Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Trip to China - mini Miracles

During our trip, we had special visits to two senior relatives who are seriously ill. One is a cousin, who is at his mid sixties, and the other is an uncle-in-law, who is at his mid seventies.

My Cousin

The day before we left for China, I received an email informing me that the cousin was terminally ill, and in dire conditions. He was in a hospital at Shanghai. In the second morning of our stay at Shanghai, I called his cellphone. A weak, hoarse voice answered. I self identified after confirming his identity. He was surprised, his voice was much louder and clearer - "Is it really you? Are you calling from America?" 'It is me, cousin. My family and I are at Shanghai. Is it OK we visit you this morning?", I answered. He was apparently very pleased, "Yes! Yes!"

After an hour taxi ride, we arrived at his hospital room with a basket of flowers. He was being attended by a nurse. Laying on his bed, his eyes were closed, eyebrows frowned, his face was pale. My cousin-in-law greeted us. When the nurse left, she gently told him " Your cousin is here" His eyes opened, his face animated, he sat up, a big smile on his face - " I am so happy to see you. It has been a long long time". The last time we saw each other was 25 years ago at my maternal uncle's home!

During our conversation, his younger brother called, and wanted to talk to me when he knew I was there. The second cousin thanked me profusely and added "you are a kind man". My tears almost came out - I did not do anything special for them, how I could deserve this heartfelt compliment. As the second cousin and I talked on the side, the patient fell back to half asleep apparently exhausted by the excitements. "We should leave now to let my cousin to rest" I told my cousin-in-law. He woke up from his half sleep, shook my hand. As we were walking out, Lily reminded me " Pictures?" I motioned to have a group picture. My cousin's face lighted up again.

It is a mini miracle that our mere presence at the cousin's sick bed brought him and his wife a ray of sunshine. In a dire situation like this, a show of care, a genuine sympathy are all that mattered.

Uncle-in-Law

When we visited my aunt at Wuhan during the second leg of our China trip, my uncle-in-law had been in a coma from a stroke for nearly six months. After a lunch with her, we went to a senior care center with my aunt to visit her husband. We lined up by his bed silently, my aunt said loudly to her husband - "Your nephew Allan and his family are here to see you" hoping to somehow convey the fact to him. Of course there was no response from him, but I did see him scratching himself. The visit was for my aunt.

We stayed there a few more minutes as my aunt was busy with her routine. When I said goodbye to her, tears flew down her face, "I don't know if I will see you again" the old lady was sad and emotional, holding my hands. I pulled her closer to embrace her - "Aunt, you will see me again! Take care of yourself."

A week after we came back to America, my sister told me that my uncle-in-law woke up from his coma after our visit! She told me "Our aunt said that you have a magical power!" I was speechless. It was a miracle.

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