It’s always the view that triggers the deep and profound (hopefully?) thoughts in my head. That or music. And also silence.
But for now, since I’ve spent these past couple of days in an arguably pricey hospital room with a great view of a golf course and the city skyline, it’s the view.
Two days ago, when my brother was still in a relatively critical condition, I’d look out the window and see people going about their business and cars passing by. And, I don’t know, I half expected them to slow down a bit and show signs of empathy, I guess? Like they’re aware of the death and suffering happening inside, and that they feel bad about it. But the world never stops for anybody, not even for the people you love.
And I don’t know why but I’ve always felt that hospitals should feel like home. Every time a loved one had to be admitted – which has happened six times now: once with my dad, twice with my mom, once with my twin sister, once with my youngest sister and now with my brother – I would have this notion that, at least while a member of my family is there, the hospital would at least have the kind of familiarity and warmth of home. It never happens though. They even seem colder and more austere than those tall, corporate buildings. At least those ones try to look appealing, hospitals just couldn’t care less about aesthetics. Not the one I’ve been to. But maybe my brother’s just too sick for me to notice anything unrelated to his health.
Hospitals, to me, are like architectures of contrasting emotions. Every time I walk through the hospital doors, I see all kinds of emotions that are enough to mess with my emotional well-being. When I’m in this room, I can feel the love of family and friends. But then down the hall, an old man is lying on what looks like a very uncomfortable bed with only a caregiver for company. I see people who are smiling and laughing because they know their loved ones are getting better, but standing right next to them are people who are just utterly devastated and hopeless.
It’s heartbreaking, really – to feel so much love and hope in one room and then to witness the total absence of them in another.
So, a promise: My family will never experience such loneliness. My family will never feel underwhelmed with the love and devotion they receive from me.