Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Behind Every Successful Mother Is A Supportive Child

How much of challenges can a person handle? How much can a 4.8 year old child handle? Answering that question was tough on me when I was going through cancer. All the hush hush talk about my surgery was making my 4.8 year old son very nervous. He knew something was wrong with his Maa and that something was not good. We did not have heart to let him know that his Maa was suffering from cancer which was a life threatening illness. Also, I had no clue how to explain the mastectomy surgery to him.
When I was dressing up my 11 month old daughter after giving her a bath, my son walked up to us. He looked quite worried and sad. I asked him, “what happened beta?” He did not say anything for a while,, but later asked me, “Maa, what has happened to you? Where are you going tomorrow?”
My heart landed in my tummy. The child had heard everyone around him talking about my illness; he had seen me go for checkups but had no courage to ask. We elders had decided to protect him from the truth but made the matters worse for him since unknown is always worse than the worst of the known.
In a minute I had overcome my shock and shot him one of the most genuine smiles I could bring up. I made him sit beside me and told him that he had to listen to me carefully and ask me to explain anything that he would not understand. I told him that one of my breasts had developed a lump which could be dangerous if left untreated. So instead of removing the lump, I had decided to remove the breast itself so that I can be safe. I was going to get operated for which the date would be fixed the next day, after which I will take medicines that will help me become healthy once again.
I was worried about his response to this revelation, but was taken by surprise when he sighed in relief. He exclaimed, “Oh, that’s all? I thought you are going to leave us all forever or something like that”. I casually said, “I feel a bit sad that the doctor is going to remove one of my breast”. Promptly he said, “It is not like losing a hand, leg or eyes Maa. What do we do with breasts anyway? Farheena can always drink milk from bottle?”  Those words really lightened up the situation for me and I promised my son that I am going kick cancer and be with him as long as he wants me. He made a tiny promise on that day that he would help me in everything I do, and he did it so well.
I so often hear who is behind successful man or who is behind successful women etc etc. In my life, I know who is behind my own success for sure. All the credit goes to Rayyan, my son.
I clearly remember the day when he first stepped in help me keeping his promise. I was discharged from the hospital after my surgery and was back home. I couldn't do much with my left hand, on the side I had lost my breast to cancer. Farheena wanted to get into my lap and was indicating for me to pick her up. I struggled to pick her up with my right hand when my husband and sister chatted away. That is when 4 year old Rayyan left his toys, hurried to my side and helped me pick up Farheena.
Even though I had been through a tough time just then, this little gesture from Rayyan filled me with optimism. I knew that I was not alone in the struggles of my life, I had a tiny soldier to support me. I can still see him rushing to me, helping me to pick up Farheena with his tiny hands.
That was just the beginning. He has been there to support and help me every time I need him, no matter what time it is. Sometimes, at night I am lazy to get out of my bed for a glass of water and I shout out to Rayyan and he always brings it to me without complaining even once. I know, it is so mean of me, but it just fills my heart with warmth when he does that. 
Somehow I have been lucky to keep my promise for 19 long years now. My children with their smiles, support and laughter made these 19 years so much more beautiful and worth living.


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