At the corner of our eyes, there we caught but just a glimpse of a girl glimmering in white, amidst the row of dim and dull hospital rooms lining the ward corridor. Isn’t that Jerry’s room?, we asked immediately — indeed it was, and we couldn’t help but to turn our steps around to sneak a peek.

She was Jerry’s granddaughter. She just turned twenty not too long ago and she was getting married soon. She spun around once in the room, her hands in elbow-length white gloves held the hem of her white flowing gown high to show her grandfather, and I caught a glimpse of the ring on her finger. She was partly embarrassed, partly proud, and Jerry watched with part smile, part unbelief. Jerry was the most pleasant elderly man, even with the physical pain we knew he was going through at his terminal stage. A week ago he was still walking about when he saw us in the clinic, but a few days later we paid him a visit in the Emergency Department, and now a nasogastric tube hung from his left nostril, draining material from his bowels. His bowels were no longer working due to a combination of cancer and scarring from previous surgery and radiotherapy.

But for that moment, I thought, there was so much overwhelming joy in that little crowded single room. The two of us stood there as uninvited guests, but thankfully welcomed by Jerry and his son and his daughter-in-law to join in the thrill.

If I could capture those moments in video — the girl with the puffed bouffant skirt of her gown trying to find a comfortable position stooping beside her grandfather on the hospital bed for a photo, her mother trying to work the camera with her presbyopia, her father standing beside in his tradesman work clothes, and the relatives watching and laughing and making comments amongst themselves — I don’t think I would even need to put music to it to bring a tear to those watching it.

5 responses to this post

  1. OD
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    incredible – the overwhelming joy, i think Jerry would have had. To make a sad person (like one in terminal stages of cancer) happy really is a great thing. But what truly is marvelous is that no one at any stage could be stripped off the chance to experience joy. If age does not kill, i probably wouldn’t care if an ‘old’ person experiences joy or not, because he’ll have plenty of chance. But again, looking at this, how sweet it is to have a family. A family truly is a gift from God.

  2. Home
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    Due to the nature of your job, your entries really hit home the hope and perspective in Christ. A little out of breath reading though. Thanks.

  3. Amy
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    • // reply // #

      哈啰。。。对不起,今天才发现你的留言,所以这么迟才回复。请问你是哪一位Amy? 哈哈。。。你说回忆并不都像电影,的确是真的,生命同样有一些辛苦日子!谢谢你的留言 :)

  4. Janet Tunks
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    Very touching, emotional. I had a tear in my eye reading this. I just know the pride a parent or grandparent has in their offspring and the joy these very special moments bring. Am so glad Jerry had the chance to see his grand daughter in her wedding dress and share her joy. Am sure his debilitating pain was dulled by the joy of this moment.

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