A Celestial Gift
I wake up to the obnoxious ticking of the clock and the loud footsteps of doctors pacing back and forth. The white walls, white sheets and white fluorescent light pierce my eyes; I hear the distant beep from the strange machine attached to the very still body of my mom. I hate hospitals. Not because of the strong smell of disinfectant that infiltrates your nostrils or the palpable tension in the waiting room, not just the crippling fear that consumes you while you stare at the clock which seems frozen in time, leisurely ticking away while your heartbeat increases. No, all those come second. I dread hospitals because whether or not you accept it, death lurks about the building; you hear of patients who seemingly were improving suddenly relapse till they are no more. looked at the paralysed body of my mom; tears fill my eyes and fall on my hand like rain. Those once gentle fingers which would tousle my hair at bedtime now were frail and so translucent that I could see their bones, those cherry pink lips which would form the most beautiful of smiles were now numb and defiled. It was a few years back that she was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. She was one of the lucky few because the doctors said that the cancer got caught in the early stages and was treatable. They said her survival chances were higher than most but what we weren’t told was how dangerous the treatment would be, how it would mean putting her life on the line.
It’s been almost three days since her surgery. The doctors clearly said that she would wake up in two. Anxiety filled by soul and that constant fear of losing her forever crossed my mind every passing second. I took a sip from my half-drunk coffee, my dad and brother laid asleep on the cushion couch. open the front door and quietly exit the room, unable to bear the pain anymore. Everywhere looked, would see people with broken ribs, bleeding stomach or a rare skin disease, nurses running with crash carts or ambulances bringing in new patients. Relatives of patients silently sat with prayers on their lips or crying as if their worlds crumbled. Sights like those broke my heart and | immediately ran back to my mom’s room.
Dad and brother were awake, we just exchanged worried glances. Faith was diffusing into the putrid air and we braced ourselves for another tragedy. I had been so worried about what would happen to me if mom died that never stopped to think about my dad who spent sleepless nights for her, millions of dollars for her and put everything second just so she could survive, just so my brother and I would be okay. She was the backbone of our family, our light in the end of the tunnel. None of us could imagine our lives without her.
I sat beside her on that same grey stool had been for the past three days with my head laid down and my hands conjoined with my mom’s awaiting for her to holdback just like had seen in movies. “Will she ever wake up?” – the words kept ringing in my head like a bell. “What will happen to us?” – all these thoughts left me feeling woozy and dying inside. My train of thoughts was brought to halt when I felt a gentle touch brush my fingers. Just like a scene cut out from a movie, her weak fingers slowly grabbed mine. I looked up, perplexed if I was dreaming or was this reality. Her eyes flickered. yelled and dad and brother rushed to her side with tears pouring from their eyes. My tears refused to be held, wrapped my arms around her and cried like a newborn child. If miracles existed, this was definitely it. That once lost faith was now restored and the pain that had been residing inside of me was now joy.
The value of a mother is priceless. A mother plays the role of a cook, washer, maid, and basically everything else. When trials heavy and sudden fall upon us, when adversity replaces prosperity, when friends leave our side, when trouble thickens, a mother still clings to us. A mother is always there, always.