How does it feel to lose your breath? How does it feel to be lost? How does it feel to lose yourself?
My mother was my friend, my critic, my guide, my idol. I’m sure many people feel the same. When I was 10, I believed that I could conquer the world with her help (I was young). I trusted that I could achieve it all. Parents give you that confidence to excel. Mine certainly did. Of course with all of this, I was a little bit of an arrogant kid, always looking out for myself. I wasn’t empathetic towards peoples’ feelings or their problems. Sometimes you need life to teach you a lesson (at least I thought it was that).
Just a few days before my 10th grade final exams (quite an important one for Indians), I got a call early one morning. My mom had gone for a party previous night, her team had organized at work. I remember how beautiful she looked as she left to never come back. I looked at her with awe and felt proud to have a parent like her. She was the most important to me. The call ruined everything. The person on the phone sounded scared, worried and slightly guilty. She told me that she wanted to speak to my father, considering I was still young to deal with it.
There was an accident. She was hit.
My life came crumbling down. I was angry for days, wondering why this happened. Why would this happen to me. I felt disappointed. Truly, it was loss, of the worst kind. I have a younger sister. I looked at her. The sadness in her eyes made me feel that I should be stronger. For her. For my family. For myself. The pain was excruciating, my head hurt everyday. I kept thinking and questioning my fate (most do that when they are sad). I became a defensive person with huge walls around myself. My sister did too. (If you ask people around us, they will tell you!) It was just the way we protected ourselves from being hurt again.
Sometimes, you need to take a step back and think about survival. It was difficult to adjust for the longest time. We would have fights in our house. I would be more agitated than usual. It was like a roller coaster of emotions considering we guys had to see her coma for 22 months, every single day. I hadn’t seen my happy place for the longest time. Finally, my mother gave up being a turnip (that’s what they say). Eight years ago, around this time (18th Dec 2006) she left me, my sister, my father, she left us.
Today I am eight years wiser (at least I think I am). Every person needs time and space to figure that this wasn’t their fault. Or even to cool off anger and think straight. I feel better about this empty space in my life. About the fact that if and when I get married, my mother won’t be there to see me off. But today, I know that I din’t lose it all. I have my father, my sister, who take care of me even if they are 10,000 miles away. They are the strongest in the world. I truly love and miss them so much. My sister always says that we are a team and we are in this together. My empty spaces are filled with one of the best people in the world (my world).
My sister shared this quote with me when I was at the lowest point in my life. It said, “Sisters are friends for life, a gift to each other from their parents. If they are near or far, they always belong to each other and belong together”. I am the luckiest to have her. I realize the importance today, of having a sibling. Take the time to express to your sibling, how grateful you are for their presence. And for all those who have lost a parent, don’t lose hope. It does get better! And you will be happy again. Ask for help when you need it. Your family is yours, they will always love you. Thank the one parent you have, who has struggled for your happiness and sacrificed their own.