeling any bad.
JB felt super down, getting curious about what’s actually inside his head, strategically stayed in the middle of his important head. Long story short he took an action to go to a neurologist.
There are only 2 ways to treat the tumor inside of your head,” told the neurologist to JB.
“First, just let it be. You don’t feel any pain right? Just let it be, don’t do anything. If someday you feel bad about it, you can come here again and we will discuss about your treatment.”
“Oh my God, how can a doctor tell that to me as of nothing bad is happening? I’m having a tumor and he told in in a super relax way. Like he doesn’t care. Or he does? Oh, I can’t understand,” told JB to himself.
“The second choice you might have is, to have an operation,” told the Doctor.
“Operation? How is it?”
“Yeah an operation, we will open your head and see the tumor directly. That’s the only way for us to know how the tumor is and what we should do.”
The neurologist told it to me in a you-will-be-fine-nothing-big-will-be-happening way. It’s like my head will be drilled by a machine, complete with its moving high-speed metal and he told me as if my mom asked me to open up an oven to take her baked bread. But this is my head and they will open it, tear it up with a machine.”
“Ok, so what are the consequences?” asked JB to the doctor, directly to the main point.
“Well, you wanna know in a small or extreme level?”
Due to my curiosity, “Both.”
“In an extreme way, you might be blind and paralyzed,” I was way too shock, regretting my decision to know more about it.
Then JB got back home, was hopeless and didn’t really know what to do next. He prayed, consult to his wife and anyone he thought he could have a good talk to.
A good fortune that his brother is a neurologist. JB needed to find more points of view about his tumor. So he asked his neurologist too.
Guess what was the result of his brother? The same. It looked like all the neurologist working in the same purpose to make JB felt insecurity. JB had to believe that there was no other way to understand the tumor inside his head, except by opening it up.
It took him time to have faith to do the head operation. For months he was struggling with this issue. Maybe this tumor kept him insomnia? Some thing 2 cm was staying inside of his head and he had no idea whether it was dangerous or not. And he need to open his head in order to know the answer, sooner or later.
Yes, so he did. He had to. Told JB to himself. The words of his preaching finally had to be done by himself.
So yeah, JB had it. gather all his courage to determine the schedule date and prepare his body for the operation, with all the support from his beloved people.
All I remember about his story is how a big round of applause fill in the church when he showed us the photo of his head, still with some inches of stitches, fresh from the oven! And he is not either blind or get paralyzed. He is fully recovered and was smiling in a big wide way, letting me and thousand other people understand how God’s authority work in his life.