This year was the most challenging one in my life so far.
At the beginning of the year, the doctors told me flat on my face that my beloved mother had only 18 more months to live. While trying to wrap my head around such a bitter statement, I heard the tragic news of my dear grandmother’s demise. At a time, when I did not think it could get any worse… when I thought my test was over, my 3 year old son got diagnosed with cancer.
The rest of it is a blur and yet too clear- but in any case too difficult for me to write about.
I will say this much that the thing about trials is, they bring their own strength with them. I have no explanation besides this, to explain how I sustained this. Suddenly nothing mattered- not me- not my life- only my family, my child. There was no time to break down. That luxury had been taken away.
When you are with your child in an ambulance alone not knowing how is the next moment going to be …when the staff tells you to go grab a coffee while your child is in operation theatre you don’t know how to tell them that you can’t even breathe because your heart is in there …When people call to ask how is your child you don’t know how to even answer them because you don’t want to accept the fact that your child won’t be the same again …
When your happy healthy child stops talking and walking you give up on life and you are left no option but to just beg God for a miracle ….
It took me about 8 months to accept what was happening and to just learn to live with this very bitter reality …No one absolutely no one is of any help …! It’s you who has to face your misery, put yourself together and stand back up again … I did that. I did it for my boys (I have two more). I slowly found solace in the loneliness that engulfed me- despite having so many people around- I knew I had to walk this path alone, as a mother.
Recently my father came to visit ( I live in England) and as I hugged him goodbye, I broke down so bad that I choked. I didn’t know I had so many tears bottled up.
Sometimes we break so deep we don’t see the love that surrounds us. Throughout this time I felt alone in this dark time but when I hugged my father this morning, I felt like I was secure and everything was taken care of. Just how a mother holds her baby and it calms down, I felt just the same way in my father’s warm embrace.
We grow, become independent and stop appreciating the absolute wonders these beautiful creatures called “parents” can do. They truly are a beacon of guiding light in our lives no matter how old we get. They are a source of real pleasure, joy and happiness for us.
As we progress in life, the world inculcates in us the idea of always looking forward without looking back. We get so busy thinking about our children and our careers that we forget the value of the listening ear, the attentive presence and the caring foresight of our parents while we are racing forward.
At that moment, it occurred to me how my father also needed me as he was just as upset about his wife, his mother and his grandson, if not more. When the going goes tough, it surely is difficult to maintain a balance of our own lives, our loved ones and the world beyond.
May God grant all of us the strength, fortitude and patience to look after both the generations well. For they are our world.
Author: Sana Shahid
Image source: https://solvecfs.org/about-the-disease/