Second Chance 第二次機會

凱斯琳 M 撰寫 |2020.11.08
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提要

有時不論你準備好沒有,許多只有一次的機會瞬間就消失了。14歲的小女孩經歷了難受的一段時間,深深體會「第二次機會」的難得可貴。

During the summer before eighth grade, I noticed a few lumps on my neck about the size of my thumb. They felt hard, immense, and uncomfortable. At first, I ignored them, thinking they would go away; but they didn't.

Finally, I told my mother. Mom was a doctor and could recognize almost any type of disease. Patients, whose medicine their doctor gave them failed, often came to seek my mom for eastern medicine treatment.

My mom's expression became confused and apprehensive as she examined me. Right away, she picked up a phone to call the hospital. I know something was extremely wrong. One thought hit my head and dropped like a bomb that exploded in my brain.

Cancer. It's a funny word. It can make you feel queasy in your stomach when you sit in the hospital with an IV in your arm. The word, cancer, can also make you feel grief for those who died from it.

Lying on the hospital bed, I shivered and my hand went numb. The IV bag was filled with ice-cold water that was being delivered into my bloodstream.

Nothing caused me more sadness and anxiety than to see the uneasiness of my mother. Her eyebrows deepened and she sat there beside me as an uncomfortable silence stood between us. She unexpectedly looked about 5 years older.

Examining my young hands, I looked back on the life that I have. Was I satisfied with it? Right away I began to regret everything I'd done wrong. I began to regret the sorrowful times I'd felt.

Now things like appearance and clothes seemed very unnecessary and it seemed ignorant of me to worry about them. I almost began to cry but held the tears back because I could not bear to shed them in front of my distressed mother. The nurse came again and drew some more blood. This time I felt no pain, only the worries crowding up in my head. "They don't know what it is. They don't know what is wrong with you," my mother spoke in a dry voice. More silence. What was wrong with me?

More memories kept on flooding back in my head. In 6th grade, I cried often because I was too skinny and didn't blossom as quickly as the other girls did. I had cried for the fact that my hair wasn't as shiny and wavy as the pretty girls.

In 7th grade, I cried at the fact that I was kicked out of the gifted program. I had whined because I thought that I was dumb. Now looking back at the wasted tears, I realized that I should've ever shed them.

I suddenly regretted that I hadn't joined more clubs, hadn't gotten the courage to speak to my crush, and hadn't gotten the chance to finish learning Spanish I began in 4th grade. I felt insignificant and superficial as I recalled the times I'd teased others.

I began to pray; If only I had a 2nd chance...... If I really do have cancer, I pray that I would have a second chance in my life.

I must've been in that hospital for hours with my mother. Finally, I had a nurse take out my IV and 'blood draw' tube. I slowly paced to the main desk with my shaky mother, who looked as if she might collapse.

If I did have cancer, I wouldn't be able to graduate from middle school. I imagined the attendant telling me, "I'm sorry Cathy, you are diagnosed with cancer." I bit my lip and swallowed hard.

The nurse said to us, "We don't know what Cathy has. This is very unusual. Her blood test shows no signs of major disease such as cancer or leukemia?" I breathed a sigh of relief and smiled for the first time in a week.

Leaving the hospital that day, I said a little prayer for all the unfortunate ones in the hospital that carried a certain illness. I wished for them the best of luck as they concentrated on the only thing that they had, hope.

It's funny how a hospital trip could change the way I distinguish life forever. I think it was God giving me a second chance to embrace life. It was yet another step up the ladder of maturity.

After the hospital visit, I began to enjoy little things such as rain and sun. I walked through the open doors of chance and got the courage to do the things I wanted to now. From that moment on, there would be no more 'what-ifs'. Instead of stressing over my clothes and my appearance, I smiled and laughed as often as I could. I continue to cherish each morning I live for and every moon I see.

I've learned how precious each moment is and how easily life could be taken away from you. Today may be the last day of your life for no one knows what might happen tomorrow. Now every day I look back and ask myself, " if I died today, would I be satisfied with the life I have" ?

Written by Cathleen M.

解說

在八年級之前的那個暑假,我發現脖子上長了一些拇指大小的腫塊。它們摸起來很硬,很大而且不舒服。起初,我不理會,以為它們會自己消失,但這沒有發生。

最後,我還是讓母親知道了。媽媽是一名醫師,幾乎可以識別任何類型的疾病。有些病人覺得醫師開的藥無效時,常常會來找媽媽嘗試漢方療法。

媽媽檢查我時,表情變得困惑和憂慮。她馬上拿起電話打給醫院。我想,應該事態嚴重了吧,出現這個想法之後,就像炸彈丟在我的腦中爆炸。

癌症,是個古怪的詞,當坐在醫院裡、手臂插的點滴時,會覺得反胃。聽到癌症這兩個字,也會讓你替死於癌症的人感到悲傷。

躺在醫院病床上,我渾身發抖、手發麻。靜脈輸液袋中充滿了冰冷的水,這些冰水被輸送到我的血液中。

沒有什麼比看著母親的不安更讓我感到哀傷焦慮了。坐在我旁邊的她眉毛加深,我們之間有令人不安的沉默。出人意料地,她看起來老了五歲。

檢查自己年輕的手,我回顧了自己的人生。滿意嗎?我馬上就後悔了自己所有做錯的事,開始後悔感覺到的悲傷。

事到如今,諸如外表和衣服之類的東西似乎完全不重要了,我若還在意這些似乎也太無知了。我幾乎要哭出來,但又克制住了,因為我不忍在心疼的母親面前流淚。護士又來抽了一些血,這次我不覺得痛,只有憂慮在我腦海中湧動。「他們不知道那是什麼,他們不知道妳怎麼了。」媽媽用沙啞的聲音說。更多的沉默,我到底哪裡不對勁?

更多的回憶不斷湧入,六年級時,我經常哭,因為我太瘦了,無法像其他女孩那樣綻放青春。我也為自己的頭髮不像漂亮女孩那麼閃亮飄逸而哭泣。

七年級時,我為自己被踢出資優課程而哭,為了覺得自己很笨不斷抱怨。現在回首才發現,真該為那些浪費的眼淚難過。

我突然感到懊悔,自己沒有加入更多的社團、沒勇氣跟喜歡的人說話,也沒機會完成從四年級開始學的西班牙語。回憶我取笑別人的瞬間,感到自身的微不足道與膚淺。

我開始祈禱:要是我能有第二次機會的話……如果我真的得了癌症,希望我有第二次機會,讓人生重來。

想必我和媽媽在那家醫院過了好幾小時。一名護士終於取下我的點滴和抽血管。我和搖搖欲墜的母親慢慢地走到櫃台,她看起來似乎隨時都會崩潰。

如果我真的得了癌症,我就不能從中學畢業了。我想像著櫃台職員對我說:「對不起,凱茜,妳被診斷出患有癌症。」我咬著嘴唇、用力吞嚥。

護士對我們說:「我們不知道凱茜有什麼不對勁,這很不尋常。她的血液檢查沒有顯示癌症或白血病之類重大疾病的徵兆……。」我鬆了一口氣,一個禮拜以來,第一次笑了。

那天離開時,我為醫院裡所有不幸的病患祈禱。我祝他們好運,祝他們專注於唯一擁有的希望。

有趣的是,去一趟醫院從此改變我看待生活的方式。我認為這是上帝給我第二次擁抱生命的機會,邁向成熟的一步。

拜訪過醫院後,我開始享受小雨、陽光等小事。我通過了機會之門,現在開始勇敢地做想做的事。從那一刻起,不再有「萬一、假如」了,我不再計較自己的衣服和外表,而是盡可能地保持愉快、大笑。我珍惜每一天的開始,與一天結束前見到的每個月亮。

我已經學會了,生命多麼容易就可能消逝、每時每刻是多麼地珍貴。今天可能就是人生的最後一天,沒人知道明天會發生什麼事。現在我每天反問自己:「如果今天就要死去,對人生還滿意嗎?」

─凱斯琳 M 撰寫

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