I stretched my left hand to confirm that Amma* is lying next to me. She was sleeping sound and calm. Her lips were dry and cracked in spite of the lip balm applied before sleeping. I pulled the bed sheet to cover her feet. The puffed pillow kept beside her seemed unmoved and untouched. I took care not to touch her or make noise while getting out of the bed to pee. I intentionally didn’t switch on the lights in the bathroom. After getting back to the bed, I stared at Amma’s face a long time.There were mixed feelings running through my mind because something unusual and unexpected had happened that afternoon.
In the afternoon, before giving her lunch, I woke her up from the sleep. She sat on the bed with sleepy and tired eyes. She looked terribly anemic. I held her each leg and helped her to keep her feet on the floor. Her feet were swollen and reddish. She walked slowly to the bathroom holding my hand and sat on the plastic stool kept there. She sat there without any complaints and I carefully bathed her.
A week back, at this time, I was crying my soul out. That day morning, before locking the door of our house, my brother and I hugged and cried. Our eyes looked puffed as we didn’t sleep the night before and ended up talking and crying. Every minute of the travel from our house to the hospital was filled with tension. My heart shattered into a million pieces when I saw my Amma in the hospital bed wearing a military green surgery gown with her hair plated ,on two sides, with green ribbons. She looked a school kid younger than me. Nobody in the room talked. My Father has been silent for past few days and it has been my Uncle,along with my Aunt, managing everything at the hospital. Amma was crying and the nurse kept telling her not to. She didn’t leave my Father’s hand at all. A tag was wound on her wrist with her name, doctor’s name and hospital id written on it. She kissed both of us and then kissed my Father too. I still don’t know what was going through her mind at that time. She left my Father’s hand only when the nurse forcefully took her hand off.And the door of the operation theater was closed. I looked at my Father and my brother and I could read what was going inside them. I ran to the telephone booth and called up my best friend. I cried talking whatever that came into my mind making him come over to the hospital. My Amma was hospitalized for bleeding for more than a month and half as she has been refusing to undergo surgery.
Her body didn’t respond well with the medicines and she became weaker day by day. Thus, she was forced to undergo the surgery. I felt terrible waiting for the nurse to call out of the door. Before the surgery date ,a lot of people told me that there is nothing to worry about surgery and some people undergo complex and critical surgeries like cakewalk. But, I understood that it is not an easy thing not to get tensed, especially when it is your mother who is undergoing the surgery.
After sometime, the nursed called us and showed a bloody mass of flesh and said that it was my Amma’s uterus. I looked carefully and wondered how it had accommodated my brother and me inside it. Later, she was brought out of the OT and she faintly opened her eyes to look at us when the nursed told her to do so. After two days she was shifted from the ICU to the hospital room and a day later to our home. We sterilized the bedroom and bathroom at downstairs as she was not suppose to climb stairs for the fear of breaking the stitches. For three days, I wiped her body with a wet cloth and the fourth day she was irritated without taking bath.
She sat on the stool like an obedient child. She told sorry to me for making me do all the household works and above that to bathe her too. But, I was happy to do things for her. For a moment I felt that I am her Mother and she is my baby daughter. The hormonal changes had badly affected her that she has started becoming emotional over silly things. I made sure that the stitches are intact and wiped her all over. She had the smile of a baby after taking bath. That smile on her would stay in mind forever.
For next two weeks, I had the most beautiful moments with my Mother. I put her to sleep and she went into sleep in no time because of the strong antibiotic medicines. I kept soft pillows to stop her from turning to her sides while sleeping. I made her walk slowly inside the house to get rid of the swelling on her feet. I fed her and at times scolded her when she refused to eat stale food.
The realization throughout the phase taught me how weak our parents ,whom we thought as super figures,can become . I was glad that we could stay beside her when she was in need rather than keeping a house maid. It is not about the money but I wonder whether we would ever get to spend such wonderful moments with her in our busy lives. Three of us stayed with her and as a family we had some priceless moments.
Most of the times, she slept for longer hours and then would wake up hungry. Three of us did experiments in the kitchen and we were glad that she didn’t complain about the food we made.
In a month’s time, she was back in action running behind us, laughing with my Father and going back to work. She put on weight for the good and she looked more beautiful and ravishing after getting rid of her uterus. We teased her saying that she could have done this surgery long back.
Today, when I shout at her or fight with her, after hanging up the phone I know what her face expression would be. So, I would again call her up and pacify her with few stupid jokes and kisses. The scene has not changed much after the surgery. I like being her Mother and boss around and she somehow likes to nag and fight with me over silly things.
Hormonal changes? I wonder.