Sitting on my bed with my laptop, browsing some stuff for my university’s assignment got me so lost in it that I didn’t feel a sudden intense thirst until I clapped my eyes on my water bottle. It still took me sometime to grab it. The first hasty mouthful of water simmered down my thirst. I then proceeded to the balcony to get some fresh air because I believe that sometimes you need to step outside of your mundane routines, get some fresh air and remind yourself of who you are and who you want to be.

It was a usual day, but the surrounding atmosphere made me still feel heavy, despite having had deep breaths. While I was looking down through my balcony, I heard a cry right in front of my doorstep from people who live across us, trying to console each other.

The echo of the cry I had heard engulfed me, capturing my mind. Suddenly, I heard someone’s steps on the stairs. I stepped back from the balcony, drew those thick white curtains and found my mum with a questioning look on her face. I guess the cry was loud enough to be heard by her as well.

I told her what I had just witnessed, upon which she responded with a deep sigh. She informed me that my neighbours, whom I had just seen, had recently had some bad news. The husband had been diagnosed with lung cancer and had been visiting doctors in the hope of beating it.

Then I saw his wife standing with their son and daughter by their gate. I realised the fact that the heartbreak she was enduring was no less than a hurricane. I saw her grabbing her husband’s hand, taking him inside the house. Being overwhelmed, the tears were rolling down on her face.

I’ve learned that health is like money. We have no idea of its value until we begin losing it. If he had been careful enough, in the beginning, this wouldn’t have happened. Why do we forget that life itself is a priceless gift from the Lord of the World? If we don’t cherish it, we will not only bring suffering upon us, but upon those as well whose lives revolve around ours. Make a start and heal ourselves first.

Published in Dawn, Young World, June 20th, 2020