We were sitting in the cafeteria, after hovering around the ICCU all morning, waiting for one of the doctors to appear so we could grab every chance to see you, Mi. The tubes running in and out of you were alarming. We were dejected to hear that they were not doing their job of restoring your collapsed lung. You couldn’t speak. The ventilator took care of that. The doctors mentioned internal sepsis and told us we had to take a call. What call? The prognosis was not good. They said that even if you made it by a miracle, life wouldn’t be easy as you would need hemodialysis and would be bedridden. Of course we could never respond to the doc because we were emotionally choked and feeling miserable.
How could all this have happened in less than 48 hours? Life had looked like things would be better that year. January had started on a promising note. Yet..it was not to be. It all began with your lung collapsing. That in itself usually isn’t a problem as they can restore it, but in your case, the interstitial lung disease did not help. The fibrosis had removed all elasticity from the lung, and when it collapsed, there was no scope for revival.
We sat in the cafeteria, picking at our food. Vidur was at home–we had instructed him to have lunch and study and read. We were in touch with him on the phone, but we really didn’t have an answer when he asked about you and when you would come back home.
The day passed in a daze. It was as if, with the lung’s collapsing and the hooking onto the ventilator, your internal system started to shut down.
I still remember holding your hand and telling you all kinds of inconsequential things–things you considered important–that I had made bhindi subzi and parathas for lunch. That I made kesari for Vidur for dessert. That I had handwashed some of the clothes. That I had yet to do the dishes but would do them before I went to bed. That I had meant to wash my hair but hadn’t had the time in the morning so would probably do it the next day. That I would make that collage you always wanted me to make of a certain set of photos. That I would sing for you when you came back home. That I would take better care of myself and sleep earlier. That you and I would go for a walk on the freshly repaired road behind our house.
Promises. So many promises. I try to keep some of them, Mi. Most of the time. There’s always something or other to upset the balance of life. I can feel you smiling and saying, that’s the way it is. Some days it is a real struggle you know. I take strength from your wisdom. Or at least I try hard. I miss you. I miss the warmth of your hug. 8 Feb will be nine years without you. Sure life goes on, we learn to live with the loss, but how can we ever get over it?