I saw so many of my peers and classmates at school today. It was great to be back at school. Everyone was waving to others, smiling around, and talking about their summer vacations. And then it hit me: I really had nothing to talk about in terms of my summer.
Everyone - or most people - who know me know that I was ill with ED last summer. So imagine the awkward moment when I've asked them about their summer, and they respond with a huge statement of how it was awesome, how they did so much, etc. And then - as if on cue - they ask, 'and what about you?!'
And just as I am about to open my mouth to remind them of what I did this summer, they say, 'oh. right. I'm sorry. But I'm glad you are better!'. And then I smile and say 'thank you', they smile, and the conversation is over.
AWKWARD. I mean, it is really nice of them to be glad that I am better...but I can just see it in their eyes. Or at least, ED doesn.
They must be thinking that you had such a lousy summer. They are staring at you now, realizing how big your body has become since they last saw you. Even as you walk away, they are shocked about how much weight you have gained. You look so different to them - in a bad way.
Truthfully, I honestly DO feel that I did not have such a great summer. I mean, I was in the hospital - mostly the ICU - for most of it. I did not get to go out and meet friends, visit crazy amusement parks, or even tan in the Sun. Instead, I was hooked to IV machines, dialysis, an NG tube, and a breathing tube. I was poked in my arms everyday for bloodwork. I was on so many medications.
This really bothers me. How would you feel if you felt that summer - the break that you get after you've worked so hard in school or work - just 'passed by'? It feels rotten.
But after a while of thinking about it, I realized that although I did not do much 'fun' things this summer, I did the most important thing of all - I saved my life. I fought for my breath, for my organs, and for myself. I got closer to my God as I learned that my life was in His hands. I saw how wonderful my family and friends were as they visited me and helped me with my needs. I felt the love of everyone around me. And most of all, I emerged out of the experience alive, well and healthy.
How's that for a great and effective summer? It was not your typical summer, I'll give you that. But it was probably the most important summer of my life - one that I will truly NEVER forget. A memorable one, at the least.
So the next time ED tries to make me feel terrible about my summer, I'll remember that although I did not get to do everything that I wanted to do during my break, I got a second chance at life. Because God intervened and safed my life, I will have another summer vacation - and then I can do anything that I want to do.
Summer 2012 was definitely a summer that will never be erased from my memory. And for the better. Because that is the summer that I realized how great my God is, how loving my friends and family are, and how strong I can be.