Last week, we got news that our cousin’s husband developed a headache, became unconscious and had to be rushed to hospital, where he was in a coma for about five days. He was hooked to the ventilator. The doctors hoped that maybe he would survive. After all, there is a God. Miracles have happened in the past.

 

Unfortunately, he died. The family, of course is completely devastated. I mean, he had come back from work as usual, had his dinner. Life was normal, routine. The family – he, his wife and his ten year old daughter would have been laughing and joking. As usual. And doing all those little things that make up life.

 

And then this happened. Almost overnight, life changed. Forever. Suddenly it is one critical family member less. Although no family member is any less important for being absent.

 

It got me thinking about my Mom, who was with us until February 3, at home and then in hospital until February 8. She was fine until Feb 2, recovering from spinal TB and being mobilized after a prolonged mandatory bed rest to heal. After several months of severe suffering, life began to look brighter and when 2010 started, we thought it was ta time for recovery from then on. New Year usually makes you feel that way when it starts on a happy positive note. Mom was eating better, somehow seemed happier, as she deserved to feel.

 

And then, on the night of Feb 2, she complained of a slight pain in the side. We called the doctor right away who prescribed medication and she felt better. Still, when she didn’t look totally okay, we called an ambulance, thinking that if she needed care in the middle of the night it made sense to be where it would be available. Yet when the guys arrived she laughed them away, scolding us for making a big deal out of a small pain.

 

On Feb 3, morning, she woke up as usual and went about her routine. But she didn’t look okay. I requested the doc to visit home, so he could assess her and assure us she was okay. The doc visited and advised us to rush her to the hospital right away. Little did we know that one lung had probably started collapsing. The ambulance arrived and we reached the hospital’ emergency room, to be told that had we reached even ten minutes later, she may not have made it alive there.

 

As if that was not scary enough, further evaluation revealed that her condition was critical – life-threatening, and the doctors informed us that there was no choice but to attach her to a ventilator. Minutes later they had her in the ICU. They tried reviving her lung, which never recovered due to a chronic idiopathic lung fibrosis. (Yes, the same thing Pataudi has been diagnosed with). The doctors did not give us any hope at all over the next few days and on the morning of February 8, she “breathed” her last. Her heart stopped.

 

Obviously I will never forget each moment of waiting from Feb 3 to Feb 8 when we were not sure if she would survive. We never even expected that she would stop living. I mean, she has been in and out of hospital a few times, pronounced critical, yet she pulled through always. Imagining a life without Mom seemed impossible for all of us and perhaps more, for Vidur.

 

Yet, we carry on, remembering her, her warmth, the wonderful memories. I feel very lucky that she was with us and that Vidur had the opportunity to know her for twelve years of his life.

 

So, I cannot even begin to imagine how my cousin’s family must be taking their loss. They would have made plans for Navratri holidays. Our aunt celebrates it grandly, in style, with the traditional doll display. And now, none of that will happen. All those dreams together…. it is so sad to think of it.

 

Brings home the fact even more strongly that in life, nothing is permanent. To think that there are people bearing grudges and taking pleasure from hurting others – it all seems so petty.

Makes you take stock and think, doesn’t it?

Sigh.