A month without a Mother

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There are some days in our life which we cannot forget. Days which are inscribed in our hearts, some dark days which gives us heartache. Days which you wish were just a bad nightmare.  July 16, 2018 was one of such days in my life, the day I nearly died from wasp stings (I will talk about this in my later blog post) and the day I lost my better half – My mom.

It’s exactly a month today since I lost my mother. And I tell you, life has never been the same. To wake up every morning and to realize I don’t have a mother is the worst feeling. Sometimes I dreamt of her and woke up crying. Many a time in a day,  thoughts of her would cross my mind and I will shed silent tears no matter where I am. I have cried in the bathroom, I have cried in the kitchen while cooking, and I have cried myself to sleep. If crying a million times could bring her back, I would have cried an ocean.

Waking up each day never to hear a Mother’s voice again is such a sad feeling. Sometimes when I called up my dad over the phone, my sub-conscious often nearly utters out to tell dad to give the phone to mom. And sometimes while cooking I would want to call up mom to ask how to cook certain foods only to realize I will never hear her saying again ‘Eyah Inao nali lumashan, chila mahang thei kachi?(Oh my son, I pity you, you don’t even know how to cook that?)

My mother’s voice still echoes clearly but I fear for the day when her voice will slowly fade away. I remember the time when I was with her during her last days on earth, she would say ‘Inao E mathi ngai fu mana sei (Son, I don’t want to die yet). Though crying inside, I would calmly console her, that she is not going to die.

She used to shed silent tears and tell me, ‘Inao e mathi ngai fu manei, nawui shak kaza thei khui ngai yei. Iwui ariha thei khui ngai yei, na pareiva wui sheba pangsin zakhui ngaiyei Kala nawui nao li ravai mi khui ngai yei (Son, I don’t want to die yet, I want to witness your marriage, I want to see your wife, I want to have a meal prepared by your wife and I want to hold your child and give a bath to your newborn).

And when I hear all these things, I cried a river inside, but I would hide my tears behind my smiles and tell her softly, ‘don’t you worry mom, I’ll get married soon’. But here I am, never will I be able to fulfill her desires. And to think of getting married and to find my mom missing, I don’t know how I will ever handle that moment.

I remember the time when I was guarding her overnight, staying beside her bed, keeping myself awake in the middle of the dead night, just looking at her taking her deep breath, and wondering if those deep breaths will be one of her last. The thought of seeing her last breath scares me and makes my heart skips a beat. While she lay there in her bed in pain, taking her deep breaths, I thought of the unconditional love she had bestowed upon me, and I wonder if I ever had been able to give back a fraction of the love she had given me.

I wasn’t there when my mom breathed her last. But as I was told, in those last few days of hers, she lost her strength and wasn’t able to talk properly. However, during that last moment,  she gained some strength. And she told my sister how she wants to be dressed when she is gone. And told her to put the Chongkhom (traditional shawl) which my sis gifted to her on her wedding and told my sis to take that one Chongkhom which my mom used to wear. By this time, family members have already gathered around her bed in the hospital ICU. She then finally waves her hands to all of them and asks dad to give her something to eat. As per our traditional beliefs in order to take the journey to cross this world and enter into Kazeiram (Heaven/the other world) one needs strength and thus needs to eat something before taking the journey. So my cousin sister prepared a cup full of Oats. By the time she took her fifth spoons of Oats, she was gone. Never to be awake again.

In my poems ‘A Letter to my Mom‘ and ‘A Mother’s Love’, which I wrote while I was doing my graduation in Delhi, I had talked about her love and sacrifices for me and had promised her that I will take care of her and give her the same unconditional love like the one she had bestowed upon me. But sadly destiny had taken away the opportunity from me to feed my mom when her hairs turn gray, to walk her when her eyes become blurry and to carry her when her backbone stoops. Ah! How I wish my mom lives longer! And here I am now left with the questions have I done enough for mom, have I given her the love and happiness she deserves?

To wake up each day, to live each day and to go to sleep each night not being able to see my mother, hear my mother, hold my mother again is the saddest thing on earth.  But inspite of all these sadness and regrets, I’m grateful to my mother for giving me life, and for bringing me up. It is because of her prayers, love, and sacrifice, I am what I am today – a better person.

And now I’m left with just a thought and a wish.
Dear Mom, will you still be my mom when we meet on the other side?
Dear God, let my mom be my mother again when I go to the other side.

Love you Mom. RIP.

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