Is everything ok, MOM! Well, if you see around, everything was normal. The sun was bright, making its bold presence felt in September 2015. The birds were busy with their chirps and activities; the street vendors and hawkers were busy calling their hearts out for selling their stuff. From inside the house, you can hear the loud noise of the news channel who keep on airing repetitively some or the other disease threatening news, Today it was – Dengue. Everything was usual for any other person. But, to me being her daughter could feel that not everything is fine with her.
Like other days I always wake up with deep sweet, dreamy eyes and a lovely smile on my face. As I open my eyes, I could see my mom arranging things in my room, like other days. But today, as I open my eyes, I saw her sitting by my side with all the love that she has for me and the admiration of having a daughter like me, and she was caressing my forehead with her soft hands. Her hands were slightly warm; I could feel it. With love and care, she was pampering me, but I somewhere felt there is something which isn’t that right. Some pain, some thoughts were playing in the back of her mind. I kissed with eternal love and asked, “Is everything, ok, MOM!”. She smiled and said, “Yes, dear, wake up now. I have your favorite breakfast ready for you.”
She server yummy POHA. I could smell the aroma in the air, and the taste of my mom’s preparation. Adjacent was the glass of milk. A healthy habit that she developed in us. I started my breakfast, and it was not the same; I could feel the difference in taste.
Further, she skipped her breakfast as well. I wasn’t alone noticing changes in her, but my dad, too, was feeling, and my dad asked: “Are you ok, dear?”. She nodded with a yes, but also said that she is feeling weak from inside and feverish as well. We immediately took her to the doctor. Doctors suggested some tests. We got them done without delay and came back home. Upon informing the doctor, he assured us she would be fine, maybe viral. The rest of the day went as typical normal day.
The night was also peaceful. When I wake-up in the morning, nothing was usual. There was neither any sound of Television nor from the kitchen. Immediately I went to her and hugged her tightly. She was feeling helpless. She had a high fever; her body had severe rashes. A clear indication of her caught by one of the deadly diseases in fashion this season – The Dengue. The doctor immediately called up, and he advised us to admit her to a decent and reliable hospital in our vicinity.
We decided to take her to a good hospital in Delhi. Throughout my journey, I was over phone speaking to various hospitals for a good doctor for consultation and availability of beds as well. However, I get disappointed as there were no beds in most reputed hospitals. After several trials, I finally found some hope in Sarvodaya Hospital – a reputed hospital in Ghaziabad City.
She got admitted, and treatment started, we took a sigh of relief as now she is safe hands. Admitted to the ICU, the count of platelets was decreasing in her body, and she was getting dark and pale. Doctors treated her for two days in the ICU but, there wasn’t much improvement. In spite, her condition was getting worse each passing day. She was having difficulty breathing, and doctors referred her to Fortis hospital.
How can God be so cruel and separate a daughter from her mother? How could he take away everything from a 20 years old girl who barely knows to live without her mother? We reached the hospital, and within 20 minutes, Doctors took her under a ventilator. The doctors asked us to leave the room. I could realize that things were getting worse. I wanted to tell her that things were going to be okay, wanted to hug her, wanted to spend a moment with her, and feel her, but no one allowed me. Feeling empty, lost, and vulnerable, I had no option but to regret all those moments; I was not with her.
She wanted to say something, but I could not listen. She tried to hug me, kiss me. Will I never be able to talk to her again? My mind was brimming with all these thoughts, and soon, the doctor announced her name and asked us to meet them. The doctors told us that her health was critical, and there are bleak chances of her survival. I remained strong because so that my father does not go weak, and also because somewhere I was confident that she would never leave me alone.
Two days passed, her organs started failing. I still cannot forget the sight of her when Doctors wrapped her face with bandages due to continuous bleeding from the nose, eyes, and ears. Her hands were tied so that she cannot move them, and a pipe penetrated inside her mouth, going through her windpipe to her lungs. Every moment was fearful. I stood by her each day to wake her up the same as the way she used to do, but she never opened her eyes.
A ferocious fighter was losing slowly, and the pain was agonizing. I kept saying to my mother and myself that she’ll be OK. That time is scary, and I was calling all the strength to handle the situation and support my father, a heart patient, and siblings. Fear of losing her was horrifying. I prayed hard to restore her, holding back my tears too. But I could see her losing the battle, which made me more vulnerable. I wanted to be with her, but the staff never allowed me.
Her condition was getting critical, and I was facing anxious questions like if she’ll survive or not? Trying to hold on and hoping she gets better, I heard her name being announced, we reached for doctors, and they gave up, but my gut told me that she’d come back.
As her body was not responding, and I could feel the hope of slipping out of our hands. Finally, the heart gave up; she succumbed to cardiac arrest. It was 25th Sept 2015, 12 pm when she took her last breath, and Doctors called us in. We felt broken and shattered. She was my best friend who knew me like no one else. I would never forget the day she kissed me last.
All the small things which I cherished with her are gone now. She would not be there to wake me up, hug me, or even had a meal with me. Everyone will miss the food of my mom’s hand. A husband for 31 years, a 30-year-old mentally disabled daughter, and a 20-year-old daughter(me) survived by her side. It’s time for me to buckle up and fill in the large shoes left by my mother.
She imbibed her strength in me, and I try to overcome the pain and void left by her. I fulfill her responsibilities by taking care of our family, who misses her every second. Within no time, I transformed into a responsible caretaker who cooks and doesn’t wait for her “mama” to wake her up. I can proudly say that I took good care of my family after her demise and became her shadow. Although, I grew up a little bit early and turned the spoilt child in me into a mature adult needed by my family.
P.S: It’s just not the physical loss which we deal with daily, but I still miss the warmth of her hand and sound of her laugh,
Anjali Bansal is an author and a blogger who is passionate about writing, cooking, and traveling.