Last weekend was a memorable one for me because it brought me closer to my authentic self. I mourned and celebrated the life of someone I had so much respect and admiration for because he changed the way I looked at life. Today I write with so much confidence and pride though with a heavy heart.
I was diagnosed with Hydrocephalus(Fluid in the brain) a couple of years ago and have been living in fear since then. I got in and out of depression, gained weight, my blood pressure went off the hook and I kept trying to brave this on my own until I got a call from Ngia Vincent Che of blessed memory, sometime last year on an early Wednesday morning, asking me to call him back.
I looked at the message and said to myself "if you only know what I am going through, you will not be calling me" and I put my phone away. I came back and realized I have missed two more calls from him so I reluctantly decided to call him back. Immediately he picked up the phone he said "Khien why you throwe me so"? My voice was so low because I had been crying all morning and he asked me what was going on with me. Now thinking I had the greatest issue on earth, I told him what was going on with me and how frustrated I was and he said "Hmmm! I am at the doctors office and I have stage 4 pancreatic cancer." My voice changed and I asked him this question with all confidence and authority "Who said so"? And he giggled and said "My doctor." Now pushing myself to be the brave one, I replied "Dat doctor dem di craze Ngia Vince." and he cracked up. We both started laughing on the phone and he said he has to go because the doctor was back. I hung up the phone and wept like the world had come to an end.
I visited Ngia Vincent over the weekend and that was the beginning of my healing process. He told me that he listened carefully on the phone and heard me crying and he hoped I was not crying for him nor for myself. He added that I should press on for nothing can take the place of PERSISTENCE and he will have me in prayers as well. Right there, I looked at my situation and looked at the person talking to me and made a commitment to myself that if I am to get anywhere close to a better health, it is up to me to fight till the end. Before I left the house I told him that he will be the first person to know when the doctors give me a clean bill of health and I can finally sit and write my BAR Exams and he said, "Khien be patient, it is coming."
I had this connection with Ngia Vincent because I felt both of us had same FEAR of leaving this world anytime soon because of "our circumstances" but he was so confident, funny and brave in every statement he made that I had to automatically change the way I looked at things. I learnt how to be patient and deal with my situation with a peace of mind from Ngia Vincent. You see, Patience is not just about waiting for something, it is about how you wait or your attitude while waiting. I am so grateful that the day MACUDA New England visited you, I had the opportunity to tell you how I felt and appreciated you for making me look at my situation differently. We spent some time in the kitchen and we both started crying when you told me that what I said meant a lot to you. As usual we started laughing and you said "we gotta fight this thing Khien".
Ngia Vincent, we celebrated your life over the weekend and it was the most difficult and longest weekend for me. I had so many questions but could not open my mouth because nobody will understand my pain. I felt I had been waiting for an answer for too long and now that you have waited and finally said it is time to go, I wasn't sure if I will be able to handle the patience and courage for that long. I did everything I felt was right for you that weekend, but of course it did not go well with some people. I was worried at first but then thought of this quote and just decided to do what I had to do to honor you.
"Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you will be criticized anyway." Eleanor Roosevelt
I did what I felt was right. I lost my voice for two days. I danced, I wept and I laughed my lungs out just for you. However, on the famous Wednesday morning, following the celebration of your life, I got the good news I had been waiting for regarding my health. As happy as I was, I broke down because I never had the opportunity to share the news with you, ngia Vincent, as I promised. Wherever you are, may your light continue to shine. Your courage towards life was all worth it and I am so grateful that our kindred spirits crossed paths along the way. You fought a good fight. I promise you I will live by your principles as our conversation keeps ringing in my ears. We cried for a year and now is the time to celebrate and honor you for a life well lived. This wristband "NO ONE FIGHTS ALONE" will be worn to remember how courageous you were and celebrate you where ever you are.
Courage takes many forms. There is physical courage, there is moral courage, then there is the higher type of courage; the courage to brave pain, to live with it, to never let others know of it and to still find joy in life to wake up in the morning with an enthusiasm for the day ahead. This is the kind of courage I saw in you and this is the kind of courage I want to emulate. It is well with your soul.
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