I've been sick with the flu now for exactly 10 days, going on my 11th day today. It's so funny how frustrated we get when our worldly order is disrupted - be it as simple as the ability to get up every morning, get ready, read, pray, stare at randoms on the subway, get to the office, get work done, bond with fellow colleagues, return the same route, contemplating the worldly happenings, do some personal work, and then crash and burn, only to repeat the same routine once again. Yet, when this routine is disrupted, as has been for me for what seems like forever, it's these very moments that make us grateful for blessings we take for granted.
Last week, right when I felt the comings of the flu, I remember grabbing a green tea on my way from work to see a friend at the hospital, hoping it would soothe my throat and the pounding headache, so that I could ignore it and sit with my friend. I remember taking the elevators up to a section of the hospital where every room and every bed it seems was taken up by extremely old and frail looking people - some of them had family members around them while others just lay there, helpless and quiet as they were taken care of by nurses.
I had gone in to see a good friend of mine. She's approximately 27 years old and we both went to university together. She has two young little kids now who are absolutely adorable mashAllah. The journey she has been through will leave you and me speechless. Over the course of her young life, she's had 15 surgeries, two strokes, and since last week, had been in the hospital, constantly for over 2 months now - and the doctors have been trying to figure things out.
I remember as I sat there, watching how frail she'd gotten over time and how much weight she'd lost, I had to fight back tears; but then I realized, the one who should be crying should be me - but I was crying for the wrong reason. I should be crying for being so ungrateful;
Let me explain.
As we were talking about her road to recovery, her sickness, she sat there and asked me, "Aisha, how is it outside. I haven't been outside in the last three months - and the windows here don't open for fear of people committing suicide." I joked at the time and told her she didn't miss much - it's been a brutal winter. We joked somewhere, chatted, and then I left. On my way down the elevator and this entire week - that's what I realized. We as human beings are so ungrateful. I realized I could easily be in her position. I could easily be any of those people who I saw on my way out of the hospital - paralyzed, blind, mentally disabled, blind, not able to go to the bathroom - but I'm not.
And this my dear readers is the point. How many times do we get up and are truly grateful and truly say Alhamdullilah (all praise, gratitude and thanks is to the Almighty) -from our hearts- for the clothes on our back, for the food on the table, for the eyes that let us see, the hands that let us type, the heart that beats every single second for every single day, the family and friends we have....I've been sick - and I've been frustrated and fed up - but it could be worse. It could always be worse.
Be grateful - someone would give up their whole life to be where you and I are today.
"And He gave you of all that you asked from Him, and if you count the Blessings of Allah, never will you be able to count them" - Quran - 14:34