Every Saturday, or at least almost every Saturday of the month, I start my day by visiting the Cayetano Heredia hospital with the community and service club. I love visiting the hospital, it makes me feel like I’m doing something productive with my life, like I’m sharing a bit of my joy with people who need it the most at the moment.
This Saturday, I came to the hospital expecting to help people, but actually I was the one who ended up learning something from them.
When I came in this Saturday, I met a little girl called Alexandra. She was suffering from a disease which I didn’t even dare to ask about, but I knew it was serious because she couldn’t even sit down, and her mother wouldn’t stop talking about a surgery she was about to have. I started talking to her mom, a tall big women who seemed to have a permanent smile. She told me about how she had to leave the rest of the family and her job to come to Lima so Alexandra could get proper medical care. She explained how she was hoping that everything would go all right in the surgery, because they were having financial trouble, and couldn’t afford more treatments.
I instantly felt sorry for her, I tried to imagine how hard it would be to leave everything behind and struggle to find a medical institution that would take your 10-year-old daughter who is suffering from an unknown disease. It seemed like hell to me; but she managed to look at her life from a completely different angle. She spoke to me as if everything that her family was going through at this time, was a miracle instead of a nightmare. She certified me that she was thankful for finding a medical institution where her daughter could stay, thankful for the possibility of her daughter getting better, and thankful for every moment she spent with her daughter, even if it were to be the last one.
I truly was fascinated with this women’s ability to look at things in a positive way. This reminded me of how I’ve been taking things in my daily life for granted; we tend to think that things like being healthy, or having a good economic situation are rights we are all born with, when actually there are people in our country who are struggling with both, and are still thankful for the little they have.
After a morning full of joy and laughs I left the hospital with something I didn’t possess when I woke up this morning, the ability to appreciate everything I have. I find it amazing how people who have so little and are suffering so much, can be so thankful with what they have, and even be willing to help someone who has basically everything. I entered the hospital hoping to help people who were going through rough times, but actually they were the ones who ended up helping me.