My 48th Birthday

This must be a frivolous read. June 20. I had a couple of phone calls reminding me that it was my birthday.

For me time had stood still. It was the day after my mother’s double surgery. I was in shock. That it was my birthday didn’t seem real at all. The day was rainy.

My mom was in the  ICU.  My father and I spent the night before in the hospital room where my mom had been the previous night, before the surgery.

Tomorrow( my birthday) we would need to vacate the room. The hospital rule said that if patients were in the ICU, relatives needed to vacate to a lodge or find a guest room or accommodation outside.

Early in the morning we visited my mother in the ICU as soon as the ICU was open to visitors- at around 7 am. She looked so small and emaciated in the blue hospital gown. She gave me a smile and beckoned to me. I went to her side- she asked me to get her her dentures and a comb for her hair.

That was the best birthday gift I had received. My mother was herself again. The long surgery of the previous day did not seem to have dampened her spirits. She was worried about how she looked ! I knew then that she was strong and my birthday was made.

I seemed to have gone through life in reverse. My mother would have rejoiced to see me smile or make a milestone as I was growing up but I had seen my mother smile at me and show me her spirit and it gladdened my heart. I was 48 but my mother’s request for her dentures and a comb sent a thrill through me. I could see she wanted to look her best before the doctors came on rounds. No one would have guessed that she had gone through a grueling 8 hour surgery just the previous day.

She is my mother and I am proud of her.

Birthdays seem to have lost their importance for me and even birthday gifts. To have a dear one near by is one of the best of life’s gifts, even more than one’s own life.