<윈글리쉬 영어 원고>

The kind doctor who gave me hope

For the past 6 months, I have been taking my father-in-law to a Korean traditional doctor everyday.  My father-in-law suffered a stroke and has recently developed Alzheimer’s disease as well. To make matters worse, my husband has been hospitalized after a car crash, and my mother-in-law has also fallen ill which has also required hospitalization.

So, every single day, I moved from hospital to hospital taking care of my father-in-law, my husband, and my mother-in-law.  As a result, day by day I found myself getting weaker and weaker.

Worried about me, my husband called his father’s doctor and asked him to prescribe some Korean traditional medicine for me on credit.  My husband told me that the doctor was happy to do so, and was impressed by how much my husband cared about and worried for me.

I was at the doctor’s office everyday because of my father-in-law and always felt bad that I couldn’t afford to pay for the medicine that the doctor had given me.  It became so stressful for me to go that I decided to write a letter to the doctor.  I wrote to him explaining our difficult financial situation, and I promised that I would pay him for the medicine some day.  I brought the letter next time I went there and gave it to the doctor.  Later, while I was waiting for my father-in-law to be done with his treatment, I was called in by the doctor.  He said,

“You’re welcome to come see me anytime you are having any difficulty with anything at all.  I’ll listen to your story and be like a counselor for you.  And don’t worry about paying for the medicine.  Consider it as a gift, like a gift that your brother would get you or something.”

I was overwhelmed.  I couldn’t believe that such a kind and caring person existed in today’s rather inhumane world.  I cried and must have thanked him a dozen times.  Though I couldn’t thank him enough, I couldn’t think of any other words at the time to express my gratitude other than just “thank you.”  Here’s what I’d like to say to him now:

“Dear Doctor, thank you so much for understanding my situation and also for caring about me.  I am still in a desperate and difficult financial situation, but you have given me hope through the kindness you have shown, and I won’t give up on my life.  I will never forget your kindness.  I hope that someday I can pay it forward to somebody else.”

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<한글 원고>

삶에 희망을 준 따뜻한 마음

6개월 전부터 중풍에 치매까지 앓게 된 아버님을 모시고 날마다 한의원에 다녔다. 설상가상으로 남편은 교통사고를 당해 병원에 입원해야 했고, 어머님 역시 병이 나 입원했다.

나는 종일 이 병원, 저 병원으로 아버님을 모시고 다니며 남편과 어머님 병간호를 해야 했다. 날이 갈수록 허약해지는 내가 걱정된 남편은 아버님이 다니는 한의원에 전화해 후불로 내 보약 한 제를 지어 달라고 부탁했다. 의사 선생님은 남편의 세심한 배려에 웃음 지으며 보약을 지어 주셨다.

그러나 나는 한의원에 갈 때마다 약값을 지불하지 못해서 마음이 불안하고 미안했다. 더 이상 이런 마음으로 한의원에 갈 수 없어 의사 선생님께 편지를 썼다. 어려운 집안 사정을 솔직하게 털어놓은 뒤 지금은 약값이 없지만 나중에 꼭 드리겠다고 적었다. 편지를 의사 선생님께 전하고 아버님을 기다리고 있는데 의사 선생님이 나를 부르셨다.

“살면서 힘들고 어려운 일이 있으면 언제든지 오세요. 상담해 드릴게요. 그리고 약값은 주지 않으셔도 됩니다. 친정 오빠가 선물로 해 주는 거라 생각하고 받아 주세요.”

요즘같이 삭막한 세상에 이런 따뜻한 마음을 가진 사람이 있다니. 나는 울면서 감사하다는 말을 수십 번도 더 했다. 감사하다는 말로 고마움을 표현하기는 부족하지만 그 말 외에는 어떠한 말도 생각나지 않았기 때문이다.

“저를 이해하고 배려해 주신 의사 선생님, 정말 고맙습니다. 지금 처해 있는 상황이 너무 절박하고 힘들지만 선생님의 따뜻한 마음을 생각하며 열심히 살겠습니다. 언젠간 저도 선생님께서 베풀어 주신 아름다운 마음을 다른 사람에게 전할 날이 오겠죠.”   

노미자 님 / 부산시 해운대구 반송3동

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