Monday, 22 August 2022

The daughter who gave up everything to take care of her aging parents



 I lost my mom in 2006, which was a very difficult time for me. Her sudden untimely demise at such a young age was unfathomable for my younger brother and me, in a moment we felt orphaned. I could not believe it for the longest time and embraced silence quietly soaking myself in my work.


By God’s grace and his will perhaps there was then an angel who came to my rescue. She was my colleague who gifted me a Sai Sat Charitra and asked me to read it. After work, she also took me to Sai Aartis. Her warm nature and compassion helped me heal and I found an elder sister for life in her. Her goodness rubbed on me and spending time with her in our office cab helped us bond deeper. We often took her son to malls and enjoyed ourselves a lot together. Need I say she made the best idlis on this earth. Those were some of the really good days of my life. We weaved several sweet memories together whose fragrance still soothes our hearts. In some years, I had to quit the organization and our conversations shifted to mobile calls. She continued in the same organization and I moved to Pune for a decade.

Though the frequency of calls declined gradually, I always thought of her. She has been a selfless mother figure for me. Time flew and I came back to Delhi but then the pandemic hit. Her son a small little boy when I had left was now a handsome young man. I felt a strong urge to meet them but somehow our seeing each other could not materialize. Destiny of course has its ways beyond human understanding.

Last year I came to know she lost her only brother who was in a comma abroad and had a real heart-wrenching fight to get his body back to her hometown in Kerala where her old parents lived. Losing their only son was beyond traumatic for them and so she stayed there to take care of her parents whose health now needed attention. Being a loyal employee for over three decades she was given work from home for several months. Her husband and son fended for themselves in Delhi.

These were months of real contemplation for her. She in no way could think of leaving her parents on their own. She felt taking care of them was her first duty and came above everything else. Her son was young and she trusted him to fend for himself well. She eventually made up her mind and decided to do what she felt was morally correct. Her husband of course, had to sit down and communicate with but the decision was taken.

In Feb’22 she resigned from her long and fruitful career with several years of service still remaining. I am sure she left a precious piece of her heart there at her work but she knew she was right. The universe conspired in her favor and everything beautifully fell in place. Her husband accepted her decision to move with bag and baggage to their small town in Kerala and her son got selected for higher studies in Canada.

Last week she came to meet me before her son left for Canada and she leaves for her hometown. Her husband soon will try to finish his assignments and join her there. I don’t want her to go, I love her but it feels so right. I am so proud of her, who says daughters can’t take care of aging parents. It is so overwhelming to see the gender inequality fading away gradually in my country and I am sure things are only going to look better. Raising a toast to the daughter who gave up everything to take care of her aging parents.


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