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Wrapping Her Around My Finger

When my mother was diagnosed with ovarian cyst; I was just like any other teenager. I competed, I boasted and I looked down upon anyone slightly less privileged than me. Yet like any other child, I considered my mother a supreme immortal. The surgery had its share of complications but my mother made a quick recovery. I was ecstatic and once again buried my head in sand, my worries faded away. However soon her health degenerated at an alarming pace and then suddenly I found I was not her baby anymore.

All my life I had been cocooned but the moment I saw my mother smiling feebly I knew I had to protect her. Then we learned that during her surgery some intestinal and kidney damage had occurred .The day we rushed her to hospital in emergency state I stopped being myself. I saw my father breaking down into huge sobs, no longer attempting to keep it together for ‘children’s sake’ but my eyes were dry and no tears came for my solace.

That very year, my siblings left for abroad. They cried and desperately wished they could stay longer but we knew what we couldn’t control, controlled us. I did not do well in my exams that year. In retrospect I’m surprised that I even got through. My mother went through six consecutive surgeries right after prognosis had been made. I prayed and trembled on nights alone at home in bereavement. I turned to my friends for comfort, they told me how sorry they were in many words but they never came to visit us. So unfortunately for me escapism was not an option. Each time I looked at her, I held on to her just as I would hold on to my own life. I stood next to her bedside when the doctors were not sure she would make it and during the times when they were not so sure themselves.

Sometimes I sat for hours, waiting until she would be conscious enough to open her eyes. For such a small gesture it sure meant a lot to me. I talked to her when she was comatose, I held her hand and told her about trifle household matters and I prayed that she could hear me. Then one day looking at her from ICU’s frosted glass window I realized that this trauma was not just happening to her. I had metamorphosed into a terrified wide eyed child again. I remember taking a deep breath, rising with a silent avowal that no matter what, we would recover from this tragedy together.

I became a part time tutor and when I was not in hospital I volunteered as a teacher for those who could not afford education. For the first time in my life I did not look down upon people, instead I looked at them for a way of surviving immense pain. I studied harder, not to beat down others but to stand on my ground much firmer. Yet when aching did not subside and there was no one to confide in, I turned to my mother. She became my conscience and my faith in her doubled. I looked after her and she in return gave me strength.
A year and 3 months later, my mother stood up on her own while I was teaching, a proud maternal grin was spreading on her face. She knew we had survived and won our battles in our own way. Looking back, I may not have the best grades but I have learned the best lesson life had to offer, in the hardest way. I may not have friends but I made a companion for life and our friendship is kindled forever. She may not know gossip but she certainly knows a lot about life. But perhaps the best thing about her is she is my mother and my ever lasting teacher.
Sometimes her recovery almost appears chimerical but everyday she has more to offer and plan for us. Along my adulation there is also a fierce protective instinct for her and that as I have recently learned, is; a child’s love for its mother.
wideyed19 wideyed19 18-21, F Jan 25, 2013

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