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Moments of Magic

In An Instant

INDONESIA | Wednesday, 17 September 2014 | Views [108]

Bokah and his family

Bokah and his family

It is incredible how life can change in an instant:  love at first site, a near death experience, a moment of perfect peace......I love and respect this about life, but it also terrifies me.  It was a day like any other.  I had been living and working in Lombok, Indonesia for nearly 6 months, and I was beginning to settle in nicely, thanks to the help of a few amazing people, especailly one named Bokah.

A look back at my intial meeting with Bokah.....

Bokah was the first person I met when I arrived to Lombok.  As I exited the airport a sweet Indonesian man ran up to me inquiring if my name was Lindsay.  I nodded my head yes, and he handed me a telephone with my friend/coworker on the other end.  Instructions came through the phone that I should wait and that someone would arrive shortly to pick me up.  Bokah patiently waited alongside me, and although we couldn't verbally communicate I felt a sense of calm and comfort in his presence.  There was something about him, something that radiated pure love.  Upon the arrival of my ride, Bokah disappeared as quickly as he had come.  I couldn't help but feel he was an angel that was sent to look after me in my time of uncertainty.  

The next day I discovered that Bokah was one of my coworkers and also my neighbor.  As time passed Bokah proved himself true to my intial feelings about him.  He and his family were always looking after me ensuring I was fed and comfortable.  They helped me tremendously with the transition from city to village life.  They made me feel part of a family when I was so far from my own.  That is something I will never forget and will always be grateful for.  

Slowly I began to learn the local language, Bahasa Indonesia and Bokah a bit of English.  We communicated in a simplistic manner, often times making grand hand gestures or acting out skits to portray a point.  We grew to be great friends and family.  Eventually Bokah began calling me "ibuk', meaning mother in Bahasa.  He explained that he did not have a mother, and asked if I would be his.  I was happy to fill the role, and I soon began calling him son.

Nearly 6 months passed, and I was beginning to settle in nicely.  My communication skills were improving, and Lombok was finally beginning to feel like home.  The day was like any other, but once night fell something felt off.  Suddenly my phone rang, and in a rush of panicked words I learned that Bokah had been in a terrible motorbike accident.  Uncertainty consumed my thoughts; would he make it through the night?  I felt distraught, helpless, scared.  How did this happen?  I had just seen him joking and laughing hours before.

Luckily he made it through the night.  Days passed, we anxiously waited as he lay in intensive care allowing time for his facial swelling to subside so doctors could operate.  Sitting outside his hospital room I could hear him moan and cry out in pain.  I learned something about him I had not previously known during that time.....Bokah was a fighter, and he wasn't giving up.  Soon after the doctors were able to operate, performing a full facial reconstructive surgery.  The surgery was a success, and as time slowly passed Bokah began to heal.  He was released from the hospital and able to return home where we all cared for him.  Throughout his healing journey he experienced numerous setbacks, but he never gave up.

Today, nearly a year later, Bokah is alive and well, but I continue to remember this moment.  A moment that changed everything for so many, especially Bokah. His story serves as a reminder.  A reminder to never take life for granted.  A reminder to live every moment to the fullest.  A reminder to love often and whole heartedly.  A reminder to take advantage of every opportunity.  Afterall we never know when the winds of change will begin to blow.  I am grateful for this reminder and for the life of the person I love like a son!  

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