ENJOY EVERY MOMENT
We wanted to share a very thoughtful note that one of Shalin’s nurses from
UCLA sent us a few weeks ago about how she was inspired by Shalin
and continues to be to this day.
Thank you for all of you for sharing your stories and memories with us.
He continues to live on in our hearts and we are simply in awe of how
many others he touched along the way.
I am a nurse at UCLA Ronald Reagan medical center in the Cardiothoracic ICU and I was Shalin's nurse for three shifts in the first 72 hours after he came back from Peru.
I was instantly struck by Shalin and how positive he was despite his confusion and fears. I was instantly drawn to his vivacious, light and kind personality and we got along well. Every now and then I come across a patient I know I will never forget and Shalin is one of those for several reasons.
When he was having a procedure done I asked if he wanted some music to help distract him and he of course asked, "do you have any usher?" And of course, I did! This made me smile and laugh because I love usher too and we sat there and listened and sang along to help get him through a tough time. I will always think of him when I hear Usher.
He came back to visit me once after he was moved to a different unit and it brought me so much joy. It's tough when you don't always get to see how your patients progress and move forward, for better or for worse, and I always wondered how he was doing.
One day, in May of 2015, I was on Facebook and came across a Huffington post article that my mom had posted and I instantly knew from the caption and photo that it was my patient Shalin! I was excited, confused, saddened and then filled with an overwhelming sense of peace. And honestly my life has not been the same since.
I just watched the black hole video posted on your wall and felt compelled to let you and Shalin's family know how great of an impact he had on my life and well being. Just like the young man mentioned in the video, seeing that Huffington Post article, reading Shalin's words, watching the videos was a Big Bang theory for me too.
I used to have daily anxiety about life, work, relationships, and my health and it got in the way of me living a happy and fulfilled life. I am not kidding when I say this, I have not had anxiety since I read that Huffington Post article and most importantly when I read Shalin's words. I no longer live in a place of fear, but rather joy and excitement and I attribute this almost entirely to Shalin. Him and his story reminded me how important it is to live in and enjoy each moment in life, good or bad.
I still have a note on my phone that I wrote a couple days after seeing the article that reads, "Don't forget what Shalin reminded you…life is short, but more importantly life is precious. Do not take it for granted worrying about the small things. Life is beautiful. It is the quirks that make life beautiful. Everyone is going to die some day, so why not live each moment like it could be your last and seize every day. Enjoy life. Be happy and spend time with people you love. Enjoy today! And enjoy every moment."
I read and come back to that note whenever I start to worry.
Yesterday, March 2nd, was my birthday and I went to Disneyland. I was enjoying each moment and having a great time. All of a sudden, at Paradise Pier next to the roller coaster and Ferris wheel, Shalin popped into my head and I cried a tear of joy and was overwhelmed by positive emotions and feelings and I smiled. I knew he was somehow with me enjoying the day because honestly, he helped change my life for the better in so many ways. His legacy lives on. I told my best friend about him and his story and she has told me multiple times that it changed her forever too.
I have the book To Be Happy filled with his quotes on my night stand and read it whenever I need a reminder. Thank you for making that book.
I hope this message finds you well and I am glad I am writing this because I always knew I somehow wanted to let his family know how much he changed my life. Yesterday at Disneyland was some sort of sign telling me to let you know.
Thank you and thank you, Shalin.