The fact that The Husband's office is a mere 10 minute walk from where we live is very convenient. I walk over to his work almost every day, sometimes in the evening and sometimes for lunch. Yesterday, we decided to meet up for lunch. When I got there, he was still busy and told me that he'd be a while. So I walked over to the mall adjacent to his office. Something amazing happened at the mall. But that's a story for another day. What I'm about to tell you now is something I witnessed much later. Something that broke my day.
The Husband later joined me for lunch at the mall after taking the rest of the day off. We were about to take our usual short cut back home, a walk down a tiny secluded side street that is always devoid of traffic, when it happened. I was not paying any attention to our surroundings while talking animatedly to The Husband. But just when we were about to enter the side street, I noticed from the corner of my eye, a woman in a bright pink jacket running out of the bar to our left. We were also walking pretty fast so I assumed that she would stop to let us pass. But when I realized that she had no intention of stopping, I slowed down. The Husband, however, was too distracted by whatever was happening to our right and didn't see her approaching. They almost crashed into each other and I was beginning to get annoyed with this lady who just went about her business without so much as even a glance in our direction. Then I noticed that even after we had passed her and whatever it was that she was running towards, The Husband's eyes were still glued to what had distracted him in the first place. That's when I saw it. Behind a car that looked like it was strategically parked to conceal what was going on, was an unconscious old man on the ground, surrounded by three paramedics and two other people. The woman had been running towards them with something from the bar. A bottle of water, maybe? I can't remember. The paramedics were taking turns giving the man CPR while also using all kinds of other devices to revive him. But something about him seemed so distant, so lost. I froze on the spot and for a while, I couldn't even process the whole situation. It was just the eight of us there, the man on the ground, the paramedics, the helpers, and us. I later noticed an old woman sobbing uncontrollably to our far left and she was being consoled by two security guards who had possibly moved her away from the scene. She kept bursting into tears and it was painful to watch.
After my initial shock had passed, I began to notice how the paramedics weren't panicked at all. Their actions seemed systematic and mechanical from where I was standing. It was like they knew that nothing could be done at this stage but were simply continuing to do their jobs. A closer look at the old man's face revealed that his lips were nearly blue. He seemed lifeless and still from the very beginning. And the realisation that I was probably staring at a dead body made me feel weak. By the time the ambulance arrived, I turned around to head straight home.
The walk back was depressing. I still can't erase the image of that poor woman crying in the corner from my mind. It keeps making me wonder how awful it would have been, had that been me. If I had to stand in a corner while a group of people tried to revive my husband. I kept thinking about all the men and women I knew who were about the same age as that old man. All the people I loved.
They were both well dressed and by the looks of it, had been out for a casual lunch or a meeting with friends. Same as me. Had they known when they'd woken up in the morning that within a few hours, everything was about to change, what would they have done differently? What would the woman have wanted to tell her husband before he passed? They probably had children. Did they even call their dad that morning?
It made me realise how fragile we all truly are. It made me think about the end. It made me look around myself and send out a prayer for the health and longevity of all my dear ones. For never having to endure the trauma of seeing a loved one collapse to the ground, lifeless and cold. I wish I could forget the pained look on the face of the unconscious old man, and the image of his crying wife. But I can't and probably never will.
Let's all be thankful for everything we have, the smiles we share with the ones we love and the selfish joy we experience while caring for them. Let's cherish them now. Today. So that there are no regrets tomorrow.
Have a peaceful weekend!