I have been in Chennai for close to 10 days, as my mother feel seriously ill. She had a severe stomach pain and was diagnosed with a perforated large intestine. At age 87, this is not very good news. She was rushed into emergency surgery, with the doctors warning us to expect the worst, meaning she may not survive the surgery. But she did. Spent 3 days in the ICU and then another 3 days in the room and then got home. She is resting now and in a stable condition.
She is quite a strong woman. While she started off her married life as a typical housewife, she evolved into quite an amazing person once all of us 4 kids grew up and went out of home. While bringing up 4 kids in itself is an amazing feat, she went onto greater things after all of us left home.
At age 60, she learnt to drive a car! She ran two schools for the Sai Baba organisation, manufactured incense sticks at home for the organisation, and with my father ran a free medical clinic for the under privileged in our veranda. She traveled a lot, did a lot, endured a lot, learnt a lot, taught a lot, laughed and smiled a lot....
At the hospital something happened. The surgery she underwent was major - lasted close to 5 hours, because of which she was under the influence of anesthesia and other milder sedatives and pain killers. All this cocktail of chemicals will has a strong effect even in a youngster. When it is administered to an 87 year old it it plays havoc in the body, and most importantly, as we discovered, in the mind. My mother started having delirium and hallucinatory attacks, which disturbed her tremendously. She was seeing and hearing things, having terrible dreams. She did not sleep for nights together because of this.
One such terrible night, she screamed and woke up saying someone was in the room, and did not recognise my voice. The nurses rushed in, calmed her and told her that I was her son, and she instantly said - yes I know this is my son! The wise nurse then gently advised her to say the name of her God and then go to sleep if she has another bad dream, and my mother closed her eyes.
Soon her dreams started again, and I then went up to her, gently patted her brow in a soothing loving manner and told her that "I am around Amma, don't worry, no body will harm you....just say your prayers, close your eyes and everything will be fine". I repeated this over and over again until she calmed down. Soon I had tears running down my eyes, as I recalled how my mother used to say these exact words to me when I was a kid and when I used to get bad dreams "I am around my son, don't worry, no body will harm you....just say your prayers, close your eyes and everything will be fine". As I write this blog, I have a lump in my throat, as I recall her love for me as a kid.
Here I am as an adult, getting the chance to serve her along with my sisters and look after her, like she did when I was young and vulnerable. Her I am getting the chance to give some of the love to her, like she did for me when I wanted it the most. Here I am telling her to be be brave like she told me when I was a little scared kid, snuggling up to her for comfort. I feel so grateful that I am able to do something for her. I wonder if it will ever be enough.
God bless my mother and all mothers in the world. God bless all of us children who get the chance to serve their parents. May the strange circle of life envelop all of us with love.