Having battled cancer, one wakes up to a world where each sunrise matters, where each friendship counts, where each smile makes a huge difference, where each hug from your child matters, where each bird call becomes special. And when the water ripples in the river with thousand jewels sparkling, you feel you have won a treasure. For it is a treasure — the right to live and breath normally.
There are people who get scared hearing you have cancer and avoid you like a taboo. They forget that cancer survivors are human too and no different from them.
I never wanted cancer. I never wanted to be in a hospital and under medical supervision.
My father was a doctor. He was scared I would die. He was past eighty one when I was diagnosed with cancer and he died as I moved towards recovery. What was ironic was he was coming to visit me. After my surgeries, I was looking forward to his company. But he died. He said he could not face my death, having already lost his wife and mother.
So, I had to face his death.
Did he die of old age or fear? I have never figured out that one. I had told him I would not die. I was sure. I had been saved at the nick of time, just before the cancer spread to all other organs. I was lucky to be caught in time. That meant I would survive. I had a larger purpose to fulfill, though I do not know what exactly as yet…
The rest of my family likes to absolve me of any guilt I might feel over his death by saying he had a grand life. They love me so much that they do not want me to feel sad — all my friends, cousins, aunts, uncles, in laws, kids and my one and only husband.
Yet when someone dies, they leave a gap in the lives of the living. Though they drift out of this life, the rest remain.
For me the chapter never closed properly. My father’s sickness and death came like a shock, a blast of icy wind on an open sore. It numbed. For, some time I could not even weep. I woke up at night thinking I could hear him shuffle and call. I woke up thinking I had neglected to call him that day. Eversince my mother died, I spoke to him almost daily on the phone.
Today is his birthday. This is the first time in my life that I have not spoken to him on nineteenth of August. And it was also the first time he did not wish me on my birthday or wedding anniversary. For he was dead.
Wherever he is, I wish him happiness. May he find smiles in sunbeams and happiness! May the wind blow all good things his way! May he find magic in the moonbeam — the magic of love, being made to feel wanted, acceptance and all things great and wonderful!
Happy Birthday Dad!
All my love — wherever you are…
…. Your Little Mom…