La Maria

As I grow older, my thirst for wanting to see the world grows stronger. Though I think it’s supposed to be the other way around where, when people grow older, they just want to relax at home after work and not go anywhere else. People tend to get used to this cycle called routine. It’s like age, which is clearly a number, stops us from growing and wanting more for our selves, we get used to a routine and change and growth disrupts that.

That part changed for me when I was hospitalized last year with some severe health problems. Instead of spending that summer traveling, I spent it on a hospital bed. Then on a wheel chair, learning to walk again after being discharged. It’s one of those times where you wanted to give up the most, and that you could choose to give up because it was easy and there was no other reason to keep on going. It’s funny, how the mind plays its tricks on you.

The one thing that saved me, wasn’t my dear peaches, but a total stranger who roomed with me after several others-whom I all ignored, were discharged. Her name was Maria and she had came in late at night for a gall bladder removal. The nurses, like all the other times disrupted my sleep and so I was wide awake wondering who this next person was and if I was ever able going to get some sleep that night. At first Maria annoyed me very much because I was a grump, who had given up on life and was laying in a hospital bed facing feelings of abandonment and sorrow. I had forgotten how our first conversation started, but I remember it was after she had her surgery and I had asked something along the lines, “are you okay?” after hearing her crying softly from behind the stiff but thin curtain of our tiny hospital room.

Maria encouraged me unknowingly to not give up even though there is so much physical and emotional pain to be experienced with living. She taught me that life was worth fighting for seeing her walk up and down those halls late at night after her surgery to prevent muscle atrophy. She gave me hope when she tried to eat nasty hospital food to keep her strength. And even though I had a hard time breathing, we found humor during nights where we couldn’t sleep and missed our own families back home. After almost two months in the hospital, I started to walk my already weakened legs. I certainly threw up everywhere, because if you have not walked for two months it’s a hard thing to do. But I kept on walking because of Maria and for myself. The nurses started to to cheer me on as well.

Maria was discharged a week before I was. I never saw her again, nor did we ever plan to keep in touch. We were but two strangers, who met at random and roomed together for a short period of time. It really gives meaning to the saying, some people are meant to walk in our lives for a reason and when they leave our lives, their purpose of being in our lives has been completed. Whether it was a lesson they unknowingly teach, or a unbeknownst friendship they accidentally share for a moment in time, everything and everyone has some meaning.

Life isn’t always beautiful, but there are small parts of it that make it wildly gorgeous. And those are the parts worth living for.

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