#JusJoJan- Jan 13/17- Hospital- a walk to remember

I thought and thought- what can I write about hospitals. I am a doctor but not practicing now- so what relevance does hospitals have for me other than some nostalgia at not seeing patients any more ? My husband carries a smell of hospital with him when he comes back from work and he carries some of his hospital work with him when he returns. But other than that hospitals are a thing of the past for me.

Then it struck me- why not write about a beautiful book I was reading overnight- Thursday- it was called a Walk to Remember. Some of you might remember the movie. I have never seen the movie or read the book before yesterday. My daughter took one look at the book and said- this is a famous movie book and I asked her- do you know it ? She said, ” yes, everyone is talking about it. Everyone dies in the end”. Really ? I cannot read book about dying these days- how am I going to deal with it ?

But its intriguing, gripping plot kept me reading till the end. And there is mention of hospital and illness in the book.

Jamie the heroine or unlikely heroine is unattractive and just opposite of what a teenage high school girl of the time would be. She was not into rock and roll or short dresses or make up. She was nerdish by modern parlance. The hero, her classmate, all of 17 belonged to one of the social elite families of Beaufort, North Carolina. The location of NC struck a chord with me, since many of the bloggers whom I follow and read reside in NC- Anne Merhling who writes at Mehrling Muse writes often about the glorious Smokies. Another blogger who writes at rabbit patch diary blogs about the NC mountains. But the location of this book was the seafront town of Beaufort, NC, which has a coast.

Jamie’s one desire was to act in her Father’s play, which he had written for Christmas and she wanted the hero of the story also to act in the play. They were not friends by any means. But she asked him anyway. He was a socially prominent boy of the times in that town and would have hated spending time with Jamie, even under normal circumstances. Jamie was the daughter of the Baptist priest in town. She walked around with a Bible at all times- she quoted from it often and often talked about praying for one. She was a total, vociferous believer and a true practicing Christian. Visiting a nearby orphanage and spending time there was one of her pastimes.

After acting with Jamie in the play, the hero of the story Carter, comes to know why acting in the play was so dear to her heart. She was fighting a losing battle with an illness, one that had no cure at that time. She had spent time traveling to hospitals and the prognosis was always the same. She wanted to spend the rest of her time on earth doing good for people.

I can’t begin to tell you how this story affected me. When I got the book from our library, Thursday evening, from a free pick all you want book exhibition outside our library, I didn’t know what I was letting myself in for. A book by Nicholas Sparks( never heard of him either), but no harm in trying it out- was my first thought.

But though hospitals figured largely in the second part of the book, the focus of the book was not Jamie’s illness or her visits to hospital. It was about the spiritual healing of the hero, who needed to have direction in life and Jamie picked on him to treat him in her own sweet way, so he could see his life’s direction and pursue it instead of wasting his time on earth. Jamie bequeathed her legacy on him and she lived through him, long after she was gone physically from the world.

It has been a long time since a fiction book has touched my core so much. I would recommend it to anyone who needs some positivity n their lives.

Digging for truths in Inspiration

Following up on my post ” Inspiration“, written a few days back, I want to write an update.

I am reading Norman Vincent Peale’s book, You can if you think you can. Each word seems to resonate with me- I feel like he was speaking to me through many of the instances he has written about. He has inspired me to start thinking of my dream of going back to college ( at 47!) to complete my education.

On a personal front, I decided to try to apply some of the principles he advocated in my life- call it my Late New Year Resolutions, if you will. Most of his writing is about how to make people like you and how to make more friends and be a success socially among other things.

A few weeks back, I wrote about a difficult experience at work, one I was embarrassed about. I don’t feel so embarrassed any more. Yesterday I passed the woman in the incident, totally unexpectedly. I saw her from afar off but couldn’t recognize her from that distance. She was smiling and waving her hands at me. When we came close, I realized all of a sudden, who she was. I was about to cringe in embarrassment but by God’s grace, I was able to gracefully return her greeting and pass her by. I can only account for this by two reasons : 1. My constant giving of thanks and acceptance of the life lesson made me humble enough to be able to face her and my God gave me this opportunity and the courage to handle this incident and gave me a chance to change it into an opportunity. Well, I could easily have run off or turned the other way but I looked her in the eye and wished her back. Isn’t that a positive outcome ? Norman Vincent Peale talks about this too- embarrassments come to everyone, in one form or the other- it is up to us to make an opportunity out of it.

There is another woman who works in the HR department of our university. I don’t have too good a relationship with her – for some reason we don’t vibe well. Nothing specific but we are not friends. We pass each other in the corridors, sometimes I ignore her and sometimes she ignores me but we do know who the other one is. I know I have not behaved well with her in ignoring her when I met each other and I know she has hurt me in the past too and that I have borne grudges. Yesterday, by a strange turn of events, it happened that the elevator I took to go down to the underground parking  lot was the same elevator she took too- at the very same time, after work. There was no way  I was going to retract my feet, me reading Norman Vincent Peale and all- I had to deal with my inner demons.

Waiting for the elevator together, I flashed her a million dollar smile- it made me feel warm inside, believe me. She returned the smile- perhaps she was sick of the bad looks we gave each other too. In the elevator, I needed to search for my car keys which as usual had settled down to the bottom of my hand bag. Digging down into my bag for my keys, I muttered to myself, ” Always digging”. She looked at me curiously. I explained as if we were long lost friends, ” I have a habit of always having to dig in my handbag to find things, keys, mobile, purse- you name it I have done it”. She laughs and said, she was the same- she said,” I am the same. I have a handbag with side pockets in which I keep all my important things, so I can fish things out in a jiffy. I have never been able to find another handbag like that, she concluded. We laughed together and I said, ” My husband often tells me , of what use is  a mobile phone to you ? You miss all calls digging in the depths of your handbag.” This brought another round of laughter and the ice of so many days was broken.  In companionable silence, we traveled as elevator- buddies till we parted on a good note in the car park.

See what I mean, God works in mysterious ways. I had been praying ever since I started reading NVP again that- please give me a chance to mend relationship with Mona and it happened.

We need to go out of our spheres of comfort and make the effort to put the other person at ease. AS it says in the Bible ” Seek and ye shall find”. I sought and I found. I am going to keep on working on all my failed/failing relationships. I believe I can do it.