It’s one of those days when you sit around and wonder – how different would things be if my Mum was around?
Would she be here with me right now? Would she have guided me to become a better mother? Would she have thought me how to be a strong wife? Would she have showered my daughter with all the love she deserves? So many possibilities – but yet none of them is possible.
My dear mother was a doctor herself , a general practitioner who ran her own clinic from morning to night. She opened her clinic the same year I was born , and it would have been 31 years running today. She opened her own clinic and had 3 children on board ,while i was only a few months old. But she did it because of the strength and motivation she had.
She loved every patient she had treated in her clinic , and many too saw her as a Mother to them. She wanted the best for every one of them, and they were more than just patients to her. She could sit for hours with just one patient – only because they had so much to pour out to her. She was a great listener , and was full of encouragement. Sometimes they didn’t come for medical advice , but just for a ‘listening ear’.
She was the reason i got through my medical college years – she was the only one who believed in me. Many thought i was doing my MBBS to ‘pass my time’ and get it done with. Yes i wanted it done, but obviously to pass with dignity and become a Doctor. My mum made many trips to India while i was studying and sitting for exams, just to be around me and give me that support i needed. It might sound a little ‘childish’ because i needed my mum around during my exams and study break – but i’m not ashamed of it. Cause end of the day , I’m still her ‘child’ no matter what age I am.
During my final year in Medical College , we had to get the worst news ever. It all started with just a Stroke , and after many weeks of battle in the hospitals – my mum was diagnosed with Lymphoma. The first thing that hit my mind was – “But how?? She had so much faith and hope in God. But she prayed every single day, and was the most devotional one at home. Why did you do this to my Amma. (‘Amma’ means Mother in Tamil) It all came back to anger – anger at God for doing this to her AND me, cause i needed her badly.
I had just finished my class for that day,when i got the call of this devastating news. Not only did I just find out my Mum has cancer , but i was also told that there has been a landslide behind our home after that afternoon rain – and our whole home is flooded with mud and water,our garden is a huge mountain of sand & trees, and all our koi fishes are dead! That brought even more anger. I got into my car and drove back to KL from Melaka in 45 minutes. And i honestly don’t remember a minute of that drive.
Being a doctor,I knew what was the consequences when you’re diagnosed with cancer. My mum being a doctor herself – that was even more painful,because she herself knew what was next. For one year, it was in and out of hospitals. Chemotherapy , radiotherapy , bone marrow transplant , physiotherapy,wheelchairs …. it was just never ending for her.
I lost my faith in God , only because i was so angry – You could have done this to anyone out there or even myself – but why do it to this amazing lady who has had so much of faith in you??
She fought and fought , and was the only one keeping the family together and comforting everyone – ” Don’t worry , I’m fine. God is with me”. Thats all she kept saying for one year.
How did she still have so much faith and believe in God after all this??
She was a fighter, a really strong lady with so much strength in her. But after one year of so much pain, we had to see her go to a ‘better place’. We were all by her bedside to see her last breath. And that was the first time i saw pain and sadness in her eyes – because she had to leave us. It was even more painful to see the tears flow down her cheeks in the last minutes – because she wasn’t crying for herself, but for US.
I remember every minute of that day, and it still brings me down to tears. I couldn’t accept it. No i couldn’t. Something was just not right- cause she wasn’t suppose to leave me. Not now. You have disappointed me. You lied to me – you told me you were gonna make her better. I dont trust you anymore.There must have been a mistake. All these were the few things that ran through my head that night.
My mum came home that night – and the first thing i saw was a smile on her face. I broke down. I cried and cried – cause only than i realized, ‘He’ did take her away from me, and he took her to a better place. Because her smile says it all.
Today when i look at my daughter , i see so much resemblance of my mother. She has the same character and determination as her grandmother. She has a strong mind ,and some how is able to assure me ‘that everything is gonna be alright’ – just like what her grandma did. Even though she never got to meet her,my daughter is still able to recognize my mothers pictures around the house – and immediately points out and says “Ammama” (which means grandmother in Tamil). Every night without fail, ‘Ammama’ gets a flying kiss & bye-bye from my daughter just before she enters her room and goes to bed- that alone makes me feel a whole lot better,knowing the fact my daughter will know who this amazing soul is if she sees her in her dreams.
My mother was “everything’ to me. She didn’t get to be there for my wedding , but i’m thankful that she got to know my husband even before i knew i was gonna marry him. She loved Sasi and was obsessed about him.She had to see or speak to him on the phone on a weekly basis, just to know ‘what’s up and happening’
Two weeks after the funeral , i wrote this poem called ‘Whisper’. I had to express myself. I’ve always been the type of person who needs to write it out,cause i could never talk it out to anyone.
This is just a small part of it :
It’s lonely and quiet without your presence,
I miss you more & more each day.
Home doesn’t seem the same now days,
I miss your love and tender care.
I knew you’d walk again one day,
Though I didn’t think you’d walk away.
I close my eyes and pray each day,
If only you’d walk back home one day.
I’d wait & wait for you to return,
But you’d stand beside me & whisper down,
“Don’t worry my little princess,
Your Amma would never walk away”
Amma, today I sit in your garden,
Wishing you were right beside me.
The times you laughed and sang out loud,
How I miss to hear “Oh my darling Clementine”.
I know you’re happy, I know you’re not alone,
I know you’re here, I know you’re home.
But Today I see an empty chair,
While painful tears flow down my cheeks.
You see me wait, you see me cry,
You see me sad, you see my pain.
But today I hold your hand and whisper back,
“Don’t worry about me Amma… Everything will be OK”
– This too shall pass –