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To Mother, With Love..

By Edited Aug 25, 2015 4 12

For me every day is mother’s day…. Reason? I just lost my beloved mother and I can’t begin to explain and enumerate the ways and instances in which I remember her.

Mother's Day

To give the reader some background, I lost my mom to a long standing battle of brain tumor. In GBM (Glioblastoma Multiforme) terms, 20 months is eternity. When diagnosed with this deadly tumor (in its 4th stage to top it all), most patients can’t expect to live beyond 6 months without treatment and 12-13 months with treatment (standard treatment comprises surgery followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy). She fought and fought and survived beyond what most doctors predicted or what we’d expected.

Remembered by one and all as a jovial, hearty and helpful lady, my mother fought every day of this disease as if she could surmount it. Her spirit has always been a source of inspiration for us. 

Our Introduction To a Bitch

Malignant brain tumor is one of the deadliest disease you could have - it spells certain death in the near foreseeable future. Mom, who was a hearty and active person suddenly turned into a confused, baffled and often irritating person. She knew of the diagnosis but did not understand its implications since we’d never known anybody with that condition. She believed that with determination and the correct treatment she could defeat this monster of a disease. We did not want her to believe otherwise.

She forgot stuff, so she wrote down everything she essentially needed to remember, like the names of people around us and she’d “revise” it every morning like a student appearing for the exams. Realizing that this wasn’t working for her, she’d get extremely frustrated and question us about why it was that she was unable to remember stuff. It was heartbreaking and utterly frustrating for us.

Buying Maximum Time

It started with the typical symptoms of brain tumor -  headaches and forgetfulness. After a month’s wild goose chase we ended up at a neurophysician who asked for the routine tests – CT scans, MRI .. the works. It was soon pretty evident that the diagnosis as well as the prognosis was not something anybody would have liked to hear. Then began the visits to doctors, meeting the best doctors in town and evaluating where it would be best to start treatment. Nobody would say that out loud but all we were aiming at was buying maximum time.

The Circus Begins..

A series of never ending ifs and buts and whens … it is debatable how much good the treatment did to her. The doctors claim that the standard treatment of radiotherapy followed by chemotherapy (after the resection and biopsy) would not only increase the cancer patient’s life span, but will also improve the quality of life. Whether it did any good or not, we can’t say .. apparently it did since the splitting headaches of the initial days almost disappeared and that she looked less “lost”. The radiotherapy made her weak and nauseous and she lost her beautiful long, curly and may I add dark black hair (black even at the age of 58). The cosmetic side effects of the treatment – the scarring on the side of her head and then a soft protruding mass at the location where the skull had been cut open and then the subsequent hair loss (caused by radio) made her less enthusiastic to appear amongst public and rather self conscious when she had company. Days progressed and her continuous harping on things and insistence on doing stuff she couldn’t manage made me and my father irritable. We knew she was sick but really we are humans… and might I add that my dad is probably the most loving, caring and patient husband  in the whole wide world.

Nearing the end

Approximately a year into the disease and my mom was becoming rather weak - physically. One day she stood up and couldn’t hold herself up, so she sat down again on the bed and lay down. That was the last time she walked by herself. Then there was gradual but sure decline which progressed into her becoming completely bed ridden 4-5 months hence. Then began the usual problems of bed ridden people – difficulties in feeding, bathing and passing stools … and then the inevitable bed sores. Mom fought with all these and so did we .. until on 20th of March, 2012 my beloved mother ceased to be.

I still don’t feel like she’s gone. Sometimes I just feel she’s going to emerge from her room all of a sudden but then she doesn’t and the house feels haunted. The silence is deafening and her presence sorely missed in every single activity of the day. I can’t even say that I understand my dad’s pain – I can only understand mine …. I can’t even begin to fathom what he must be going through.

What’s In a Day?

Now that mom is no longer here, I curse every day I could have spent with her when I didn’t and every moment that I could have passed talking to her when I was in fact glued to my computer. I regret the days when I shouted at her and I lament the moments I could have spent with her cooking in the kitchen when I chose to just sleep it off.

All the readers who have their mothers with them in this world should hold them tight and thank them every day for being alive and for just being there. Mothers are the most precious gift from God. When the world judges you, mothers just love you. They don’t care whether you won or you lost or whether you were right or wrong. They just love – unconditionally. That is mothers are – unconditional , pure love.

They celebrate Mother’s Day on a particular day of May. But how can we bottle up a lifetime’s love and caring and giving and sharing, and thank the person for almost all that we have and all that we are, in a single day? For all of us who love our mothers, every day is Mother’s Day.

Mother's Day
Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/laurenmanning/


May 13, 2012 6:50am
A beautiful tribute to your mother. I am so sorry for your loss.
May 13, 2012 10:31am
Thanks! Yes, the loss is indeed what they call "irreparable". Mothers form a part of not just our lives but our bodies and minds too. My mom lives on in our hearts but its little consolation. It would have been great to have her with us when I had my daughter on 23rd of March - just 3 days after mom's demise. May her soul rest in peace.
May 13, 2012 11:42am
This brought tears to my eyes. A well deserved feature. I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope your daughter brings some much needed joy.
May 13, 2012 12:01pm
Thanks claudslewis. It brings tears even to my eyes though I have written it myself and have read it several times - it's just so hard to accept what happened. Sometimes I just wish there was some person I could blame for this and maybe that would have been better for my anger because each time I think about this I feel an unreasonable "anger" towards this disease ... I mean how can one be angry with a disease :) May God help my family and me in grieving the loss and moving on with a positive note.
May 13, 2012 1:00pm
I'm so sorry for your loss. This is a beautiful piece written with much love and it is one of the finest featured articles we've had on this site.
May 13, 2012 1:23pm
What a tribute. I've been going through a similar ordeal and reading this piece helped me to remember how much moms give to their children. It's inspired me to consider moving back closer to home. Great read, and thanks for sharing.
May 13, 2012 1:25pm
@Introspective & Samtheman - Thanks for your sampathies. It feels good to know that people share and empathize with our pain. Thanks for reading!
May 13, 2012 3:43pm
Thank you for sharing this very personal part of 'yourself' and your life. I understand very well that for you, then every day is Mother's Day!
May 14, 2012 12:57pm
Sorry for your loss.
Thank You for sharing your story. A well deserved feature.

May 15, 2012 11:59pm
I am so sorry for your loss. No one is ever ready or prepared to lose their mother. She is still with you, in your heart, and everyday little things will remind you of her - a laugh you shared, the way she did things, or one of her favorite sayings. And when your daughter is older, you can tell her all about what a special mom you had. A great featured article, congratulations.
May 16, 2012 4:23am
This comment has been deleted.
May 16, 2012 4:24am
@askformore, @Ascentive, @southerngirl09: Thanks for your comments and feedback.

Yes, this is a very personal thing for me, still I feel that talking about it helps a lot - in a way it makes it less personal (at least these details about her illness) and then it somehow hurts less...
Jun 13, 2012 2:24am
Great and thanks for sharing. It’s loving and painful too. I do have the same feelings for my dad. He passed away last year. There is unfulfilled blankness I fee surround me. It is the painful fact that cannot be changed and I will have to accept it and have to live with it for rest of my life.
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