A Final Act Of Kindness
That Was Me, 44 years Ago!
A Final Act Of kindness Is Not Easy To Come By
Have you ever done a real act of kindness to someone and remember for the rest of your life? I have. I did a final act of kindness to someone that I remember for the rest of my life. This act of kindness was “final” to this person whom I helped. That is why I call it “A final act of kindness”.
This final act of kindness happened a long time ago, far far away in a remote land, far down under, in New Zealand. It happened in a hospital ward in Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand. I am now 65 years old (2015) while this final act of kindness occurred during my student (college) days in Victoria University of Wellington. It was in 1971. That was a long time ago, 44 years, to be exact! I was then a young 21- year old student. Unfortunately, I ended up hospitalized for a few weeks. That was when this episode happened during my stay in the hospital ward.
Being Hospitalized Was No Fun
The hospital ward was very spacious. Each ward housed only six patients. After a period of time, all of us kind of bonded together, especially when there was nothing much we could do, except rest and socialize. You must remember, there was no internet at that time. And in our ward, there was no television either. The only pastime would be reading a book! So the more exciting events would be lunch and dinner time. We were given first class lunches and dinners. For me as a poor student, the food was second to none! Those feasts were fine cuisines to me!
Life in hospital was dull and pretty routine. It was early to bed and early to rise. Medication on the hour; but not that bad as the dedicated pretty nurses would make sure that you take the medication like a good boy. The last routine job was to wash up before retiring to bed. The washroom was situated across the corridor. So there I was doing my usual thing, brushed my teeth, and while I was leaving the washroom, I chanced upon a figure struggling to lift himself up from the toilet seat. Luckily, he did not lock the door. The door was open.
“Are you all right?” I inquired softly, looking at him. He was an elderly man. Without waiting for his reply, I continued, “Let me help you.” I lifted him up and escorted him back to his bed, which was just next to mine. Everyone was happy. I felt the joy of being able to help a person when he really needed it.
Saying Good Night Or Goodbye
It was sleeping time, and we did not talk further. I could hear heavy breathing coming from the bed of that elderly man. Nothing unusual, I thought to myself. It went on for a few minutes, and then the sound of heavy breathing suddenly stopped. Nothing unusual as well, I thought. He must be sleeping well then.
The night nurse would routinely come on her rounds to say good-night to all of us, ensuring all were well and under control. She would greet us individually by name. What a VIP treatment, come to think of it! After wishing me “good night”, she proceeded towards my elderly neighbor. She was calling his name repeatedly, but no response. I was beginning to feel uneasy. Then she unceremoniously pulled the curtain separating me, and walked briskly out.
“Oh no, I think our friend is gone!” I thought loudly to myself. Come to think of it, the nightly routine of saying “good night” by the night nurse was to confirm that we were still alive and not dead yet!!
In no time, the nurse returned, walking briskly accompanied by the Matron. That confirmed that my elderly neighbor was not right. They walked in and this time, no more smiling at us or saying good night. They proceeded straight to my elderly neighbor’s bed. Called his name a few times. Then the bed began to move, and the Matron and nurse both pushed the bed out of the ward. We were all quiet. The silence was loud! May our elderly friend rest in eternal peace.
This was a simple gesture done in the nick of time, far far away from home, a long long time ago; my final act of kindness which I shall remember for the rest of my life. Like my elderly friend whom I helped in my final act of kindness, may I go in peace; so peacefully and painlessly when my time comes to say good night; or rather to say good-bye!!
Found A Write-up Of The Old Hospital
The wonders of the internet! Someone sent me a link to the referenced hospital. It was a write-up on the now "haunted" hospital. You can see 3 photos of the abandoned hospital below. As a matter of interest may I "copy&paste" the comments from my facebook posting here:
Kadri : It's a good story, and nicely written too. I always imagined hospitals back then as being incredibly strict, with a nurse called mother superior who never smiled. I guess you were in the old Wellington hospital. Only the gate still survives from those days, in a garden surrounded by a new building.
Justin Choo I was at the secluded chest hospital up somewhere i have completely forgotten. This special hospital provided five-star Michelln cuisine! Lol! We were not bedridden. So we had our great "formal" meals on the dining table in our spacious room! Lol!
Kadri : Ah... the haunted one!!! I have heard of it, but haven't been there before. https://wildbaynz.blogspot.co.nz/.../wellington-old-and...
Justin Choo Yes yes yes. And one of the ghosts still living in a remote island paradise! Yes this very dedicated night nurse would shine her torch right onto your eyes. She woke us up each time. I will always remember her. She was permanently on night duty. It was her job too to wake us up before dawn to insert the tube into our stomach to extract specimen for lab test. Horrible torture. Then she would personally make a cup of hot drink for us. Bless her. The day-time sister in charge was sister burgess(i think). A very lovable person. She looked maori but with slender physique. I shall incorporate the pics in due course. The wonders of the internet.
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The Abandoned Hospital
Main Entrance Of The Hosiptal
Inside One Of The Wards
Random Acts of Kindness
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