Early morning at 6:00am, “Beta, I cannot breathe, I feel very uneasy and my chest hurts badly. Please do something about it”, said Mira’s father (name changed) to her. Mira touched her father’s hand only to realise that he had turned completely cold. She turned around to get more details from her mother, who woke her up extremely panicked not knowing what to do. Her mother pointed out that he started feeling cold initially, then in flash of seconds was perspiring completely and turned cold within seconds again. She looked back again to see her father rolling all over the bed in pain, crying for relief and some answers unknown to everyone. Mira knew what had happened. It was a heart attack, a massive one.
She stood there perplexed, in a state of shock, wanting to cry out loud seeing her father on one side with excruciating pain, and a two-year-old sleeping peacefully on the other side. Her senses were numb and she felt like the pillar of her entire existence was collapsing down into pieces. She somehow managed to brush her negative thoughts aside and immediately made arrangements to get him to the hospital with her mother.
Thereafter, two hours of rigorous monitoring and surgery only made the process difficult as she was lying down next to her son to be there for him and not in the hospital. But those two hours were life changing. She looked at the innocence on her son’s face who was a big fan of his grandfather and tears rolled down her eyes incessantly. She did not know what answers would she give if her son would ask for his nana. She realized that after 30 years too she felt the same separation anxiety as her own small 2-year-old felt for her.
She also had no way to express her agony like her toddler, about something which she was unaware to take care of. The difference being that this was a thin line between life and death. And that thin line was a humongous one, something that she would never be able to repair or replace. And she sensed how foolish she was in missing those moments with her father because she wanted to hug him and tell him that I love you and need you the most. And yet again now repeating the same with her son by not creating indispensable memories when she has the time with him.
All her parenting skills came in front of her eye realizing what it meant to have a parent and to be one. She had a rush of mixed emotions as a daughter; she wanted to thank her father for being there always, she wanted to apologize for putting so much pressure on him for every small bit, she wanted to tell him that my motherhood skills are graceful because he had been such a great parent, she wanted to tell him that her son could never have any grandparent more loving and caring than him.
At the same time as a mother, she wanted to promise her son that she will be there for him no matter what to make him feel secure and cared the same way she felt by her father, she wanted to apologize for being irritated and angry at times on his innocent actions, she wanted to hug him and tell him that you are my priceless treasure and will be close to my heart forever, she wanted to assure him that she will lay a strong pillar for him too to rest on in life whenever he wanted. She wanted to give her finger as a daughter to that father to hold and walk through this rough phase just the way he had helped her with his finger only so that she could learn to walk, and simultaneously see the pride in his eyes when she would lend her finger as a parent to her son to repeat the beautiful process again.
She was overwhelmed with emotions - Parent, father, daughter, selfless love, separation, anxiety and so much more. Mira was unable to think objectively, her thoughts were frantic and all over the place. She wanted a shoulder to rest and cry on, but there was no-one for her. She knew that her father was her strong support system, be it to provide her with emotional stability and confidence, or to be a great grandparent to her son. She could hear her father’s words echo in her mind, “Whatever you do, whatever you face… if you know you are right, hang in there without any fear; life will show you the light and correct direction”.
And then, a phone call from her mother brought her back to reality. Mira’s hands were trembling to receive the call. The mother informed Mira that the blockage was 100% in the main artery of his heart and they had to conduct angioplasty to ease the blood flow. Her father is now unconscious but he has made it through. Mira’s almost stopped heartbeat was racing fast again. She wanted to dance with joy and felt like nothing could be more precious and priceless than having the pillar sturdy again. Thinking about everything else that will follow now, only made her stronger because she knew she never ever wanted to experience these moments in her life again. And if at all she did, she had to be even more stronger for her first hero to be proud of her wherever he is; since he always wants her to be happy, strong and fearless fighter.
An enthusiastic IB teacher by profession and a mother to a toddler, Aarti Chellwani believes in taking parenting to a dynamic level. Aspiring to become a Parent Coach in future, she gets immense joy in reading child psychology books and articles related to child development. She is passionate about exploring effective teaching and learning strategies in the field of education and traveling to different places in the world.