Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Losing Mom is tough on any day....

I am talking about 2006.. I was planning to begin the New Year with hope and smile because we finally saw success at the end of the year.. 
My Mom had BC and she agreed to undergo surgery but no radiation and chemo. Radiation a bit OK but a BIG NO chemotherapy. She had two recurrences in 18 months and that is when we finally convinced her that she should go for chemo. She loved my kids (Rayyan was her favorite of the two) and finally when we told her how they would have to cope with her leaving them.. and how she has to wait for her son to come down after going to Dubai etc she decided to go for it on her own terms in a hospital she would choose. So I was expecting a successful year 2006 but what a beginning I had. On the very first day of 2006 even before the sun had risen the news of my mom’s death really shattered me. I did not cry much but could feel the pain and I knew I had to be strong for everyone around me. The worst thing is I can never afford the luxury of crying over some strong shoulder and get comforted. On June 7th 1996 my elder sister lost her battle to breast cancer. She was very hesitant to go for the treatment and refused everything from surgery to chemo. She had some kind of phobia for needles and surgeries. A shot for flu meant worse than being shot at by a gun for her. She believed in faith healing which had no scissors or needles and stuck to it and lost her life. Now on the 1st of January my mother lost her battle to breast cancer again. She couldn’t tolerate the side effects of chemotherapy. She was talking over the phone to me just few hours before she passed away. She told me forgive my brother and sister if they do some wrong and be there for them always like she was .. That was tough. My mother was too forgiving for them and I am not that kind of forgiving person. I believe in justice but I assured her I will try. My brother was treated like a small baby and never allowed to be responsible ever. I was a stern elder sister setting rules for study time etc earning her wrath. He was not sent to Dubai even when he had good job offers because my Mom always wanted him to be near her. She was afraid she would die when he left her and she would never die in peace. But fate played a game with her. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer, my brother who had not been able to earn much over here had to go abroad and struggle a bit there before settling down to a good job with my husbands help. I love my little brother a lot but being there for him like my mother would be was tough. I have always disliked my younger sisters obsession with self though as a sister I love her too.. For her the theory of the universe revolves around me holds true. It was tough being for them what my Mom was. I disagree with my younger sister most of the time. My sense of being just always irritates her because she believes in being in supportive for the people we care. There were few guidelines given to my SIL as to how she is to take care of her husband and few for me. My Mom told me that something deep inside her tells her that she may not survive and I may never be able to meet her again. I brushed her aside saying that has been her emotional black mail for me for 30 yrs. And we laughed over that because my mother had made me do a lot of things telling me this is going to be her last wish with some emotional blackmailing tale to accompany it when one fine day I blurted out that she was a crow and since then I had used that term to brush her aside whenever she tried her dying emotional blackmails on me.. (India has a myth that crows are ever living birds and death never naturally comes to them). Wait and see your crow theory will not hold this time she said to me..but I did not believe her. It was only few hours after our conversation with her over the phone before my younger sister called up in panic and said that Mommy wasn’t breathing properly and struggling. My sister cannot handle pressure of any kind and she will be lost as to what to do in situation like this. I told her to stay calm and find a doctor to look at mom because she was in hospital. There was no need to panic because help was at hand. She started crying and told me that most of the people were at celebrations of new year and no one was around.. it was just past the new year party and may be she was right. I could not trust her because in a panic state she would miss anyone standing right in front of her..I told her to first talk calmly to Mom and make her relax and go find someone because some has to be there in a onco hospital. Me and my sister in law held our breaths and waited for her to call again . Minutes later she called up saying the doctor declared our mother dead. I thought she must still be in a panic state and must be imagining things. So I had to talk to someone else I don’t know who and it was confirmed. My mom had really left all of us behind and gone away to the land of no return. I had decided to begin the new year with lots of hopes that my mother would win the battle for life at least for a few years with breast cancer and my resolution had been to smile all through the year no matter what happened. May be I was wrong. It is not easy to smile when we lose someone forever—that too a person who has given us life, love and lots of care. She was not highly educated but very street smart person. She had the power to make people do what she wanted them to and wonder of wonder she never used threats or treats.
She loved pampering all of us in one way or other. Now we all had to make our own decisions and we would never have anyone to blame our faults on. It was very tough for me for a moment to let her go and accept the fact that Mommy is dead. Later I realized that it was easier than letting go of my sister. Back then I just couldn’t let go. I held on to things which belonged to my sister for years and would feel upset when I saw someone using it. Somewhere deep inside me I felt she would come back and need them. Even now after almost a decade I can’t make myself believe that my sister is never going to come back ever again.
My sister said that she surely would be killed by the harsh drugs they would administer to control cancer and I thought she was wrong. She lost her battle gracefully in a way she wanted. May be my thoughts of treatment would have saved were wrong.. After mommy lost her battle I don’t know. I feel so confused.
My son was devastated seeing his grandma being buried and when he came back from the graveyard he asked me why it had to be so… he was so emotionally troubled that he had gone there bare footed and did not even know that. I had to think of something to ease his mind.
We sat down and I tried to explain few things to him… we all have to die someday. Isn’t it better that he is suffering the pain of losing his grandma rather then the other way because one of us has to face death of a loved one. All the people will not die simultaneously. When my time comes I would love to leave him behind to grieve for me rather than have it other way.. he calmed down a bit and since then has learnt to let go of things gracefully.
Sigh !!! Anyway we have to accept the facts and death is the harshest of them all. We all are going to face it one day or other. All we can do now is pray that her soul rest in peace and add prayers for all the people who are not being able to enjoy the season due to their losses.
Below is the picture of my Mom again taken by her friend of more than 35 yrs... who lives in NY. This is what my Mommy really was.. a down to earth person who loved cooking and feeding everyone around her. She was the most excellent cook you could meet.


Rayyan Lost in Laptop

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