“I lost my younger son a decade ago. Brain fever took a toll on my otherwise bright child and his motor developments were going backward. Soon he was restricted to a wheelchair. Despite his inability to talk or communicate, he was very affectionate towards everyone. In an attempt to treat him, I traveled across the country but in vain. My wife had finally given up and hoped for him to breathe his last. All the gods who did not answer our prayers to treat him heard this alone, and he died after intense suffering and breathlessness.
Sita is said to be one of the most patient women in our mythology, bore everything with a smile. My wife also resonates that trait probably because she shares the name. I’ve seen more than my fair share of challenges in the six decades of my life, but the last 30 years have been different because I had her by my side.
I was barely 17 when I lost my mother. My father raised me and my siblings. I found a job with 300 rupees a month and slogged day in and day out to make a decent living. That’s when I gave the bank exam and found employment with IOB. I retired recently after 37 years of service and thousands of memories.
At one point, I had to travel for five hours every day to get to work. While the bank policy was that I had to be in the same town, I couldn’t afford to move my family. At the same time, I couldn’t go a day without seeing them. Everyone was in awe at how I start from home at 6 A.M. and get to work by 9 A.M., little do they know the effort my wife put in to make that happen. She was up by 3 A.M. to pack my breakfast and lunch and ensured that I reach work on time! She did this for three years without ever complaining, despite having a full-time job and two kids to take care of.
All the stress from the long distance travelling for work, handling my younger son’s health issues, his death, everything, had a toll on my health. I had a near-death experience a couple of years ago and still continue to battle numerous health issues. While I’ve had more than my fair share of challenges, I’ve always believed in living life to the fullest. I make sure I give my son the best of everything, we travel in the most comfortable modes available, and never shy away from spending on ourselves. My life now revolves around my older son, as it is only for him that I am alive today. Had it not been for him, I would have taken away my life, years ago, when I lost my younger son or saw him suffer for over a decade with his disability.”
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