Tuesday, 20 August 2013


Örebro, mid summer 2013

Edsberg church and cemetery © +sita ariana pangestu (2013)

It was pity that BBNB and I could only spend one night at Vastärås with Patrik and his incredibly nice family. We had to stick to our schedule to continue our trip to Örebro, BBNB's hometown. Though the main reason was because he had to undergo his hemodyalis in the central hospital there, BBNB looked happy for coming home again. Repetitiously he pressed the horn and laughed crazily when our car entering the city where he had spent his childhood and adolescence.

"Welcome to my hometown Lilla Lejon!" BBNB said when we passed through the signboard on the road indicating we had just entered  that city on the shore of Lake Hjälmaren, fourth largest lake in Sweden. His happiness was contagious. I smiled and felt happy too.

Initially we agreed to split up. He would undergo his hemodyalis at the central hospital and I would wander the city alone. Similar with what we had done while we were in Mölndal and Stockholm. But then... due to one and any other thing, I decided to stay at the hospital to accompany him. Well actually I decided to stay because I want to take a nap to rest my body that had been so fatigue after 5 days having road trip.

In Örebro for the first time, I saw the complete process of hemodyalis. (When I was in Mölndal, I only see the beginning and the end of the process). There were two nurses in charge for BBNB (one pony-tailed-blond haired woman and one short-brunette-haired woman). After the hemodyalis machine had been ready, the blond one inserted two bloody big needles (much more bigger than I ever saw while undergoing blood donation) into his right hand. Oh my God... It must hurt so much. I could even feel the pain. Then the next process was waiting for machine to do the function of the kidneys.

For first hour, I and BBNB kept talking to each other before taking nap to rest our fatigue body. But I could't sleep soundly. I woke up while BBNB was still sleeping. My sight was nailed into the hemodyalis machine. I saw how the blood was circulated through the machine to be purified. 

BBNB ever said that our road trip might be the last trip and vacation for him. He might never be able to live long after my visit and even might commit suicide because he had been too tired of having to undergo 3 times per week of dealing with that fucking hemodyalis machine.

I went flash back to a moment happening 4 years ago, 2009. The closest moment of facing death I ever had. At that time I was almost dying for being suffered of terrible dyspepsia, low blood pressure, weak heart, and nerve damage at my neck at the same time. There was only my mom who accompanied me.

Today current event and my flashback made me feel so mellow. I even couldn't hold my tears for not streaming on my face. I was so afraid of my getting sick and facing the death that no one could never escape. Confronting with such an ordeal, I tended to re-evaluate my own life. I felt depressed. In the face of death everything pales, nothing seemed important enough. I wondered whether (consciously or unconsciously) I had lived a death life or no during my 25-year of living. I found that it was little less meaningful and more frivolous. 

I remembered that a friend of mine ever said that looking back one should find something meaningful, some accomplishment. They didn't need to be big. Not everybody could have a huge career, built a cathedral, composed a symphony, cured illness. Small things counted too for instance seeing in contacts with people. How many people you had made happy by telling or showing them something or just giving a simple smile. Compassion and love, those life's direction wouldn't be wrong.     

I also remembered "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish", a speech by Steve Jobs delivered on June 12, 2005 at the Stanford University.

 "Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with  the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And  most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."

Right before BBNB woke up, I had lifted my chin up. I wiped my tears away from face and smiled in relief. As a girl with too-high-pride, I'd never let anybody else see me crying. Then we had light talks until the nurse came to turn off the machine and pull out those bloody big needles. The hemodyalis process ended.

On the next day, I accompanied BBNB to go to a country area named Erdsberg. There we passed a house where he used to live with his beloved family. Then we ended our visit there in the cemetery where his families were buried. That local cemetery is located next to a tiny little church.

"Lilla Lejon, could you please take my picture?" BBNB asked while standing behind the gravestone where his grandparent's and parent's names were engraved.

I was so speechless hearing that question.

"Lilla Lejon, this is the place where I will be on next few years. I have asked Elisabeth, Jenny and Joel to bury me here after my death. My name will be engraved right below between my mom's and my dad's name. You may not being here when I am dead. So, could you please take my picture?"

At first, I was so sad hearing that sentimental request. But then, I opened the cover of my Nikon D5100 lens. Through my eyes, I directed the lens to capture the picture as per requested by him. The time I pressed the shutter button was the time I promised to my own self that I would seize each day of my life.


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