Nimrah - a six year old who taught me to live

December 9, 2012
Custom User Avatar
More by this author
A situation that has had an impact on me:

A supposed heart-wrenching break up at the age of twelve, some shallow
friends and a home with one absentee parent; this was all it took for
me to be subjected to one of the most traumatic experiences of my life: an Acute Porphyria attack.

At the age of fourteen, one has just entered the harsh world of teenage.
One is completely vulnerable and ready to make one’s own mistakes; very few people rise from these mistakes without any help at all. Sadly, and yet fortunately, I was not one of these people. The fact that I was changing for the worse did not bother me. The fact that my body was beginning to look like what my friends thought was “cool”, at the expense of
my health, did not bother me. The fact that the unbearable pain I endured during an attack made my parents suffer so, did not bother me either. I had managed to alienate myself from anyone who could possibly put up a
mirror in front of me to make me realize what a terrible person I had
become, until someone finally did, without even realizing it.

I was once again in the hospital following an attack and, this time, was
sharing the room with a six year old girl, Nimrah. It was amidst the
grogginess of the pain killers, the intensity of the pain and the
warm touch of my mother’s hand on my forehead that I first heard her
silvery voice. She was discussing the children’s story, the Little Red Riding
Hood, with her mother, and somehow I could simply ignore all my pain and just listen to her mother read out aloud to her. I could not help a chuckle as she corrected her mother’s reading, and smiled when I saw her large eyes
fill with fright as her mother read the part where the little girl meets the wolf.

My mind supplies me with only vague memories of the time I spent with Nimrah. I remember the two of us squealing with delight one day when we had hamburgers for lunch, both complaining about the bland hospital food. I remember her delightful “thank-you” when I had given her a book as a present. I do not remember that she ever mentioned her pain, but what I do remember is a prayer that she would recite whenever she felt it. The only sharp and lucid memory I have of that time is when her father told me that she had a brain tumor.

My first reaction had been of shock and distress; and the second, of shame. I did not value the life I had and had chosen to completely neglect my health, which had resulted in Porphyria. My six year old friend, on the other hand, who loved Little Red Riding Hood, hated hospitals and cherished life, would die in approximately two months. I felt ashamed of myself and overwhelmingly saddened by the thought that soon I would lose her. I had grown deeply attached to her and it pained me greatly that someone as bright and kind as her had to leave this world at such a young age. She died two months after I was discharged.

I have never spoken to anyone about her, yet sometimes when I am surrounded by people, their voices blurring into an incomprehensible sound, I close my eyes and think of Nimrah. I think of how she changed my life and just how selfless a person she was.

The Porphyria attacks have now diminished in their frequency and intensity, and I now appreciate every little blessing that life has to offer. Nimrah left the world while suffering pain and anguish, and in doing so somehow took my pain away with her, leaving me with happiness and a positive outlook towards life. Thank you, Nimrah.

Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

Site Feedback