Stop Hating Your Dull Life: I Went Through This So You Don’t Have To

Anonymous Anonymous in Life Is Tough on 30 December, 2016

I think the most beautiful moments in life are the 'dull' day to day moments; the morning breakfast with family, the walk around a park to reach office, watching my mother go on about her work at home, welcoming your parents back home from a long day at work. I learnt this simple lesson the hard way but you don't have to! You might think I'm being sarcastic, but I actually mean every word I just said.

You start finding beauty in 'routine' when it gets disrupted so much that it changes the way you look at life.

My life was easy until it wasn't. I would spend time with my friends at Tom Uncle's place after our classes got over. If we had enough time, we would go watch a movie, or go out for drinks. These would be the highlight of my days in college. It was the last day of college when we were sitting at our usual spot. We ordered our usual Maggi dishes and the same accompaniments.

I remember telling my friend then — "Our lives are so routine, nothing new or exciting is happening. It's like being the lift man, you know there can't be too many options to what you have to do."

The fact that sometimes cosmic powers can make the most innocent statement seem like the biggest mistake of your life, that's what happened to me that day. Call it bad luck... but that day, when I went back home, I was told that my mother had breast cancer. Since that day, I've been wary of using the word “routine” in my everyday life.

In the earliest stages when some reports even indicated that the cancer was benign, mom’s case just got out of hand. Everything that could have possibly gone wrong went wrong and that too with vengeance. Amidst all this, my father got transferred out of Delhi and my sister's wedding was coming up too. Papa sent multiple letters to his seniors, explaining to them how he needed to be with his family, but all in vain. Finally, the responsibility of taking care of my mother, planning a wedding, and working to afford chemotherapy soon fell on my lap and my sister's.

As time passed, my mother's health kept deteriorating. It was hard to recognize the woman who tried hard to act strong but was visibly as fragile as an egg shell, just moments away from being dropped. My mother was a fighter. She did not stop going to work even during her chemo sessions.

We all had to forcefully grow up in that time, we were all just such babies under her supervision.

We didn’t know how to do anything right without her advice. My sister along with the anxiety of her marriage had to do all her wedding shopping herself. Dad was trying to be the rock so things don’t seem shaky but inside he was the one who was most shaken up. I tried to play my role to the best of my abilities.

But the festivals were the hardest. Although papa would come home, we were not able to celebrate with him. And whenever we would think that mumma was getting better, the doctor would drop a bomb of how wrong we were. Things got so bad that I found letters mumma wrote to my masi, asking her to take care of her family. We were her grown up babies.

Mom said to me once in the hospital, “I feel like taking you back into my womb”. This coming from my mother meant it was all over. I didn’t know what to do, who to run to for help, how to just save our world, our mom.

They took mom to the OT for another surgery; by then she'd has 5 such surgeries in 5 months. I was scared, I didn’t know if I would ever hear from her again. Terrible thoughts crossed my mind. You are supposed to be positive in such circumstances but when it happens to you, such tips go down the drain. I was shit scared, I was ready to rub my nose on the ground and just beg God to make everything right. In that moment, I didn’t want anything but a good family life. I sat outside the OT and read the Sai Baba chalisa. I could not understand it, all I could feel were the tears rolling down my cheeks.

No one asked me a single question when they saw me crying and that scared me even more. I wanted someone to come and tell me not to cry and that mom would be fine, looking as beautiful as ever.

Cancer gets to you, not just physically, but mentally as well. One day, my mother was so irritable, she asked me to leave her alone. "I wish I could undo giving birth to the two of you!" she said. My world shattered but I could not imagine what it would've been like to look at death in the eye.

I knew she thought she would not survive the cancer. I could see that she had started to give up. I could feel my strength leaving my body when I saw her like that. I prayed to God that night again... I asked for my boring, dull routine back. But, things started looking up slowly. All my prayers were answered when after many failed surgeries, the last one resulted in a miracle. The doctors were sure that the cancer was gone. My sister's wedding was around the corner and my mother was really excited for it. We saw her come back to life with her excitement for my sister's wedding. At the wedding functions, my mother danced her heart out. She would get tired really soon, but she would rest and hit the dance floor again.

The image of my healthy, happy mother dancing washed over the ugly memories of the ordeal we had been through. After the toughest episode of my life, I started cherishing the smaller details of my day... the ones I would ignore otherwise. This experience taught me to be happy with what I have.

Achieving more is not wrong, but not being happy with your life isn't the way to go either.