The unusual silence in the room is killing. Me and my husband Sudhir are sitting on the bed at the extreme corners, gazing blank. Between us was the medical report we collected little before which read that I am in the last stage of lung cancer. It’s unbelievable and shocking to both of us. Doctors say I have only few months left. The silence is breaking my nerves. Sudhir is extremely worried and withdrawn. He is a very loving husband, very affectionate and sensitive. He is all the more shattered due to his sensitive nature.
I, being the practical person, gathered my emotions and took his hand into mine and said, “Sudhir! Everyone knows that one should go from this world one day. But I never thought my journey will be so short. My heart longs more to be with you and Kriti. I am not yet satisfied with the love you and our daughter Kriti pour in for me. I want to live long. I have so much to learn and do. So much of the world to see. I am not ready yet for the final journey! ”
Sudhir wants to talk but his words are getting soaked in immense sorrow. He hugged me tight and both were crying so much. He is worried for me. I am worried for both of them, for their lives without me.
“Mummaaa” came shouting my daughter from her school. She threw her bag and shoes to hug me. This is her daily routine. But today I felt the hug to be more dear to me.. more special.. I hugged her for long. Emotions and thoughts sprung in my mind. How will my 12 year old daughter manage without a mother? She is so much dependent on me for every small thing. How will she react when she knows about my illness? We both are so much attached to each other that she shares everything with me .. be it about her friends, teachers, the petty fights at school, about the girly secrets, her aims, dreams, and what not! How and when to tell her about my illness? Do I have to tell her really?
A week passed and I felt like it’s been a month. Days were passing extremely slow and life was mechanical. Thoughts were the same which were reeling still.
“Enough!” I told myself one day. How long will we be sad like this blaming our bad destiny? How can we be angry on the God whom we have been offering prayers every day for putting me in this situation?
That night after dinner I went to Kriti’s room. I slept by her side and asked,” Can you live without me?”
“Why mumma.. where are you going? For how many days are you going? Are you going to grandpa’s place? Why are you not taking me along? But one condition mumma.. you need to talk to me daily. I can’t be happy without talking to you!”
For a minute I didn’t know how to react. “Kriti, I need to tell you something important. “ I noticed that she is all ears and I continued with poise. “ You know I have been suffering from chronic cough and other issues from quite some time. Few days back I underwent couple of tests and I have been detected lung cancer of advanced stage.”
“Lung cancer? What does advanced stage mean mumma?”
“It means I have only few months of life my dear”. My voice chocked. Kriti hugged me tight and was sobbing uncontrollably saying “mumma..how can I live without you,I love you so much,I want you all my life” . I felt extremely bad for her but sooner or later she has to face this. We both woke up the next morning with tears dried up. Whenever Kriti sees me she starts crying. I present my bold face before her just to make her little bolder. But it is of no use. I try to console her and make her accept the situation. But she is in no state to listen and understand what I say.
Things are not working this way. Then one day I decided to put my feelings on paper and give to my daughter Kriti to read. I guess this is the only option left for me to communicate with her.
I started writing. Whatever came to my mind I wrote.
My dearest daughter Kriti!
I love you so much. You are very dear and precious to me. You are really a wonderful daughter with a golden heart and a lovely spirit. I really wish I had more time to spend with you, see you progress and succeed in life.
I feel God has been kind to us by giving me atleast few months time and all this is not happening all of a sudden. Just think of someone who suddenly vanishes out of this world by some accident or some unforeseen incident. Think of the plight of their family. So, I want you to accept the situation with a brave heart and be bolder to face the world.
Being a girl, there is a need for you to learn about the outside world much earlier in life. So this is the very reason of writing this letter. Life teaches you every day. Take life as it comes. Life is not bed of roses. There are thorns pricking you so that you hold on to God and remember him.
Do you remember when you were little young, I explained you Good touch and Bad touch? Always remember it and voice out against bad touch . Be safe always.
No, in any way I am not telling that all men are bad. It is the other way round. I have seen the best of men and worst of women. Men also suffer much, they also sacrifice , but in silence. So, grow above the gender. Grow above the religions. Broaden your vision.
‘Be Good Do Good’ is the simplest rule of life to follow. Be nice as much as possible but keep your self-esteem too. What you are outside is the reflection of what you are inside.
What else to write my dear? You are such a lovely darling with loving personality, talented and confident. Now is the time you put up your brave front and handle life. I love you and your dad so much. Your dad loves you a lot. Always count on him for every problem you face.
Your ever loving mumma.
During dinner time , I started the conversation breaking the ice. “Kriti and Sudhir , I want all of us to be happy and enjoy every minute of my life left together. I wish that both of you support me. I want to do so much in such less time, I want to have wonderful memories while I go. Instead of being sad, lets help each other come out of grief and spend wonderful time. Kriti! I have a letter for you to read. I expressed my thoughts and feeling through it. “
Kriti looked at me with a blank face, took the letter and walked towards her room. After a while , when I was passing by her room, I heard her sobbing. I did not go to her to console. I wanted her to manage herself and become normal. I wanted her to gain that strength from within.
After couple of days we planned a trip to Goa. We did lot of adventure activities. We chat for long hours. We hugged each other. Practically we were following the quote “Live life as if there is no tomorrow.”
Over the time I could see some difference in Kriti. She became very matured. She started mothering me with love, reminding me for medicines, enquiring about my health etc. I am enjoying all this attention though my health is deteriorating. .
While I lay in bed, Sudhir and Kriti are in the kitchen trying out a new dish to surprise me. I said to myself in relief “God! I am ready now.”