Sad news

A phone call with my brother in China changed my mood totally and left me sleepless. It’s 3 am now, but I am as wake as can be.

As usual, I called my parents in China on Friday evening. My brother picked up the phone. He was trying to reach me at the same time.

Mother is in hospital since Thursday, Nov. 10. She fell about a week ago and suffered bruises. A few days later, she couldn’t get out of bed. My mother has diabetics and low heart beat. Now she can’t walk and has troubles with breathing. She is in intensive care. Doctors said she needs a pacemaker.

Being so far away, I am no help for my parents.

Unlike here in the US, visiting doctors and going to hospitals are quite an ordeal in China. It’s not as simple as making an appointment and showing up for the appointment. You have to go through a lot more hassles and deal with some issues. You better have connection and know someone in the hospital.

So in the last few hours I was trying to reach someone who might know someone in the hospital where my mother is now.

I contacted a friend via email and phone. He is a heart doctor and a pioneer in his field. So he is known among colleagues. He just got off the plane and responded to my plea for help with a couple of short sentences: “Contact the head of the Department and tell him that I referred you. Let me know if you have problems.”

In China, the most important thing is connection. To do anything important, you need to find some connection. Connection makes a big difference. Now I feel better. Even though I can’t be with my mother and help her directly. I am glad that I was able to help her a little bit indirectly.

My brother also shared with me another sad news, a real tragedy that just happened to a high ranking leader in his organization. According to my brother, that individual is a very respected leader and person. He once helped my brother switch a job and get a better job, even though my brother didn’t work for him. He was just being very kind.

His only son died in a car crash on Nov. 6, along with another Chinese student at the University of Dayton in Ohio. I searched the news with the last name only and found it online, including this University of Dayton student newspaper article. Both victims’ families are now in the US.

It’s hard to imagine what those two families are going through. Any life lost at such a young age is very sad. Now I feel some connection with one of the families, the sadness feels a little stronger.

I couldn’t help but pause for a moment and think about life and how fragile life is. Tomorrow is not guaranteed to anyone. No one knows what tomorrow will bring. We are quite helpless on our own.

A good friend of mine left for China last week because her brother-in-law in his fifties died suddenly while riding on motorcycle. It was a very unexpected event. She told me after she received the sad news that her only regret was that she didn’t share the Gospel with her brother-in-law. Now it’s too late.

It’s a lesson she was trying to share with me which I should take into heart.