Saturday, 12 September 2009

Twist of fate

About 2-3 years ago, my relative, a cousin in her 40s, met with a serious car accident and was battling with her life. She was returning home after sending her 3-year-old son to kindergarten one morning and she was hit on the head by a truck at a road junction while crossing the road.  She was in coma for a few weeks and the doctor said the road to recovery would be an arduous one.  She went through numerous operations. Many family members, relatives, and friends prayed for her. I too prayed for her even though she belonged to another faith. It took a few weeks before she woke up and almost a year before she was slightly better.

In a way, she never really did recovered totally, because the injury was on the head, so everything went haywire. When she finally could recognise her loved ones, she could not talk or express herself properly. She could not control her bladder and emotions because her nerves were affected. She was once a very pleasant, cheerful and caring girl who was always full of smiles for everyone. Now she sometimes throw tantrums and cannot control her emotions. She was on the wheelchair most of the time. She had become totally 2 different persons, past and present.

Three sad outcomes resulted from this tragedy:

1. Her by now 6-year-old son is as good as having no mother, because at times, she cannot remember who he is. Or even when she does, sometimes when he goes to hug her, she will push him away. Having her nerves affected, she is more temperamental and particularly squeamish whenever someone touches her. Poor boy.

2. Some relatives (including myself) have bumped into her husband outside a few times over the past 2-3 years, and he was always with a different lady each time. I do not know who those ladies were, but it was kind of sad that things have turned out this way for his extremely nice wife. But then again, if her condition remains status quo forever, could we really blame her husband for finding a new companion? He did, after all, engaged a nurse and maid to look after his wife and did not abandon her, yet.

3. Her elderly 80-year-old mom has been "coerced" into accepting another religion. This aunt was a very pious Buddhist who has taken refuge and often seen in temples praying. After this tragedy, her daughter's friends and one of the siblings who are of another religion, came in throngs to pray for her comatosed daughter, and at the same time, tried to convert the mother. Her mother doted on this youngest daughter the most, as she was always filial, looked after her mother and gave her pocket money often. The mother, after much exasperation, said that if her daughter could wake up again, she would convert. Her daughter did wake up but was not normal again. And her mother had to "keep her promise" to convert. Was the old lady in a way being forced into committing a "sin" from the Buddhist point of view?

This relative is alive yet she is considered as good as not being alive in this circumstance. If you have been in her shoes, would you have preferred to have died in the first place?

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